As the fourth most common mineral found in the human body, Magnesium is pretty important! If you did a search for Magnesium in the human body, you would find it in all sorts of major locations. Magnesium can be found in your bones and teeth, as well as in your red blood cells. This essential element plays a whole host of different roles when it comes to maintaining your wellbeing. For example, it is needed by the nervous and the muscular system. Alongside this, it also supports the cardiovascular system. So this mineral is pretty important to your overall wellbeing!
Your nervous system relies on Magnesium. The nervous system contains unique molecules known as receptors, which can be found along the cell membranes. These receptors allow chemical messengers to enter and leave cells with important biochemical information. This information allows your body to react and adjust to internal and external changes appropriately. These kinds of receptors can be found in the brain as well, allowing information to be processes. These receptors in the brain depend on Magnesium in order to function properly. Clearly this makes Magnesium very important to proper nerve health!
As Magnesium is so important to neurological receptors, a Magnesium deficiency can increase your risk of suffering from severe depression. Several studies have found a notable link between low Magnesium intake and poor mental health. One of the earliest studies on this matter was published in 1921, and suggested that Magnesium supplements could have mild anti-depressant properties. To this day, Magnesium and depression are studied for their connection.
Your cells produce energy in complex and continuous processes. Dozens of chemical reactions are required to take place in order for energy to be produced properly. This important process needs to be done absolutely correctly, and Magnesium is required for this. The mineral is needed as a ‘co-factor’ for enzymes. Therefore, Magnesium is essential for energy production.
This is why a low intake of Magnesium can lead to fatigue and lethargy. Chronic fatigue sufferers will not realise that they are suffering from Magnesium deficiency as it is hard to trace. If you find yourself constantly feeling tired and week, then consider taking a Magnesium supplement and pay attention to mood changes and energy levels over time.
High Blood Pressure
If you are worried about your blood pressure, then you should also be paying attention to your Magnesium intake. This mineral and your blood pressure levels are closely linked. High blood pressure, also known as Hypertension is an increasingly common complaint nowadays. Alongside other cardiovascular complications such as high cholesterol, diabetes, and atherosclerosis, high blood pressure is a worryingly common health problem.
The symptoms of this cardiovascular complaint are varied. Many people suffer from breathlessness and cognitive complications. But more pressingly there is a greater risk of blood clots which can cause strokes and heart attacks. This is one of the main reasons why high blood pressure is such a significant health concern.
High blood pressure can be caused by a range of different factors. Smokers and people who drink alcohol in excess are at a greater than normal risk of high blood pressure. But so are people who are significantly overweight, and men over the age of 50. If your family has a history of this condition, you could also be at significant risk of developing high blood pressure. Knowing your risk factors is important. Magnesium deficiency is just one of these factors.
Getting a good amount of Magnesium in your diet on a regular basis is a good idea. Magnesium is known to actively help lower blood pressure whilst keeping it within a healthy range. In a recent study conducted by the University of Maryland, women who get enough Magnesium in their diet experience a reduced risk of Hypertension. This large clinical study found that women who did not get enough Magnesium had a higher than average Hypertension risk, but taking Magnesium could balance or reduce the risk of hypertension.
Men and women can benefit from Magnesium when it comes to lowering blood pressure. However, pregnant women in particular can use this helpful mineral to ensure wellness. Magnesium is known to prevent and treat blood pressure disorders that pregnant women can suffer from. These conditions, Preeclampsia and Eclampsia, are controlled when Magnesium helps to relax and expand the blood vessels. This function is one of the main reasons for Magnesium’s benefits to cardiovascular health.
Living with diabetes can be a challenge. This blood sugar condition can be a drain of time and attention, and requires a lot of effort to monitor and control. Asides from all this, it can restrict your lifestyle habits such as what you can eat and what you can go out and do. Clearly, preventing this condition from developing is an ideal way to protect health and wellbeing. Natural and effective preventative measures are in high demand, and the subject of much research. So some people may be pleased to hear that Magnesium can help you to lower your risk of Diabetes.
In a study intended to look at the connection between Aspirin and Vitamin E to cancer or heart disease, a link between Magnesium and diabetes was discovered. This unintentional discovery found that overweight women who lacked Magnesium in their diet have an increased risk of developing diabetes. So this mineral is now known to be an important tool against diabetes. If you have a risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, then it is worth ensuring you get enough Magnesium in your diet.
Getting Magnesium in Your Diet
Some of the best dietary sources of Magnesium are plant foods. In particular, you can’t go wrong with leafy green vegetables. Dark leafy greens are nature’s powerhouse foods, being low in fat and calories yet rich in vitamins and minerals. A friend of dieters everywhere, leafy greens can provide fibre and nutrition whilst helping you to stay trim. Try having mixed salads of fresh and raw leafy greens every now and then to stock up on these nutrient rich super foods. They are also excellent when added to stir fries, curries and stews, or as sides to roast meals.
In particular, you should stock up on spinach. This favourite food of the cartoon character Popeye became famous for giving him super strength. Whilst this is a bit far-fetched, it can certainly help to make you strong and healthy! Spinach is one of the richest food sources of Magnesium, as well as many other nutrients. Try cooking with spinach once a week at least to get the most out of this leafy green vegetable.
Nuts, particularly almond and cashew nuts, are known to contain a significant amount of Magnesium. Asides from this, they can suppress appetite, provide you with a concentrated dose of protein, and give your body essential fatty acids. These are just a few of the benefits of nuts. Try topping your cereal with a handful of nuts. Or, you could snack on a small portion of nuts whenever hunger strikes in-between meals. As a snack, nuts can really help you to control an overactive appetite. But don’t overdo it, since nuts are high in fats and calories. Still, a few nuts a day can give you a good dose of Magnesium.
Other plant foods to consider when making your diet Magnesium rich include avocado’s, soybeans, and whole grains. Make sure you eat whole grain bread and cereal, and try stocking up on soybean based products. These could include soya milk and tofu, both known to be healthy plant sources of protein. Animal food sources of Magnesium are few in number. However, some oily fish like Halibut can help you to meet your daily Magnesium needs. It is important to be aware that a high fat diet can actually prevent proper absorption of Magnesium form your food. Raw and fresh foods also have the highest Magnesium content, so if possible try to avoid cooking these Magnesium rich foods too often.
So how much Magnesium do you actually need? Like many other vitamins and minerals, it depends on your gender and age. The National Institute of Health is the organisation that defines general guidelines for nutrient intake. These Recommended Daily Allowances, or RDA’s, are based off of a range of factors. Overall, they aim to provide a guideline for nutrient intake that will best promote health and wellbeing safely yet effectively.
The RDA of Magnesium for adult men is around 270 to 400 mg of Magnesium daily. Men tend to need more nutrients than women, simply because they are usually physically bigger, and use up far more nutrients. So adult women will need less Magnesium on a daily basis than men. In fact, they only need 280 to 300 mg of Magnesium. However, if you are pregnant then obviously you need nutrients for your developing child too. So your RDA goes up to 320 mg. By the time you are breastfeeding, this increases up to 350 mg a day.