Magnesium and Green Juices
Interview with Carolyn Dean, MD, ND.
When, and why, do you think green juices have become so popular?
We seem to have cycles of people “going back to the land” “eating raw” “going natural” and green juicing is one of those “fads” that seems to be on the rise because people want to eat healthier foods. Juicing down a pound of greens into an 8 oz glass of juice seems to be one answer to failing nutrition in our diet and should give you lots of nutrients.
What are the benefits/disadvantages of store-bought green juice?
If it’s not organic, you’re concentrating herbicides and pesticides which are poisonous.
And, if the farm didn’t fertilize with minerals, you really don’t get the minerals you think you are getting in green juices. There is no “labeling” on greens to know what minerals they contain. Since chlorophyll in plants has magnesium as its associated mineral, like iron in our hemoglobin, we think green drinks will give us enough magnesium. However, I’ve consulted with people prominent in the green juicing world drinking more than 100 oz of green juice a day and found them to be deficient in magnesium and suffering heart palpitations and leg cramps which are both symptoms of magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium and the B-complex vitamins are excellent examples of energy nutrients, because they activate enzymes that control digestion, absorption, and the utilization of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Because magnesium is involved with hundreds of enzymatic reactions throughout the body, deficiency can affect every aspect of life and cause a score of symptoms. Of the 325 magnesium-dependent enzymes, the most important enzyme reaction involves the creation of energy by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the fundamental energy storage molecule of the body. ATP may be what the Chinese refer to as qi or life force. Magnesium is required for the body to produce and store energy. Without magnesium there is no energy, no movement, no life. It is that simple.
Magnesium is used in synergy with dozens of other vitamins and minerals to create structural components of the body. Under the direction of magnesium, enzymes and nutrients modify the building blocks from food to create the body. With out magnesium, there is no body. RNA and DNA, which contain the genetic blueprints for the formation of all the protein molecules in the body, are also dependent on magnesium.
What is your favorite brand of store-bought green juice?
I have only recommended wheat grass grown outdoors, harvested young and flash frozen.
What can you add to homemade green juice to make it taste better?
Blended sunflower seeds
If it’s not organic, I’d question it.
I wouldn’t use it as my only source of nutrients since we don’t know quantities.
I would make sure to get fiber in my diet, since one of the “reasons” we eat plants is for the high fiber content. I would also recommend supplementing with an absorbable magnesium such as magnesium citrate powder mixed in hot or cold water.
Carolyn Dean, MD, ND – author of “The Magnesium Miracle” and Medical Advisory Board Member of the non-profit Nutritional Magnesium Association