Magnesium is a mineral that doesn’t get as much attention as other minerals such as calcium, but it should! Magnesium is involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, particularly those involved in energy production and cardiovascular function.
You Might Be Deficient
It is estimated that as many as 80% of Americans are deficient in this important mineral. This is largely due to a diet of processed foods, where most of the magnesium and other nutrients have been refined out.
To ensure that you are getting the recommended daily amount of 310–320 milligrams (mg) for women and 400–420 mg for men, eat a diet rich in whole foods such as leafy greens, nuts and seeds, seaweed, whole grains, tofu, and legumes, which are the best dietary sources of magnesium. Modern farming practices have degraded soil health, so buying organic when possible will improve the mineral content.
A Few More Reasons to Up Your Magnesium Intake:
- Magnesium is considered the ‘calming’ mineral. It relaxes skeletal muscles (which can help with sleep) as well as the muscles of blood vessels (which can lower blood pressure) and the GI tract (which can help with constipation).
- Magnesium can help with muscle cramps and tension.
- Magnesium helps with carbohydrate and protein metabolism.
- Magnesium alleviates symptoms of PMS and menstrual cramps.
- Magnesium can help prevent kidney stones by increasing calcium solubility.
- Magnesium needs to be in balance with calcium. Many people supplement with calcium only and throw the ratio off balance (the ratio should be 1:1). If supplementing calcium, it is important to also get magnesium, vitamin D3 and vitamin K2, as these nutrients work synergistically with one another, especially in regard to bone health.