Fitness gurus often share that they take magnesium supplements to help them stay healthy, so a lot of people follow their lead and also decide to take magnesium supplements.
But how many of us actually know why it’s important to have enough magnesium in our systems?
What are the health benefits of magnesium?
Magnesium is classified as a macromineral, which means that we need a lot much of it in our systems because it is one of the most important nutrients that we all need in order to survive.
It serves as one of the foundational building blocks of every cell within our bodies, and it functions to process proteins and metabolize our food into energy.
Additionally, it transports calcium and potassium throughout the body to promote proper muscle and heart function.
Research also indicates that we should consume the recommended magnesium intake to help avoid chronic and end-stage kidney disease.
It is even an effective laxative and antacid, which is why it is popular in many over-the-counter medications.
Magnesium is perhaps best known for its contribution to our cardiovascular health. Having enough magnesium in our systems can contribute to a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, including diabetes, and hypertension, as well as stroke and heart disease.
It is also widely known for boosting our immune systems. For instance, magnesium regulates the free radicals that destroy viruses, bacteria, and damaged cells due to an imbalance of antioxidants in our bodies.
This imbalance is called oxidative stress, which also contributes to inflammation that causes body pains, but magnesium helps us maintain the proper levels of free radicals to stay healthy and fight pain.
Therefore, it’s easy to see why magnesium is an important aspect of our everyday lives.
How much magnesium do I need?
It is recommended that adult males consume at least 400 mg of magnesium per day, with an increase to 420 mg of magnesium per day after age 30.
Adult females should consume at least 310 mg of magnesium per day, with an increase to 320 mg of magnesium per day after age 30.
However, women who are breastfeeding need at least 310 mg of magnesium per day, while pregnant women and teenagers who are breastfeeding need at least 360 mg per day.
What are the signs of low magnesium in the body?
The most common signs of low magnesium, also called hypomagnesemia, include loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting.
Additionally, fatigue and muscle weakness, along with numbness and muscle cramps, may also occur if low magnesium extends over a longer period of time.
A long-term magnesium deficiency can lead to more serious issues, including abnormal heart beats, seizures, and numbness and tingling of the limbs.
It can even lead to personality changes, which can have a negative impact on your relationships with your friends and family.
Another sign of low magnesium in the body is the development of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease caused by a combination of factors that leads to the loss of bone mass, and therefore the deterioration of our bone structure, as we get older.
Therefore, it is recommended that older people optimize their intake of magnesium in order to help combat osteoporosis and the detrimental effects of bone loss.
Why would my magnesium be low?
The most common reason that many people are low in magnesium is that their diets do not include enough leafy green vegetables and other magnesium-rich foods. People may also be low in magnesium due to
However, people with chronic gastrointestinal issues are more likely to develop a magnesium deficiency due to frequent loss of nutrients with excretions.
Those with diabetes are also at risk due to greater loss of magnesium with frequent urination.
People who suffer from alcoholism are also more likely to develop a magnesium deficiency due to the wear and tear of frequent consumption.
Issues such as frequent urination, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as liver dysfunction, are more common among people with alcohol dependence, and each of these can contribute to low magnesium.
Men over the age of 70, as well as teenage girls and boys, are also likely to have low magnesium levels.
Deficiency of magnesium can be particularly counterproductive to the bone maintenance and developmental needs of these groups.
Therefore, it is especially important for teens and older men to monitor their magnesium intake.
How do I fix a magnesium deficiency?
The best way to avoid a magnesium deficiency is through a healthy diet. Foods that are high in magnesium include almonds, spinach, and black beans. In general, foods that are high in fiber are likely to also be high in magnesium.
A combination of these healthy foods every day will give you the magnesium that you need in order to avoid serious health complications.
For instance, adult women will exceed the daily recommended magnesium intake by eating 4 ounces of dry almonds or by eating a combination of a cup of spinach, a cup of brown rice, and a cup of beans.
Because men require more magnesium each day than women, a few additional slices of bread, salmon, and/or yogurt can be added to your diet.
Mangos, avocados, and black beans are also delicious ways to give yourself a healthy boost of magnesium.
Another way to get more magnesium in your system is through an old-fashioned hot bath with Epsom salt.
Also called magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt detoxifies your body and is effective in reducing stress and muscle pain. This is an important aspect of protecting your physical and mental health.
Another helpful tip to increase the level of magnesium in your system is to avoid calcium-rich foods within a few hours of eating magnesium-rich food for breakfast or lunch.
You can also focus on monitoring your zinc intake to make sure you don’t have too much of a good thing.
Both calcium and zinc are known to decrease your ability to absorb magnesium into your body.
Therefore, although you need calcium and zinc in your system, be sure to take calcium and zinc supplements a few hours before or after you take magnesium supplements with your breakfast or lunch.