The Importance of Magnesium to Overall Health
Magnesium is vital for cellular health and is needed in over 300 biochemical functions in the body, such as energy metabolism, protein synthesis, blood sugar control, nerve function, neurotransmitter release, blood pressure regulation, and the production of the antioxidant glutathione. With such demand for all these functions, it can be very easy for one to become low in magnesium, especially if you are not consuming foods that are high in magnesium. And with only 1% of your body’s magnesium stored in the blood, the rest located in the bones, knowing if you lack this mineral can be quite tricky.
Magnesium deficiency may lead to the following health challenges:
The first signs of magnesium deficiency include muscular aches and pains, followed by headache and migraine. Other health challenges are:
- Eye strain
- Difficulty concentrating
- High level of personal stress
- Anxiety and depression
- Chronic fatigue
- Fibromyalgia and leg cramps
- Heart attack
- Hormone imbalance and PMS
- Tension or migraine headaches
- Type 2 diabetes
Common Causes of Magnesium Deficiency
Here are some factors that lead to magnesium deficiency:
- A diet high in sugar and phytic acid
- Consuming less than three servings of vegetables per day
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Poor digestive absorption due to leaky gut
- Taking prescription medications, like antibiotics and diuretics
The recommended dietary allowance of magnesium for men is 400 milligrams, while for women it is 310 milligrams a day.
If you suspect that you might be low in magnesium, start consuming foods that are high in magnesium. Foods that are grown organically may have higher levels of magnesium compared to those from conventional farms whose soils are most likely to be depleted of magnesium because they don’t rotate their crops or let the land rest.
Typically, green leafy vegetables would provide you with high levels of magnesium. However, there are other foods that are rich in magnesium and chlorophyll. Here are ten magnesium-rich foods that you can add into your diet:
- Black Beans
- Dark Chocolate
- Goat cheese
- Pumpkin seeds
Health Benefits of Magnesium
Several studies show that magnesium results to various health benefits, such as:
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that a diet high in magnesium may help lower the risk of a stroke by 8%. In another research, increasing magnesium through diet was shown to reduce the risk of a heart attack by 38%.
In another study, magnesium was found to help improve outcomes for fibromyalgia. Increasing magnesium consumption resulted to reduced pain and tenderness as well as improved immune blood markers. Studies show that magnesium supplementation reduces leg cramps and helps improve recovery from vigorous exercise.
Type 2 Diabetes
By increasing your intake of magnesium-rich foods, you can significantly lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. This is because magnesium plays a major role in glucose metabolism. An increase of 100 milligrams a day of magnesium was observed to lower the risk of diabetes by 15%.
Magnesium is an essential mineral for bone formation. A study published in Biological Trace Element Research found that supplementing with magnesium was instrumental in slowing down the development of osteoporosis.
As magnesium is vital in balancing neurotransmitters in the body, taking 300 milligrams of magnesium twice a day can reduce the frequency of migraine headaches, based on a study published in Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics.