We have all heard Magnesium being touted as a miracle mineral, but are there good reasons to make that statement? If you see Magnesium in a chemistry lab, it looks like an inert piece of gray matter.
But impressively, inside the body, it relieves muscle cramps, balances blood sugar levels, and can even lower blood pressure. Magnesium is also essential when it comes to brain function.
The list of benefits goes on and will be further expanded in this article. But it is worrying to know that 68% of adults in America do not consume enough Magnesium. Moreover, 19% of them are consuming less than half their daily requirements.
Are you counted in this group? What can you do about it? In this article, we will explore the effects and extent of Magnesium deficiency. After doing so, we will provide some dietary tips on incorporating more Magnesium into your diet. You can do it with plenty of healthy foods, but you also have the option of consuming supplements.
While popping a supplement can help your body absorb Magnesium, most people get it from the foods they eat. Thus, the main aim of this article will be to share several nutritious options you should add to your diet to increase your Magnesium intake. Let’s dive in!
What is Magnesium & why do we need it?
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg and atomic number 12. It is a shiny gray solid, and it is very reactive. Magnesium is the eighth most abundant element in the universe and the third most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. That’s Magnesium from a chemical point of view, but what does this mineral do inside the body?
Magnesium is important for the human body because it is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions, including:
- Energy production: Magnesium is critical in the body’s energy production process. It helps to convert food into energy and is necessary for the proper functioning of mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles in cells.
- DNA and RNA synthesis: Magnesium is a cofactor for many enzymes synthesizing DNA and RNA. It is also essential for the activity of some transcription factors. Magnesium deficiency can lead to problems with DNA and RNA synthesis and can impair the function of cells.
- Blood pressure regulation: Magnesium regulates blood pressure by relaxing the smooth muscle cells in the arteries, which allows the blood vessels to dilate and the blood pressure to drop. When Magnesium levels are low, the smooth muscle cells constrict, which raises blood pressure.
- Maintenance of a healthy immune system: Magnesium deficiency has been linked to increased infection risk. T cells in the blood need Magnesium to operate efficiently and tackle cancer and microbes.
- Regulation of blood sugar levels: Magnesium and fiber can be used with sugar control diets to lower blood sugar levels. They are also useful in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes by 27%.
- Maintenance of nerve function: Magnesium is also necessary for the healthy functioning of the nervous system. It helps to regulate nerve impulses and supports the transmission of messages between the brain and the body. Low Magnesium levels can give you a 30% higher chance of dementia.
- Maintenance of muscle function: Magnesium is important for muscle function. It helps to relax muscles and to prevent cramps and spasms. That’s why sports foods with electrolytes are better for muscle spasms and cramps than water.
- Absorption and use of other vitamins and minerals: The body can use vitamins and minerals more efficiently when Magnesium is around. For example, it works with calcium to strengthen the bones. It is also essential to maintain healthy levels of vitamin D.