Health benefits of magnesium include prevention of constipation, eclamptic seizures, and asthma. It keeps your nerves, muscles, and bones healthy. It also helps in protein synthesis and cellular metabolism. Magnesium is vital for sustaining a normal heartbeat and is used by doctors to treat irregularities in the heart rhythm.
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is an essential mineral required by our body for maintaining the overall health. It is one of those essential minerals that help in calcium absorption by the human body and plays an important role in the formation and strengthening of teeth and bones.
What is the importance of Magnesium?
Medical experts often highlight the importance of including adequate vitamin and mineral intake into our daily diet. Magnesium is required for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It is the fourth most prevalent mineral in the body and is partially responsible for countless aspects. Roughly 50% of our body’s total magnesium is stored in our bones, while the remaining part is predominantly found in the cells of body tissues and organs. Although the human body is very good at regulating a constant level of this essential mineral, only 1% of it is available in the blood.
Sources of Magnesium
Natural sources of magnesium include sea vegetables, leafy vegetables such as spinach, and whole grains that are usually major components of a person’s regular diet. Other vegetables that can be classified as a rich source of this mineral include tomatoes, beet greens, broad beans, lima beans, artichokes, sweet potatoes, buckwheat flour, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, wheat flour, oat bran, barley, cornmeal, and chocolate.
Also, you can consume dairy products such as milk and yogurt, as well as non-vegetarian food like fish. Whole wheat bread containing bran and germ has twice the magnesium content compared to white bread. Water also has a high magnesium content; hard water has more of it than soft water, although hard water is not good for the body, especially the kidneys.
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
The deficiency symptoms of magnesium include pain in the neck and back, anxiety, fatigue, migraine attacks, muscle weakness and spasms, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, insomnia, abnormal heart rhythms, diarrhea, muscle twitching, and Raynaud’s spastic vessels.
When you are under stress, your body tends to quickly deplete its stores of magnesium. One very common symptom of its deficiency is chocolate cravings since chocolate is rich in this essential mineral. Its deficiency can be a major cause of diabetes, depression, and menopausal symptoms.
Health Benefits of Magnesium
Magnesium is needed to keep muscle and nerve functions normal and the heart beating rhythmically. It also helps support a healthy immune system and keeps bones strong. It is important for regulating blood sugar levels, thereby promoting normal blood pressure. It also supports energy metabolism, protein synthesis and helps to treat cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes.
Magnesium provides quick relief from constipation, and a high dose of its water-soluble supplements is known to bring relief to even the most severely constipated state. The laxative property of this vitamin relaxes the intestinal muscles, thereby helping to establish a smoother rhythm while passing bowels. It also has another property of absorbing water, which, in turn, softens the stool and helps it to pass easily.
Prevents Eclamptic Seizures
Magnesium is one of the vital elements to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Proper intake of its supplements during pregnancy is extremely beneficial for reducing the risk of osteoporosis and increasing the pain tolerance level, resulting in a smooth delivery and an optimization of blood pressure. Magnesium sulfate is the best treatment for preventing eclamptic seizures in expecting mothers who may have hypertension.
Treats Psychiatric Disorders
Magnesium is known to treat some of the psychiatric dysfunctions such as panic attacks, stress, anxiety, and undue agitation.
Patients that suffer from chronic asthma may be able to normalize their breathing with the help of magnesium supplements that aid in relaxing the bronchial muscles and regulating breathing. Even wheezing and breathlessness can be relieved through the intravenous administration of this mineral.
Magnesium helps boost energy production in the body and it promotes the activation of enzymes to create cellular energy.
Keeps Bones Healthy
Magnesium is directly related to bone density, and subsequently, an inadequacy of this mineral in the body can be a cause of osteoporosis. It helps in the regulation of calcium levels in the body, along with vitamin D, copper, and zinc. It, along with calcium and vitamin D, should be taken throughout the developmental years and adulthood, since it lowers the chances of developing osteoporosis when you get older.
Magnesium helps treat severe backaches by relaxing back muscles, kidney stress, and muscular tension. As mentioned earlier, it also helps in the body’s absorption of calcium, which may lead to faster healing of the bones. Cramps in the legs and general fatigue are traditional symptoms of its deficiency. Therefore, proper intake of its supplements acts as a cure for chronic leg cramp problems.
Protects Heart Health
Magnesium protects the heart from irregular heartbeats and tenderly shields it from damage, particularly from muscle stress. It actually calms the nerves, mediates digestive processes, and prevents problems like vomiting, cramps, indigestion, abdominal pain, flatulence, and constipation, all of which can put undue stress on your cardiovascular system. And its deficiency can result in lethal heart diseases.
Magnesium helps regulate the insulin reaction to blood sugar levels. Its supplements are vital for people with diabetes as many of them suffer from its deficiency. It aids in regulating blood sugar, thus promoting normal blood pressure. Hypertension is one of the major reasons for an impending heart attack, and it has been found that many people with high blood pressure also have a magnesium deficiency. A 2018 study in the Nutrients journal reveals that oral Magnesium supplementation reduces insulin resistance and improves blood glucose level indicators among people with type-2 diabetes.
Migraine attacks badly affect many people, especially females. Magnesium supplements and liquids considerably reduce the severity of such attacks and also help in reducing the rate of their recurrence.
Magnesium is important 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 is also present in the cornea, bones, the gut, cartilage, blood vessels, and intervertebral discs. The more collagen in the system, the stronger those areas of the body will become.
Promotes Mineral Absorption
Magnesium helps absorb vital vitamins and minerals like sodium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. Mineral absorption usually occurs within the small intestine, which ensures the detoxification of many harmful toxins in our body. It also helps activate vitamin D stored in the body, which in its inactive form is of negligible use.
Controls Bladder Functions
Magnesium intake provides relief from bladder problems, and issues like frequent urination. Urination problems can come from a variety of reasons such as nephritis, infections, or sometimes interstitial cystitis; however, balanced magnesium intake can bring great relief to these ailments.
Dosage & Side Effects
The importance of this mineral is still not widespread or common knowledge, so many people ignore the importance of its consumption in their diet. Most dietitians recommend 250-350 mg per day of its supplement for adults.
The side effects of magnesium are very rare, but it is important to cover them. Excess intake often leads to diarrhea, because it has a laxative quality. However, if you take it in the form of nutritional supplements, there are fewer chances of such side effects. People with kidney disease or bleeding disorders should avoid taking magnesium supplements without consulting a doctor.