As a naturopathic doctor, my medical practice is based on the principles of naturopathic medicine. These are the guiding principles that keep me focused on helping people heal themselves in a safe, effective way. Though there are six naturopathic principles, the one that is the most important to my practice is my belief in the Healing Power of Nature. I do believe that natural substances and healthy lifestyle can be healing, but something different is meant here. This principle refers to the body’s ability to heal itself. Our body has many mechanisms to help restore our health. Sometimes we are unhealthy only because something such as a toxin is interfering with our body’s ability to heal. Other times our body is lacking essential nutrients it needs to return to wellness.

I see both of these scenarios on a regular basis. It is very common for people in the U.S. to be deficient in minerals because of our diets. For instance, optimal intake for magnesium should be between 300 – 600 mg, but the average American gets 275 mg. Since this is an average, it means that many people are getting even less than this. Magnesium is necessary for the proper function of muscles and the nervous system. Magnesium is also needed by numerous enzymes in the body, including ones that make energy for us. Evidence suggests that magnesium deficiency can be linked to fatigue, depression, anxiety, insomnia, memory loss, muscle cramps and twitches, diabetic complications, and certain diseases of the retina of the eye. People with health problems like migraines, PMS, heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and alcoholism might need even more magnesium.  Food sources of magnesium include dark green vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, soy, avocado, and dried apricots.

To find more food sources of magnesium, go to one of my favorite websites, World’s Healthiest Foods. If you want to read more of the naturopathic principles, check out the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

Published by drlaurell

Laurell Matthews, ND is a naturopathic doctor with a passion for helping people understand how to be healthier using dietary and lifestyle changes along with other natural medicine modalities like botanical medicine.

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