What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is an essential mineral that is functional in over 600 enzyme reactions in the body. Its plethora of functions include improvement of muscle and nerve function, boosting the immune system, maintaining blood pressure, and the likes.
Studies indicate that the adult body possesses about 25 grams of magnesium and that the skeletal system stores about 50-60% of it. However, the rest is in the bodily fluids, soft tissues, and muscles. A large number of people around the world aren’t consuming enough magnesium, and this can attract adverse effects on their health.
When you talk about ample minerals in the body, magnesium will certainly be mentioned. Given its many aspects of function, its essentiality can’t be overemphasized. As well, it affords the body several benefits, and the possibility that you may be lacking in this key component shouldn’t be ignored.
Importance of Magnesium
Magnesium is highly functional in the aspect of mood and brain function. An increased risk of depression is largely dependent on low mood levels. In an analysis of over 8,800 persons, it was discovered that people below the age range of 65 with the lowest magnesium consumption also had a 22% tendency of developing depression.
Supplementing your diets with foods rich in magnesium could help in reducing the risk of developing depression. In randomized trial research, older adults that consumed at least 450 mg of magnesium daily experienced an improvement in their mood.
Good for Type 2 Diabetes Patients
Magnesium is also beneficial to those suffering from type 2 diabetes. Research indicates that about 50% of type 2 diabetes patients have low levels of magnesium in their bodies. This can be quite detrimental as it could affect the insulin’s potency of keeping the blood sugar levels in check.
Furthermore, studies suggest that those with low magnesium levels have a high tendency of developing diabetes. A study, which involved more than 40,000 people within a 20-year range, discovered that those who had a high consumption of magnesium were 47% less likely to develop diabetes.
Efficient in Lowering Blood Pressure
Research indicates that consuming magnesium regularly can help in lowering blood pressure. One study revealed that those who consumed 450mg of magnesium daily benefited from a substantial decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. It’s imperative to note that this effect may only occur in those who suffer from high blood pressure.
Another study showed that magnesium was effective in lowering blood pressure in people that had high blood pressure, yet did not affect those with average levels.
Chronic inflammation is responsible for speeding up aging, obesity, and several other chronic diseases, and it’s often associated with low magnesium levels.
Supplements that contain an ample amount of magnesium are effective in the reduction of inflammatory markers in obese and older people, and those with prediabetes. Also, foods rich in magnesium such as dark chocolate and fatty fish, are effective in reducing inflammation.
Migraine headaches are painful and highly discomforting. They come with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise. Some medical researchers believe that migraine sufferers are likely to have low magnesium levels.
Recommended Daily Intake for Adults
The recommended daily intake (RDI) of magnesium for adults is within the range of 320-420 mg. However, pregnant women who are 18 years and older, are to take within the range of 350-400mg daily.
Food Sources of Magnesium
If you are deficient in magnesium and looking for natural foods to up your intake, you can try these:
The avocado fruit is nutritious and provides a rich source of magnesium. A medium-sized avocado contains up to 58mg of magnesium, and that’s 15% of the RDI. It’s also rich in nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin K, and potassium.
Legumes belong to the nutrient-dense foods family and include chickpeas, beans, lentils, soybeans, amongst others. They too are a rich source of magnesium. One cup of cooked black beans contains an impressive 120mg of magnesium, close to half of the RDI. They are also a rich source of protein and iron.
A very large number of whole grains are excellent sources of magnesium, fiber, and selenium. An ounce of dry buckwheat contains up to 65mg of magnesium, 16% of the RDI. Grains such as oats, barley, wheat, and pseudocereals which include quinoa and buckwheat, are all rich magnesium sources.
In several types of research, whole grains have proven effective in the reduction of inflammation and in lowering the risk of heart disease. Pseudocereals have higher antioxidants and protein than traditional or regular grains such as wheat and corn.
Magnesium Deficiency and Health Implications
It is essential to have a substantial amount of magnesium in the body. Otherwise, there are health consequences that can present themself.
Being magnesium deficient can expose an individual to a high risk of weakened bones and even bone fractures. Being deficient can weaken the bones and lower calcium blood levels (which is the main source of bone-building).
Muscle Weakness & Fatigue
Fatigue occurs as a result of exhaustion either physically or mentally, and it is also a symptom of being deficient in magnesium. More so, you should remember that everyone gets exhausted and will need rest at certain times, however, severe exhaustion that persists may be a sign that there’s something wrong with your health. Fatigue and weakness of the muscles are also signs that you could have low magnesium levels in your body.
Muscle Cramps and Twitches
Tremors, twitches, and muscle cramps are all signs of magnesium deficiency. Still, these health conditions can also occur as a result of other health complications. Moreover, several other health conditions can exist due to low magnesium levels in the body.