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From Michael Greger, M.D.

Adequate magnesium status is critical for the health of both mother and fetus during pregnancy. Magnesium deficiency during pregnancy is associated with everything from bothersome calf muscle cramps to a potentially life-threatening complication called eclampsia. So where is magnesium found? Well, it forms the core of chlorophyll molecules, so--you guessed it--dark green leafy vegetables, as well as beans, seeds and whole grains. So researchers at the German Institute of Human Nutrition reasoned that women who followed plant-based diets would have a better magnesium status and fewer magnesium deficiency-related complications than those following the Standard American Diet (SAD). And, that's exactly what they found.

They followed over a hundred women through their pregnancies and not only did those following a plant-based diet indeed have "markedly" higher magnesium intakes, but they had significantly fewer leg cramps during the second and third trimesters. The researchers conclude that this is in line with the "substantial evidence from many studies that plant-based or vegetarian diets can reduce the risk for many nutrition-related diseases."[1]


[1] Koebnick C, et al. "Long-Term Effect of a Plant-Based Diet on Magnesium Status During Pregnancy." European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 59(2005):219-225.

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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.