Magnesium is a mineral that plays a vital role in the body. It aids during fetal development and helps regulate mood, energy levels, blood pressure, and more. Unfortunately, today’s diets often lack magnesium-rich foods like dark green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. So if you’re looking to get your daily dose of this nutrient from natural sources without investing too much time or money into cooking healthy dishes, then look no further!
Magnesium is a mineral that is found in many foods. The highest food sources of magnesium are dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and seafood.
From the Synthesis of DNA to insulin metabolism, magnesium plays a critical part in almost every biological activity. Unfortunately, low levels of this vital mineral have even been linked to many chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s, diabetes, bone problems, and heart illness. As a result, it should go without saying that no healthy diet is complete without a few servings of magnesium-rich foods.
Fortunately, there are a variety of delicious alternatives available to help you reach your daily magnesium requirements and avoid inadequacy. Superfoods, including leafy greens, avocado, bananas, potatoes, and various nuts, legumes, and grains, are high in magnesium, and the list of magnesium-rich foods doesn’t stop there.
Even though magnesium is widely available in the diet, the World Health Organization states that only around 60% of persons in the United States reach the recommended dietary levels. Furthermore, according to other studies, roughly two-thirds of the population does not consume the necessary daily.
What are the most excellent magnesium sources, and how can you be sure you’re getting enough in your diet? Here’s all you need to know about magnesium and its effects on your health, as well as the best magnesium-rich foods to eat.
Magnesium: What Is It?
Magnesium is a natural element and mineral that is one of the body’s electrolytes. Only around 1% of your body’s total magnesium is contained in the blood, while the rest is stored in your bones, muscles, and soft tissues.
It is the fourth most prevalent mineral in the body and a cofactor for hundreds of enzyme systems, regulating muscle and neuron function, blood glucose management, and blood pressure regulation, among other things.
What are the signs and symptoms of a magnesium deficiency in the body?
Heart disease, migraines, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have been associated with magnesium shortage.
Low intake of this electrolyte might cause the following symptoms and conditions:
- damage to the kidneys and liver
- headaches (migraines)
- vitamin K deficiency, vitamin B1 deficiency, calcium deficiency, and potassium deficiency
- rheumatoid arthritis
- PMS symptoms have become worse
- mood swings and behavioral problems
- insomnia and sleeping problems
- brittle bones and the risk of osteoporosis
- bacterial or fungal infections that reoccur owing to insufficient nitric oxide levels or a weakened immune system
- cavities in the teeth
- cramping and muscle weakness
- preeclampsia and eclampsia are two types of eclampsia.
Unfortunately, even with a balanced diet, a magnesium deficit may occur. As a result, it’s critical to consume various nutrient-dense, magnesium-rich foods to supplement your daily intake.
What are the benefits of magnesium? When it comes to sustaining good health, it’s one of the most crucial nutrients.
In reality, it is required for many vital physical activities and is involved in over 300 reactions in the body. Magnesium has several advantages, including the ability to:
- DNA synthesis
- Contractions of the muscles
- Blood pressure control
- Synthesis of proteins
- Metabolism of Insulin
- Nerve communication
Here’s a rundown of the electrolyte’s various functions and advantages:
1. Can Assist in Relieving PMS Symptoms
PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, is a set of symptoms that women experience one to two weeks before their period. Mood changes, weight gain, food cravings, water retention, exhaustion, irritability, aching breasts, and digestive difficulties are common symptoms.
Magnesium has been demonstrated in several trials to help successfully alleviate these symptoms. In addition, where to a control group, a combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 was shown to reduce PMS symptoms in one research considerably.
Another research published in the Journal of Women’s Health found that taking 200 mg of magnesium per day reduced the intensity of PMS symptoms such as weight gain, edema, bloating, and breast tenderness.
2. Helps to maintain healthy blood pressure and heart
“Subclinical magnesium deficiency raises the risk of several forms of cardiovascular illness,” such as coronary artery disease and hypertension, according to a 2018 study.
Hypertension, or blood pressure that is too high, is a prevalent ailment that affects millions of individuals throughout the globe. It makes your heart work harder, putting a strain on the muscle and perhaps leading to heart disease.
Magnesium-rich meals and potassium-rich foods may aid in supporting improved heart health and appropriate blood pressure levels.
According to one research, supplementation with magnesium lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in persons with hypertension.
Remember that potassium stimulates sodium excretion via the urine, making it a crucial electrolyte for heart function and circulation.
3. May help you improve your physical performance
This electrolyte is thought to affect exercise performance because of its involvement in muscle function and energy generation. For example, it is believed that needs rise by 10% to 20% during vigorous activity.
The effects of magnesium on performance in 124 older women were investigated in research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Daily magnesium oxide treatment improved physical performance after 12 weeks compared to a control group.
According to another research, triathletes who took magnesium supplements for four weeks improved their swimming, cycling, and running times.
In addition to eating enough magnesium-rich foods, be sure to incorporate some of the other best foods for athletes in your diet to help you perform even better.
4. Assists in the reduction of inflammation
In various studies, low magnesium levels have been associated with greater levels of inflammation. Low magnesium intake and blood levels, for example, were linked to greater levels of indicators of low-grade chronic inflammation, which is thought to be attributable to increased production of cytokines and free radicals, according to 2014 research.
According to research published in the Archives of Medical Research, in 62 persons with prediabetes, ingesting magnesium chloride reduced inflammatory levels.
It’s no surprise that numerous magnesium-rich meals made the list of the best anti-inflammatory foods. The majority of these foods also include beneficial antioxidants and phytonutrients that may aid in the prevention of free radical damage.
5. Potential to Prevent Migraines
Migraines are a form of headache illness marked by nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and sharp, throbbing pain. This terrible ailment is quite prevalent.
In 2012, an estimated 14% of American adults said they had had a migraine in the previous three months.
Low magnesium levels have been linked to migraines, and supplementation has been shown to lower migraine frequency in several trials.
One research looked at the effects of magnesium supplementation on 86 children who suffered from migraines regularly. For 16 weeks, children were given either a magnesium oxide supplement or a placebo.
Compared to the placebo group, individuals who took the supplement had much-reduced headache frequency and intensity after the trial.
Another research showed that it was more effective and fast-acting than a typical migraine drug in delivering relief.
In addition to eating a diet high in magnesium-rich foods, eating a well-balanced diet and limiting your consumption of refined sweets and processed meats will help you avoid migraines.
6. Normalizes blood sugar levels and prevents the metabolic syndrome
According to research, higher magnesium consumption may boost blood sugar levels and help avoid insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Conversely, many studies have related low levels to chronic inflammation and metabolic syndrome.
Insulin is a hormone that transports sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream to the tissues, where it is utilized as fuel. If you consume a lot of carbohydrates and refined sugar regularly, your body will manufacture more and more insulin to keep up with the growing demand.
Long-term high insulin levels may lead to insulin resistance, which reduces the body’s capacity to transport glucose, resulting in high blood sugar properly.
Oral magnesium supplementation enhanced insulin sensitivity and lowered blood sugar levels in diabetes individuals with low magnesium levels, according to research published in the journal Diabetes Care.
Further study has shown that the mineral may help to prevent diabetes. Those with the most significant consumption were 47 percent less likely to acquire diabetes, according to research that monitored 4,497 people for 20 years.
Other techniques to keep your blood sugar balance include getting lots of exercise, regulating your stress levels, eating plenty of fiber and protein, and limiting your carb consumption.
7. Fights Against Anxiety and Depression
Magnesium has mood-enhancing qualities and may aid in the treatment of sadness and anxiety. Some research suggests that a low consumption may be linked to an increased risk of depression.
Young individuals with the lowest magnesium intake had a 22 percent higher chance of developing depression, according to one research.
It’s even been suggested that it might be as helpful as antidepressants in treating depression in certain studies. For example, magnesium supplementation and antidepressant medication were compared in research published in Magnesium Research, and magnesium supplements were shown to be equally helpful in treating depression.
Magnesium supplementation significantly decreased symptoms of despair and anxiety after only six weeks, according to another research published in 2017. In addition, a 2017 review concluded that “available data suggests a positive impact of Mg on subjective anxiety in anxiety susceptible groups” based on 18 research.
Combine this mineral with other natural depression therapies like eating plenty of probiotic-rich foods, getting enough vitamin D, and avoiding processed carbohydrates and sweets.
8. Does Hepatitis C Improve Sleep Quality?
If counting sheep isn’t working on getting you to sleep, try increasing your consumption of magnesium-rich foods. There seems to be a link between magnesium and sleep, with some research suggesting that supplementation might aid insomnia.
Supplements were shown to lessen the severity of insomnia, increase sleep duration, and minimize the time it took to fall asleep in one research. In addition, a supplement comprising a blend of magnesium, melatonin, and zinc was shown to enhance sleep quality in residents of a long-term care facility in another trial.
Combine it with other natural insomnia-busters and sleep aides like calcium, essential oils, and valerian root to get the best benefits.
9. Plays an Important Role in Vitamin D Metabolism
According to research, magnesium is necessary for the body’s vitamin D metabolism. Meanwhile, vitamin D aids calcium absorption into the bones and influences the absorption of other vital vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin K and phosphorus, which are beneficial to both health and well-being.
Vitamin D insufficiency is suggested to put people at risk for:
- diseases of the bones
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- persistent discomfort
- and more
This emphasizes the need for a well-balanced diet and enough vitamin D and magnesium consumption.
10. Assists in the maintenance of normal cognitive function
This electrolyte is essential for nerve transmission and neuromuscular conduction, which is why it seems to protect neurons against excessive excitement, which may lead to cell death.
Low levels have been linked to neurological illnesses caused by a nervous system malfunction. The benefits it may have in treating chronic pain, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke are still being studied, but what we do know is that it seems to be a low-risk supplementary therapy for patients with mood and cognitive disorders.
11. Asthma Symptoms May Be Reduced
Although further research is needed, there is emerging evidence that magnesium may help manage asthma symptoms in children and adults by acting as an anti-inflammatory and bronchodilator. While it isn’t meant to replace other asthma therapies, some physicians advocate it as a low-cost, low-risk supplementary therapy.
What is the highest source of magnesium in a single food? Leafy greens, such as spinach and Swiss chard, are some of the most significant dietary sources of magnesium, but there are lots of other magnesium-rich foods that may help you meet your daily requirements.
Which fruits have a high magnesium content? Among the finest are avocados, figs, and bananas.
The top 20 magnesium-rich foods to incorporate into your diet are as follows:
- Wheat bran
- Cooked spinach
- Cooked Swiss chard
- Dark Chocolate
- Dried sunflower seeds
- Almond butter/almonds
- Dried pumpkin seeds
- Kasha (buckwheat groats)
- Black beans
- Dried figs
- Kefir or yogurt
- Mung beans are a kind of legume.
Magnesium consumption for males should be between 400 and 420 mg per day. It’s about 310–320 mg per day for women.
The current recommended daily limits for magnesium, according to the National Institutes of Health, are as follows:
- 30 milligrams for infants up to 6 months.
- 75 milligrams for 7–12 months
- 80 milligrams for children aged 1 to 3 years
- 130 milligrams for children aged 4 to 8 years.
- 240 milligrams for children aged 9 to 13.
- 410 milligrams for males and 360 milligrams for women between the ages of 14 and 18.
- 400 milligrams for males and 310 mg for women between the ages of 19 and 30.
- Adults over the age of 31: 420 milligrams for males and 320 milligrams for women.
- 350–360 milligrams for pregnant women
- 310–320 milligrams for nursing mothers
How can you fast increase your magnesium levels? The best approach to getting enough magnesium is consuming magnesium-rich foods (greens, nuts, seeds, beans, etc.) and taking a daily supplement.
Who should take magnesium in the form of a supplement?
Magnesium supplements, such as magnesium citrate and magnesium oil, are available in a variety of forms. These are beneficial to many persons, but they are advantageous to those with a known severe deficit.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from a magnesium shortage.
- a problem with the liver
- failure of the heart
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- vomiting or diarrhea regularly
- renal impairment
- additional factors that influence absorption
Women and older persons seem to be more impacted than males and younger adults. Increased daily intake may also help athletes and persons with malabsorption problems.
Another approach to getting magnesium is by transdermal magnesium supplementation, albeit its usefulness is limited. This entails administering the mineral topically in the form of magnesium chloride to aid absorption into the skin.
Another option to increase levels is to use Epsom salt (a magnesium sulfate compound), which you may add to your baths. However, additional study into the efficacy of various ways of absorption is required.
Side Effects and Risks
Although there are several magnesium advantages, having too much of this mineral might be harmful.
You don’t have to worry about adverse effects from consuming too much if you receive enough from food sources. Excess magnesium in the diet is filtered out by the kidneys and eliminated in the urine.
Magnesium supplements in large dosages, on the other hand, may induce diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps.
Magnesium overdose and toxicity symptoms may occur at very high concentrations. Therefore, supplements’ tolerated upper dosage amount is 350 milligrams per day for people above nine.
To avoid harmful health consequences, stick to the specified dose.
Supplements may potentially interfere with some prescription drugs. For example, it may bind to antibiotics called tetracyclines and reduce their efficiency.
Take these antibiotics at least two hours before supplementing or four to six hours after.
Supplements may also drop blood pressure, which is a problem. If you use a blood pressure medicine or a muscle relaxant, consult your doctor before taking any supplements since they may interfere with the effects of these drugs.
- Magnesium is a vital mineral that plays a role in a variety of bodily functions. For example, low levels have been related to Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and diabetes, to name a few.
- Getting adequate magnesium, primarily via magnesium-rich foods, may provide a variety of health advantages, ranging from PMS and headache relief to melancholy, constipation, and sleeplessness relief.
- What are the best magnesium sources? Leafy greens, chocolate, avocados, bananas, potatoes, and various nuts, legumes, and grains are rich in magnesium.
- Unless you have a deficit, aim to acquire as much magnesium as possible from your diet by eating magnesium-rich foods rather than taking supplements. However, supplementing might also be advantageous if you’re an athlete or have malabsorption concerns.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best magnesium to take daily?
A: Currently, the best magnesium supplement is Magnesium Citrate.
What is the best mg for magnesium?
A: The best magnesium supplement is found in a multivitamin. When looking for the best one, make sure it has 400 milligrams of Mg per serving and contains no sugar or citric acid.
Why do doctors recommend magnesium?
A: Doctors recommend magnesium for its relaxing properties. Magnesium can also promote heart health, relieve pain and cramp, improve sleep quality, regulate blood sugar levels, support healthy brain function and reduce high blood pressure.
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