Magnesium is an essential mineral required by every organ in the body for a range of activities including bone, protein and fatty acid formation. It is also essential in activating vitamins B and D, relaxing muscles, regulating calcium levels and helping blood to clot and is required for the secretion of insulin. Many of us do not get enough magnesium in our diets. Adults require about 300 to 400 milligrams a day. Magnesium is found in varying levels in nuts, wholegrains, dark green vegetables, fish and meat. Rich sources include pumpkin and sunflower seeds, bran, tofu, potatoes, spinach and baked beans. Extensive research is continuing into magnesium s health benefits, but researchers believe maintaining adequate levels is beneficial in treating and managing the following conditions:, high blood pressure, migraines, pre-eclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension), premenstrual tension and restless leg syndrome. Some studies indicate that magnesium deficiency increases the risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis and increasing magnesium intake may prevent the bone loss that leads to osteoporosis.
Magnesium is also thought to play a role in the sleep cycle. There are no negative aspects to maintaining sufficient magnesium levels through diet or supplementation, but excessive supplementation can lead to diarrheoa and stomach upsets. Magnesium supplements can interfere with certain medications, so check with your doctor before taking supplements. People with kidney or heart disease should consult their doctor before taking magnesium supplements. Everyone needs to make sure they have adequate magnesium levels. See a dietitian if you think you do not get enough from your diet. Too much stress, processed food, caffeine and alcohol, or heavy periods, can lower your levels. It s relatively easy to become mildly deficient in magnesium, but simple dietary changes or supplements can restore your levels.
Magnesium chloride supplements are generally considered to be the form that allow for the greatest uptake and availability.
Magnesium (Mg) may be the most overlooked mineral. No one has yet popularized a simple way to remember it, in the way that we usually associate, calcium with bone health, and sodium with blood pressure. б But magnesium is an incredibly versatile and important nutrient that many doctors, nutritionists, and researchers believe is the single most important nutrient for human health. It is essential for over 300 different chemical reactions in the body, including maintaining your energy level, helping you relax, and sustaining the health of your heart and blood vessels. Unfortunately, in most of the developed world, magnesium deficiency is probably the most common nutritional deficiency. Because it has so many crucial functions, and because it appears to protect us from serious conditions that are most prevalent in the developed world, magnesium really is the Бmiracle mineral.
Б What is magnesium good for? One of its most common uses is for alleviating constipation; you may recognize it as the active ingredient in well-known over-the-counter laxative medicines. It is also a natural calcium-channel blocker Б many integrative medicine practitioners have used magnesium supplements to help lower blood pressure and maintain healthy blood pressure. While we often hear about the importance of calcium for bones, magnesium is the other key mineral for healthy bones. And because so many people take calcium pills without magnesium, there may actually be a greater need for magnesium than for calcium in people who are most vulnerable to osteoporosis. Magnesium is probably the most important nutrient for that energy powerhouse, the human heart; it helps the heart muscle itself function better. Magnesium also helps protect blood vessels, which is where most of what we call heart disease actually happens.
Magnesium is also a natural blood thinner, much like aspirin, so many doctors and researchers believe that it may help prevent heart attacks and strokes. Perhaps the area where magnesium could have the biggest impact is in the prevention of diabetes: Scientists have proven that magnesium levels are low in people with diabetes; people with higher magnesium levels do not develop diabetes; and that supplementing with magnesium appears to help reverse pre-diabetes. As with all minerals in foods, the mineral has to be present in the soil where the food is grown. The best food sources of magnesium are beans, especially soy; whole grains, including bran; nuts like almonds and brazil nuts; and seeds, including flaxseed, sesame, and sunflower. Dry cocoa powder, and thus dark chocolate, is also a great (and incredibly tasty! ) source. б