According to a 2013 study published by the Harvard School of Public Health, an increase of magnesium from whole foods was linked to a significant reduction in the risk of heart disease. Yet, heart disease is not the only health issue impacted by magnesium. A diet deficient in this vital mineral can lead to symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure.
Magnesium is richest in seeds, nuts, beans, and dark leafy greens and is responsible in part for healthy bowel movements, the production of detoxifying glutathione, energy metabolism, nerve function, bone mineral density, and regulating blood pressure.
Over-processing of foods can deplete magnesium values as can poor soil conditions and the use of chemical fertilizers. Choose organically grown, fresh whole foods such as raw pumpkin seeds, cashews, almonds, sesame seeds, spinach, and chard and replace canned beans with start-from-scratch dried beans in recipes for better magnesium retention. Taking a little extra time today may add years of time to the future, and there’s no better time than the present to go mad for magnesium.
Tex-Mex Chicken & Black Bean Salsa
•2 medium garlic cloves, minced
•1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
•1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
•¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
•1 Tbs chili powder
•¼ Tsp cumin
•¼ Tsp dried oregano
•1/8 Tsp cayenne pepper
•½ Tsp sea salt
•4 4-oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts
•1½ cups dried black beans
•1 bay leaf
•½ medium white onion, diced
•1 medium vine ripe tomato, seeded and diced•
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
•2 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
•Juice of 1 medium lime
•Pinch black pepper
•Pinch pink Himalayan sea salt
•½ Tbs coconut oil
•1 medium avocado, cut into chunks
•2 Tbs raw pumpkin seeds
1. For marinade: stir together all ingredients except chicken in a medium non-reactive mixing bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes or overnight. Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking.
2. In a small saucepan, bring beans, bay leaf, and onion to a boil in 3 ½ cups of water. Lower heat and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally and adding water, as needed, to prevent burning. When tender, transfer beans to a medium mixing bowl, allow to cool completely. Once cooled, add tomato, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, pepper, and sea salt. Mix together and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat coconut oil in a large heavy oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken breasts with some of the marinade and cook about 5 minutes, turn and cook an additional 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to oven and cook an additional 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
4. To serve, place chicken on top of the black bean salsa and sprinkle with fresh avocado, cilantro, and pumpkin seeds.
Serving size: 4 oz. chicken with 1/3 cup salsa
410 cal., 18.3g protein, 55.1g carbs, 14.9g fat, 4.2g saturated fat, 15.7g fiber, 262mg sodium
About the Author: Susan Irby is a Certified Fitness Nutritionist and food healer, award-winning network television and radio personality, and the creator of The Bikini Chef brand, its recipes, and content, which promotes “figure flattering flavors.” She has penned nine books and just ran her first marathon at age 50! Visit Susan online at thebikinichef.com, susanirby.com and bikinilifestyles.com.