Episode 41

Nuts and Seeds, or Supplements

Published on: 6th December, 2023

Nuts and Seeds, or Supplements

People who count calories notice nuts contain about 200 calories per ounce. Nuts are calorie-dense. However, nuts are also nutrient-dense. Moreover, nuts provide fiber, healthy oils, and essential minerals.

Nuts have been shown to decrease sudden cardiac death, decrease cholesterol, and provide satiety that helps people who wish to control their weight.

Two Brazil nuts contain enough magnesium to meet the adult daily requirement.


Food Works, Supplements May Not

The advantage of a healthy diet is that you do not need supplements in your diet. While Magnesium is an essential mineral needed in hundreds of reactions in your body, you can get all the magnesium you need by following a Mediterranean Diet.

Take Pumpkin Seeds - also known as Pepitas in the US. Kernels: 1 oz, 168 mg or pumpkin seeds in shell: 1 oz, 74 mg

Other Foods That Work:

Almonds, dry roasted: 1 oz, 80 mg

Spinach, boiled: ½ cup, 78 mg

Cashews, dry roasted: 1 oz, 74 mg

Peanuts, oil roasted: ¼ cup, 63 mg

Soymilk, plain or vanilla: 1 cup, 61 mg

Black beans, cooked: 1⁄2 cup, 60 mg

Peanut butter, smooth: 2 tablespoons, 49 mg

Bread, whole wheat: 2 slices, 46 mg

Avocado: 1 whole one is 44 mg

Potato, baked with skin: 3.5 oz, 43 mg

Rice, brown, cooked: 1⁄2 cup, 42 mg

Yogurt, plain, low fat: 8 oz, 42 mg

Oatmeal, instant: 1 packet, 36 mg

Banana: 1 medium, 32 mg

Salmon, Atlantic, farmed: 3 oz, 26 mg

Halibut, cooked: 3 oz, 24 mg

Raisins½ cup, 23 mg

Chicken breast, roasted: 3 oz, 22 mg

Beef, ground, 90% lean: 3 oz, 20 mg

Broccoli, chopped & cooked: ½ cup, 12 mg

Apple:1 medium, 9 mg

Carrot, raw: 1 medium, 7 mg


All of those are foods you get in your diet, and all of them are a part of a healthy Mediterranean Diet.



Which is better? Magnesium glycinate three eight citrate or oxide?

This is one of the most common questions I'm asked during my doc talk live sections on TikTok. Magnesium supplementation is a popular subject probably ever since the disgraced Naturopath published her book The Magnesium Miracle, claiming that magnesium could cure over 60 diseases. It was popular because so many people wanted one thing that they could grab hold of to explain all of their problems.

And because symptoms of magnesium deficiency are common, fatigue, weakness, insomnia, and heart palpitations, it became a natural reservoir for all of the nonsense that people want to present.

Barbara O'Neill, the naturopath banned from Australia for dangerous practices, frequently lectures that taking Celtic salt will cure hypertension, but it isn't Celtic sea salt you need.

If you need magnesium today, I will introduce you to Mediterranean magnesium. It will not only help regulate blood pressure but also improve your life and increase longevity.

Today on Fork U, we will make sense of the madness of magnesium, and we'll tell you which magnesium supplement you should buy and which you should avoid. And how to take the Mediterranean magnesium miracle and avoid the supplemental magnesium misery of Montezuma.

I'm Dr. Terry Simpson, and this is Fork Fork University.

where we make sense of the madness. Bust a few myths and teach you a little bit about food as medicine.

The Mediterranean magnesium miracle. Where do you get this? Well, first try nuts and seeds, which we include in the fruit section of the Mediterranean diet. Did you know that two Brazil nuts contain enough magnesium for a person for a day? An ounce of pumpkin seed contains about half of what you need. A banana is about 10%. Salmon about a fourth beef. Beef is about 10%. Now, I know the carnival crowd has a hard time accepting that beef, bison, or organ meat doesn't contain sufficient amounts of magnesium to meet minimum data requirements. But I digress. It's just so much fun to call them out about their quackery. No doubt, many of those proponents sell magnesium supplements on their websites. But did you know that a well-rounded diet like the Mediterranean diet, you will consume all of the magnesium you need?

And speaking of nuts, did you know that increasing walnut consumption has been shown to lead to a reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and decrease inflammatory and oxidant markers in individuals who are at high risk for coronary disease?

And do you know that other studies have shown that people who consume nuts and seeds have fewer heart attacks? For example, 40% decrease in heart disease among those people who consume four servings of nuts a week.

Let's go back to the supplementation stuff. The problem with supplementation is you're just replacing one factor when eating food provides not only that one factor but plenty of other things.

The second problem with magnesium supplementation is magnesium toxicity.

Now, oftentimes people may attribute the nausea, cramps, and diarrhea to food poisoning when actually they're getting overdosed on magnesium supplementation. They probably don't know that taking those magnesium supplements could interfere with their medicines, like their diuretics, their heart medicine, or their antibiotics. Magnesium can cause more muscle aches and sleeplessness, and extra magnesium can even stop the heart. They probably don't tell you on those magnesium bottles that it's going to compete with calcium for absorption. So taking excess magnesium will not only overdose you but also decrease calcium absorption.

Wow, it's hard to believe they actually sell that stuff when you can just take a Mediterranean diet full of nuts and seeds at one portion of it and get plenty of it in your diet. While magnesium is essential, it is far from rare in plants, nuts, and seeds in spite of supplement makers consistently making claims that our food has less magnesium because we're depleting our soil. Did you know that magnesium is the third most common element on the crust of the earth?

Because of that, one of my favorite mineral waters has 45 mg of magnesium per glass. It is called Socasani, I don't know if you can find it anywhere else, but I get it at Costco here in the Los Angeles area. This is mineral water that bubbles up from springs in the Andes. It is high in magnesium. I like it because they won some water awards and that is how I found it. But a cup of that water is about a quarter of the amount of magnesium because magnesium is the third most common element on the crust of the earth.

So when I refer to Mediterranean magnesium, it's not a supplement you're going to buy, although I'm sure someone will probably sell it now. But it does come from nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.

Now let's go back to Celtic Salt. I hear people selling Celtic salt all the time, be that Barbara O'Neill, Santa Cruz Medicininals, or Gary Brecka.

But Celtic Salt has 34,000 mg of sodium to 200 mg of magnesium in three and a half ounces (100 grams). That is a tone of salt.

Now contrast Celtic Salt with one ounce of pumpkin seeds, which has 170 mg of magnesium and two milligrams of sodium. Celtic salt is just overpriced salt. It is not a source of magnesium.

And certainly, if you're going to take three and a half ounces of salt, which contains 34,000 milligrams of sodium, to get 200 milligrams of magnesium, whatever good the magnesium will do to your blood vessels will be more than outdone by the overdose of sodium you're giving to your body.

The problem with supplement makers and sellers everywhere is that they are constantly trying to sell you something that you can get in a healthy diet, like the Mediterranean diet, and in this case, from nuts and seeds. They are easy to add to a salad from nuts, which makes an incredible snack that you can carry portable with you almost anywhere, containing fiber and protein, along with magnesium, selenium, potassium, and all those things that you need.

You don't need to spend more money on magnesium supplements, what you really need is to spend more money eating a better diet. Or like I tell people when they tell me, well, I just don't like fruits and vegetables and nuts and seeds. It's time to grow up because there is more in your diet than just magnesium. There are plenty of other things that you need that you can get from a diet that you will never get from a pill.


Now to be clear, there are those people who need magnesium supplementation if required by a board-certified physician. There are people with certain conditions, kidney disease, and people who have taken certain pills that will deplete magnesium and need it.

How do you test for magnesium deficiency? Not just a blood test. Blood only contains a few percentages of the magnesium in your body. There are several other tests. One of the gold standards is that we give you a bunch of magnesium, check your urine, and see if it all came out. Another one is the red blood cell test for magnesium. There are some good magnesium tests out there, typically not available from your average chiropractic lab, which oversells you on tons of tests.

So if you overdose on magnesium, like my aunt did when she brought me the book, The Magnesium Miracle. She said, "I think this is what was giving me diarrhea." I said, absolutely. It was also one of the reasons that her anti-hypertensive wasn't working. She was getting too much hypertension. She stopped her magnesium supplement. Her bowels cleared up, and her hypertension got better. She was taking her anti-hypertensive, and it wasn't being interfered with magnesium. And she loves fruits, seeds, and nuts. I mean, she has to love nuts. I'm her nephew.

Please listen to the blog or see the blog associated with this called Your doctor's orders.com or for you.com. This was researched by me, Dr. Terry Simpson. And while I am a physician, I am not your physician. If you need a physician's help, please see a board-certified Western-trained physician, not a naturopath, not an Eastern medicine man, not a chiropractor, not a witch doctor. Our friends carried out distribution at Simpler Media, and the pod god, my good friend Evo Terra.

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About the Podcast

Fork U with Dr. Terry Simpson
Learn more about what you put in your mouth.
Fork U(niversity)
Not everything you put in your mouth is good for you.

There’s a lot of medical information thrown around out there. How are you to know what information you can trust, and what’s just plain old quackery? You can’t rely on your own “google fu”. You can’t count on quality medical advice from Facebook. You need a doctor in your corner.

On each episode of Your Doctor’s Orders, Dr. Terry Simpson will cut through the clutter and noise that always seems to follow the latest medical news. He has the unique perspective of a surgeon who has spent years doing molecular virology research and as a skeptic with academic credentials. He’ll help you develop the critical thinking skills so you can recognize evidence-based medicine, busting myths along the way.

The most common medical myths are often disguised as seemingly harmless “food as medicine”. By offering their own brand of medicine via foods, These hucksters are trying to practice medicine without a license. And though they’ll claim “nutrition is not taught in medical schools”, it turns out that’s a myth too. In fact, there’s an entire medical subspecialty called Culinary Medicine, and Dr. Simpson is certified as a Culinary Medicine Specialist.

Where today's nutritional advice is the realm of hucksters, Dr. Simpson is taking it back to the realm of science.

About your host

Profile picture for Terry Simpson

Terry Simpson

Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate, graduate, and medical degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. Until he found he liked people more than petri dishes. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2018 and 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.”