The Health Benefits of Magnesium & Dangers of Deficiency

Experts believe that more than two-thirds of the American population consume less magnesium than they should.  Core processes in your body rely on the health benefits of magnesium – meaning you cannot survive without it.

As a crucial mineral, magnesium directly impacts the proper functioning of your heart, the regulation of blood sugar levels, energy levels, digestion and the strength of your bones and teeth.

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Inflammation
  • Loss of appetite or nausea
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Migraine headaches
  • Fatigue
  • General weakness
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fluctuating blood sugar
  • High blood pressure

There are also new studies that suggest one of the previously unknown magnesium health benefits affects our mental and emotional state.  Those who suffer from depression, insomnia, and general mood swings may see improvement with additional magnesium in your diet.  Initial studies have also seen improvement in the rate and severity of panic attacks and anxiety.

Magnesium levels are difficult to track with blood tests since only one percent is found in your blood – another reason that scientists underestimated the importance of getting enough magnesium in your diet.  Eating a diet filled with a variety of fresh foods can stop a magnesium deficiency before it starts.Magnesium health benefits

However, some people are much more susceptible.  The older you get, the harder it is for your body to absorb magnesium health benefits.  You are also more likely to take medications – such as antibiotics, water pills and cancer-fighting drugs – that further inhibit absorption.

Conditions that Increase Magnesium Deficiency

  • Digestive problems can impair absorption
  • Diabetes and kidney malfunction lead to an increased loss through urine
  • Alcoholism

Getting high levels of magnesium from food is 100% safe and easiest for your body to process.  If you are eating a balanced diet, it is more likely to have adequate levels of all vitamins and minerals your body requires.

The National Institutes of Health provide the following guidelines for adequate magnesium supplement intake.  Amounts given are doctor recommended mg/day.

Age

Male

Female

Pregnant

Nursing

1–3

80

80

N/A

N/A

4–8

130

130

N/A

N/A

9–13

240

240

N/A

N/A

14–18

410

360

400

360

19–30

400

310

350

310

31+

420

320

360

320

Magnesium in supplement form should be discussed with your doctor – especially if you have heart disease or diabetes and are currently taking medication.

Top 5 Foods Highest in Magnesium Health Benefits

  1. Bran – rice, wheat or oat
  2. Herbs – dried coriander, chives, spearmint, dill, sage and basil
  3. Seeds – pumpkin, sunflower, flax and sesame
  4. Nuts – almonds, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews and pine nuts
  5. Dark chocolate

Other excellent sources are leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale, dry beans and whole-grain breads and cereals.

The health benefits of magnesium need balance to be effective.  Make sure you are also consuming enough calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K to reap the most benefits.  A balanced diet and smart sun exposure should be all your body requires.

If you do take a supplement, be sure it is organic and contains a good balance of nutrition.  Many scientists have pointed to marine vegetation as the ideal organic supplements. 

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