Why is Magnesium So Important?

(Resources for this article come from: Dr. Josh Axe, WebMD, and organicfacts.net)

According to Rachael Link, MS, RD, Magnesium plays a central role in just about every bodily process from the synthesis of DNA to the metabolism of insulin. If you are deficient you will likely be suffering with a lot of issues that you may not link to magnesium. Some conditions such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, insulin resistance, migraines, hypertension, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and heart disease are some of the chronic conditions associated with low magnesium in the body.

Magnesium is an essential mineral used by our body to maintain overall health. It helps in calcium absorption and helps in the formation and strengthening of teeth and bones.

It is required by the body for more than 300 biochemical reactions, and is the 4th most prevalent mineral in the body. About 50% of the body’s total magnesium is stored in our bones, while the rest is found in the cells of body tissues and organs. However, only about 1% is available in the blood.

Magnesium is needed to keep muscle and nerve functions normal and the heart beating normally. It helps support a healthy immune system and keeps your bones strong. It’s important for regulating blood sugar levels keeping your blood pressure normal. It supports energy metabolism, protein synthesis and treats cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes.

Magnesium Benefits:

Too much magnesium will have a laxative affect on the body, causing diarrhea, but at the right dosage it can also provide relief from constipation!

Magnesium is known to cure some psychiatric dysfunction like panic attacks, stress, anxiety, and agitation.

It can help prevent asthma attacks and may be able to normalize breathing in someone suffering from chronic asthma, by relaxing the bronchial muscles and helping regulate breathing. Wheezing and breathlessness can be relieve by taking this mineral.

Magnesium is directly related to bone density, and if you have a deficiency can be a cause of osteoporosis. It helps regulate calcium levels, along with vitamin D, copper, and zinc. Magnesium, taken with calcium and vitamin D should be taken during developmental years and adulthood to help lower the chance of developing osteoporosis in later years.

It helps boost energy and promotes the activation of enzymes to create cellular energy.

Magnesium can help treat severe backaches by relaxing back muscles, kidney stress, and muscular tension. Cramps in the legs and general fatigue are usually symptoms of a deficiency in this mineral, and if taken in supplement form can act to help cure chronic leg cramp problems.

It protects the heart from irregular heartbeats shielding the heart from damage due to muscle stress. Magnesium calms the nerves, mediates digestive processes, and prevents vomiting, cramps, indigestion, abdominal pain, flatulence, and constipation which can all put stress on the cardiovascular system. A deficiency can result in lethal heart diseases.

Magnesium helps regulate insulin reaction to blood sugar levels. Most diabetic patients suffer with a deficiency of this mineral. It aids in regulating blood sugar, thereby promoting normal blood pressure. Those with high blood pressure are usually magnesium deficient. To help avoid medical complications, it is suggested that supplementation with magnesium is vital.

If you suffer from migraine headaches (especially females) magnesium supplements help to significantly reduce the severity of those headaches and reduces the rate of frequency.

Magnesium helps relieve PMS symptoms that occur in women 1-2 weeks before menstruation. Relieving mood swings, weight gain, food cravings, water retention, fatigue, irritability, sore breasts and digestive issues.

Low levels of magnesium have been linked to inflammation and in a study from 2014, it found that both low intake of magnesium and low levels of magnesium in the blood were associated with higher levels of markers of inflammation. So taking magnesium chloride helps decrease inflammation. It’s no surprise that foods high in magnesium are at the top of anti-inflammatory food lists and contain beneficial antioxidants and phyto-nutrients that help keep inflammation at bay.

Magnesium is a vital element to help ensure a healthy pregnancy. When taken during pregnancy, it is beneficial for reducing the risk of osteoporosis and increasing pain tolerance levels, helping to result in a smooth delivery and optimization of blood pressure. Magnesium sulfate is the best treatment to prevent eclamptic seizures in expectant mothers with hypertension.

If counting sheep doesn’t help you get to sleep at night or you suffer from insomnia, you may consider increasing your intake of magnesium-rich foods. According to some researchers, magnesium may be connected to your sleep quality/quantity. Combined with other natural insomnia relief and natural sleep aids, like calcium, essential oils, and Valerian root, magnesium may help maximize your results in the sleep department.

Magnesium is an important mineral for producing proteins that are slowly transformed into collagen. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein found in fibrous tissues like tendons, ligaments, and the skin. It also is present in the cornea, bones, the gut, cartilage, blood vessels, and intervertebral discs.

It helps control bladder functions (like frequent urination). Urinary problems can be a result of nephritis, infections, or sometimes interstitial cystitis. Balanced intake of magnesium can bring relief to these ailments.

Magnesium helps with mineral absorption which takes place in the small intestine, ensuring the detoxification of harmful toxins in the body. Minerals like sodium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus are absorbed more easily, along with vitamins, such as vitamin D. It also helps to activate vitamin D that is stored in the body.

Normally, magnesium, when taken as a nutritional supplement, will not cause diarrhea. However, those with kidney disease, have bleeding disorders, have intestinal disease, heart disease or are on medications should avoid taking magnesium supplements without consulting a doctor.

Magnesium is also in our food chain and can be consumed daily without supplementation. But you would have to be eating a well balanced diet that includes lots of magnesium nutritious foods. So you would have to include lots of green, leafy vegetables (like spinach and chard), avocados, figs, nuts, beans, and peas. Eating whole foods is always the best way to get your magnesium as processing and refinement of foods can destroy its potency. Here are 10 Magnesium-rich foods you can consume (with USDA values): cooked spinach (1 cup = 39% DV), cooked Swiss chard (1 cup = 38% DV), dark chocolate (1 square = 24% DV), dried pumpkin seeds (1/8 cup = 23% DV), almonds (1 oz. = 19% DV), black beans (1/2 cup = 15% DV), avocado (1 medium = 15% DV), dried figs (1/2 cup = 13% DV), yogurt or kefir (1 cup = 12% DV), and bananas (1 medium = 8% DV).

Ideally getting your magnesium as naturally as possible, instead of taking supplements, is much preferred as these foods also help supply other important nutrients to help you optimize your health.

Remember, anything mentioned above are suggestions, so before taking any supplement or changing anything in your diet, please contact your health care team.

Have an amazing rest of your day and week ahead.