Even the smallest decisions you make in a day impact your health – similarly, this small mineral, magnesium, influences almost everything in your body. From exercise to negative thoughts, your health and well-being are tied to your magnesium intake. With scientists warning of widespread deficiency in select nutrients it’s important to know if you are getting enough magnesium to be healthy.
Is Magnesium Good for You?
Yes, this mineral is actually a secret weapon against many things that ail you, including some of the most common complaints, such as headaches and fatigue.
6 Things You Need to Know about Magnesium
One of the most important minerals in your body, magnesium has significant impact on your health and well-being.
- ENERGY: You need magnesium to make energy. Fatigue and weakness are signs of deficiency.
- SORENESS: Muscles need magnesium to relax. Muscle fatigue, soreness, and headaches can be signs of not enough magnesium.
- BONE HEALTH: Magnesium is a key teammate in ensuring your body can maintain good bone density and integrity.
- WELLNESS: Every cell in your body needs magnesium in order for the largest superfamily of human enzymes to work correctly (a function called kinases).
- DISEASE: Without enough magnesium, your body’s enzymes cannot work properly – this is linked to 400 human diseases.
- LONGEVITY: Magnesium plays an important therapeutic role, according to researchers, in conditions including migraines, osteoporosis, diabetes, asthma, preeclampsia, and cardiovascular disease.
How to Tell if You are Magnesium Deficient?
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle spasms
Magnesium: Is Your Health at Risk?
Over the last 30 years, mounting evidence shows chronic magnesium deficiency is linked to or exacerbates a number of health issues.
- Cardiovascular disease/Hypertension/Stroke
- Type II Diabetes
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Muscle Fatigue/Fibromyalgia
Of interest, medical literature suggests magnesium may help promote longevity of the eye, including potentially reducing cataract formation.
Are You at Risk of Low Magnesium Levels?
The following factors put you at greater risk of having low magnesium levels:
- Low magnesium diet
- Eating refined salt
- Pregnant, lactating
- Regular and strenuous exercise
- Intestinal conditions with malabsorption
- Certain medications
When Should You Take a Magnesium Supplement?
Determining your magnesium levels is challenging. Medical experts have identified a potential problem: measuring magnesium from blood tests does not accurately reflect the body’s magnesium stores. Hence, taking a holistic look at your lifestyle is important. The list of lifestyle factors above helps determine if a person is at risk of low magnesium levels. Eating more magnesium-rich foods or, in some cases, taking a supplement, may help increase magnesium levels.
What’s the Healthiest Magnesium Containing Food?
Lots of healthy plants contain magnesium. Some of the richest in magnesium include:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chia seeds
- Black beans
Why Holistic Nutrition Works
There’s value in taking a broader look at a person’s lifestyle. For years, researchers have noted that your thoughts impact your well-being as much as what you eat, and the importance of movement in our health is increasingly gaining importance. Your health is determined by more than one aspect of your day. That’s why holistic nutrition works – it looks at health as the whole body (mind, body and spirit).
Magnesium and human health: perspectives and research directions: Int J Endocrinol 2018; 2018: 9041694.
Chronic magnesium deficiency and human disease; time for reappraisal? QJM: An International Journal of Medicine 2018 Nov; 759-763.
A phenomenological perspective on subjective well-being: from myth to science. Psychiatr Danub 2012 Mar; 24(1): 31-7.
The importance of magnesium in clinical healthcare. Scientifica (Cairo) 2017; 2017: 4179326.
Contributed by Allison Tannis
Known for her deliciously geeky words, Allison’s articles and books are read around the world by those curious about where to find the most delicious (and nutritious) places to stick their forks. More at allisontannis.com. Follow @deliciouslygeeky.