Missing mineral that explains why you are ageing faster

The fruit and veggies your parents ate may have kept them feeling younger

How magnesium stalls ageing

If you feel as though you may be ageing faster than your parents, you could be right. It’s possible your ‘healthy’ diet is not packed with as many vitamins and minerals which   decades ago occurred naturally in the food chain. The soils that grew the fruit and vegetables eaten by previous generations were more naturally fertile.

Sadly, today’s farming practices have stripped many essential minerals and other goodies from the earth. Consequently, the plants on your plate are devoid of some nutrients your body needs to function optimally and to stave off the ravages of ageing.

Certainly, today’s fresh produce looks great, blemish and pest-free, and comes in whopper sizes. However, the quest by supermarkets, farmers and chemical companies to tick those boxes has interfered with plants’ abilities to extract enough nutrients from the mediums in which they grow. That was the conclusion of Professor Donald Davis and his University of Texas research team, which compared data from 1950 and 1999 on 43 different fruits and vegetables.

“Efforts to breed new varieties of crops that provide greater yield, pest resistance and climate adaptability have allowed crops to grow bigger and more rapidly,” said Prof Davis.

“But their ability to manufacture or uptake nutrients has not kept pace with their rapid growth.”

He also told Scientific American that there have likely been declines in nutrients such as magnesium, among others.

So why is having adequate magnesium – 320mg a day for older women and 420mg for older men – essential to diets? Among the many reasons is that it wards off those diseases more likely to be associated with ageing – diabetes, high blood pressure and osteoporosis.

Older Australians, alcoholics and those who already suffer from diabetes are most likely to be deficient in the mineral. Consuming enough magnesium can control inflammation in your body, protecting you against heart disease and arthritis. The nutrient is also understood to keep blood vessels from tightening, helping to reduce the incidence of migraines.

The foods listed here are believed to contain generous amounts of magnesium.

  • avocado, kale, Swiss chard and spinach
  • almonds, cashews, pecans and peanuts
  • seeds from pumpkins, sunflowers and flax
  • wholegrains, cooked oats and rice
  • chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, lentils and soy products. 

Many people with a magnesium deficiency may not have symptoms. Others who are more sensitive can develop tremors, disturbed sleep, muscle cramps and fatigue. If you suffer from these conditions, despite eating a balanced diet that includes foods from the above list, you may wish to ask your doctor if they recommend a blood test to measure your magnesium levels.

If your levels are low, your doctor may suggest taking supplements or applying creams, which are available over the counter.

Have you ever had your magnesium levels tested? Do you need to supplement your diet with vitamins? Has taking mineral supplements helped to improve your health?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    22nd Jan 2018
    I have a gold deficiency
    22nd Jan 2018
    Me too. And silver as well. Bugger!
    22nd Jan 2018
    Me too. How has this happened!
    22nd Jan 2018
    Your story appears to disagree with a Michael Mosley documentary seen in the past few days.
    I have seen a lot of claims made over an extended period which have been shown to be wrong. Not sure if Mosely is adding to the list but one particular study hit the mark for me and I am going to try to eat according to the claims, not that we do not already come close to this.
    Moseley and the expert running the study surmised that protein is the culprit to restricting longevity. The opinion was that eating protein stimulates the liver to produce a substance called ADF which in turn promotes NEW cell production. By turning this mechanism off the body, apparently, will repair existing cells rather than produce a huge supply of new ones.
    This theory to my way of thinking sounds like 'evidence' rather than a dietician making some sort of claim based on nothing other than hot air.
    Add to the story mice which were genetically bred and fed an appropriate diet and this is looking like it may be a winner. I'll be following this diet.
    So not sure if longevity can be linked to one element in the diet but I do agree about the depletion of minerals in soils over the last 200 years and the failure of modern fix all plants to supply the full range of required minerals to the body. Farming is a practise where the earth is raped and human waste which is high in minerals is pumped out to sea. The way our absurd world with imbeciles in charge works.
    22nd Jan 2018
    Mosley has been pushing the restricted meat diet for some time. I don't know how much science there is in it. I don't eat much meat anyway.
    22nd Jan 2018
    I think the research is still unfolding when it comes to reducing protein etc.
    Those I know with longevity eat well, and have a balanced life style and cook their own food.
    22nd Jan 2018
    ive needed calcium / magnesium/iron vit c lets face it food doesn't taste like much these days. Pineapple doesn't taste of anything any more neither do tomatoes . buy banana's today and they are off the next day. what are they doing to our food supply . Nothing good obviously.
    22nd Jan 2018
    A lot of food goes off because it’s kept on cold storage for long times. Next time your at the supermarket feel the coolness of things like potatoes. Remember the fruit and vegetable shops that each suburb had the owner would go to the markets a couple or more times a week bring it back to his store and sell it in a couple of days. Now a days I have potatoes sprouting within 3 days of purchase, I’m told that the cold storage triggers the growing process. And besides how long have fruit and vegetables been in the cooler so to speak. Maybe all produce should have a when harvested sticker as well as a best by/use by date.
    15th Jul 2020
    I agree tisme, pineapples, strawberries are sour, so is most stone fruit, tomatoes not much taste and i've even had a sour Naval orange, quality of fruit has long gone down the gurgler.
    22nd Jan 2018
    The other thing we don't know is just what is being used to grow this fruit and vegetables to the much larger sizes we are seeing now, and what is that going to do to our bodies long term. I know that what they do use makes fruit and veg tasteless compared to what you grow in your own garden.
    22nd Jan 2018
    There is too much time from harvest to consumer which causes deteration in the produce, it’s still edible but a lot of the goodness is lost.
    22nd Jan 2018
    So much food these days like Veg and fruit tastes NOTHING like it used to -- NOTHING -- in fact so much it un-eatable -- I used to so enjoy fruit and veg and often even ate Tomatoes like apples --I enjoyed them so much these days I can't come at eating even a slice and the fruit is truly disgusting.
    Also, what are they doing to apples when you can cut one and have it not go brown for almost 4 weeks, also stay firm?
    22nd Jan 2018
    Apples are often put in storage for up to a year and have a wax coating to stop bruising. They have been doing this for 50 years.
    I do remember beautiful apples picked off the tree - so good! ...tummy ache and all.
    14th Jul 2020
    Plan B, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Nothing tastes like it used to. I've been to farmers' markets but their produce is not always home grown. The potatoes, for instance, are usually pre-purchased.
    15th Jul 2020
    I have found the best place I found to buy anything really great was from markets in Nth Coast NSW -- also a place called The Channon -- in fact most markets in the Nth coast NSW as well as plants and also cheap as, and the best.
    Also the Tropical Fruit World Nth NSW -- now things from there are really great

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