When it comes to proper nutrition, we don’t always know what role certain nutrients play in our bodies. For example, do you know the ways magnesium heals the body?
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a chemical element that is essential to the proper function of the human body. According to, Wikipedia, it is the eleventh most abundant element of mass in the human body. Ions found in it are essential to all cells and interact with DNA, RTA and RNA; many ions require it for proper function.
Magnesium is essential to the basic chemistry of cells found in all living organisms. This is due to its interactions between phosphate and magnesium ions. Enzymes require magnesium ions for their catalytic action. Nearly 15% of the population is deficient in this nutrient. It can be used to treat many conditions, such as:
- Eclampsia and Preeclampsia
- Restless leg syndrome
Health benefits of Magnesium
Lowered risk of type 2 diabetes
Magnesium plays an important role in glucose metabolism. Diets rich in it are associated with a significantly lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Deficiency may worsen insulin resistance. Diabetes leads to an increase in urinary losses of magnesium and subsequent loss may effect insulin secretion and action, which in turn, worsens diabetes control. Studies have yet to find a sufficient amount of evidence regarding whether or not taking supplements can in fact lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. The American diabetes association states there is insufficient evidence, but that hasn’t stopped many people from monitoring their intake to be sure that they are consuming a healthy amount and in many cases, taking supplements for its possible relationship to diabetes.
Preventing and reversing osteoporosis
Magnesium aid in formation of bones, influencing osteoblast and osteoclasts. It can also effect the concentration of both parathyroid hormone and the active form of vitamin D, both of which are major regulators of bone homeostasis. Many studies have found associations between intake and bone mineral density. Research has found that women with osteoporosis have lower serum magnesium levels than woman, with osteopenia than those who do not have it. The studies have shown that deficiency might be a risk factor for osteoporosis. Diets that provide the recommended level enhances stronger bone health.
Having a magnesium deficiency is related to some factors that may cause migraine headaches. People who migraine headaches have lower levels of serum and tissue magnesium, than that of those who do not experience migraine headaches. There is limited research available on the association with migraines. However, some studies have suggested that consuming 600mg daily may prevent migraine headaches. The American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society concluded that magnesium therapy is probably effective in treating migraine headaches. But the recommended dose of supplements exceeds recommended amounts and should only be done so after consulting a physician.
Hypertension and cardiovascular disease
One of the key benefits of magnesium is that is it associated with lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. Higher intake may also aid the prevention of stroke according to the National Institutes of Health. Having a magnesium deficiency is associated with abnormal heart rhythms. This increases the risk of complications after a heart attack. Consuming the proper amount can be beneficial to overall cardiovascular health.
Regulating Blood Pressure and preventing Hypertension
Magnesium can help with natural regulation of blood pressure and preventing hypertension. However, many believe that taking magnesium supplements and consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetable is a good place to start when learning to control your blood pressure.
One of the many side effects of having a magnesium deficiency or low intake, is insomnia. Magnesium can reduce the Neuronal activities in the brain. In turn, by reducing electrical conduction between brain cells, it can reduce the signals that cause anxiety as well as lack of sleep.
Magnesium is an old home remedy for anxiety, apathy, irritability and depression. It is vital to the release of serotonin, the brains natural anti-depressant. The release of serotonin cannot function properly if you are low on magnesium. Some believe that it has the properties to treat many psychiatric disorders such as panic attacks, stress, anxiety and undue irritation.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Magnesium can also treat restless leg syndrome and muscle spasms which are a common cause of lack of sleep. Low levels can lead to poor electrical conduction in Neurons in the muscles, leading to increased muscular activity. The resulting effect is muscle spasms and Restless Leg Syndrome.
Helps with pain and cramps
Magnesium can help with back pain, kidney stress, and muscular tension which helps to ease back pain. Symptoms of cramps in the legs are common signs of a deficiency. The supplements are a cure for body pain for many people.
Magnesium can provide quick relief for those who are suffering from constipation. It helps relax the intestinal muscles, allowing bowels to pass more easily. And also works to attract water, helping to soften stools and allow for them to pass much easier. It can also found in many types of laxatives and stool softeners.
Why Magnesium Deficiency is Common?
Magnesium is not efficient in being absorbed by your body. About half of magnesium eaten through a healthy diet is absorbed by your body. (17)
The recommended daily intake (RDA) for magnesium is significant and depends on a number of lifestyle factors. Women should aim for 320 mg of magnesium a day as a minimum, while men should consume at least 420 mg.
People that drink heavily or lack digestive enzymes might need to increase levels due to malabsorption. Check with your doctor about appropriate levels.
Magnesium is found in a number of foods, but not in high amounts. Most of the foods contain around 10-80 mg of magnesium per a serving. So, make sure to bulk up on these foods.
Top 8 Paleo Foods Rich in Magnesium
The following nutritional information is from the Cleveland Clinic
- Pumpkin Seeds and Kernels: Pumpkin kernels have a whopping 168mg of magnesium. If you don’t like the kernels, pumpkin seeds in the shell have one of the highest amounts at 74mg.
- Almonds: Almonds have slightly more than pumpkin seeds with 80 mg of magnesium, which is 20% of your daily intake.
- Spinach: Cooked or boiled spinach will get about 78mg of the magnesium you need in a half cup, which is great with eggs in the morning.
- Dark Chocolate: Meaning at least 60% cocoa – no milk chocolate here, you’ll get 50mg of your daily magnesium intake in 1 oz.
- Avocados: Yes, the Paleo go-to superfood is also high in magnesium. Gobble down your tacos, pudding and everything else you use for avocado and know that you are also taking in 44mg of magnesium per serving. Avocado is also high in potassium, fiber and good fats.
- Salmon: Wild caught salmon helps with inflammation and increase Omega-3 levels, but did you know that salmon is also high in magnesium. This superfood has 26mg of magnesium for your daily intake.
- Chicken: Roasted chicken is delicious, easy to make the air fryer and comes in at 22mg of magnesium per a serving.
- Raisins: Super sweet and should be used with caution for people with insulin sensitivity. Raisins are actually really high in magnesium coming in at 23mg per a 1/2 cup serving.