Nancy Dell: Magnesium for bones & more; What are baby carrots?

1. Besides Calcium and Vitamin D, my doctor says I need magnesium to prevent osteoporosis. Should I take it in a supplement or which foods have it?
Diane, Internet

According to government studies, most people do not eat enough magnesium and it has over 300 functions to keep your body young.

Magnesium helps with:

  • Keeping your bones strong
  • Helps convert food to energy
  • Keeps your muscles, nerves, and immune system work well
  • Cuts your risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Promotes normal blood pressure and blood sugar

It is always best to get your nutrients from food if you can. Good sources of magnesium are usually the foods that are also good sources of fiber. Those include spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

So if you eat foods naturally high in fiber, and avoid processed foods, chances are you will get adequate magnesium.

What do you mean by “naturally high in fiber”? Many foods have added fiber. For example a white bread with fiber ground up and added to the mix may say it has a lot of fiber on the label, but this is not naturally occurring and the food may not be high in magnesium.

However, 100% whole grain bread is naturally high in fiber and would have magnesium naturally in the grain.

There is a free program available at the Westfield Athenaeum called “Nutrition: Your Fountain of Youth”. It will be Wednesday, February 12th, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and free to the public.

2. What are baby carrots? Are they bleached?
Sophie, Internet

Baby carrots are made from long carrots that are bred to be smaller and sweeter. The long carrots are peeled, cut, and washed in a solution of water and chlorine.

The amount of chlorine is about equal to what you will find in your tap water. Almost all pre-cut produce goes through this process to kill bacteria.

It is better to eat pre-cut vegetables than to not eat them at all if you have no time to prepare them, but if you can cut them yourself,   you can avoid any chlorine and get more nutrients.