Magnesium is a much overlooked yet vital element for a healthy, functioning body. It is the fourth most abundant mineral found in our system and plays an essential role in all our living cells. It also assists in optimising our physiological functions. Magnesium is important to maintain healthy bones and muscle, blood pressure, metabolism, immune system, digestive system and also affects neural function.
You can begin to see why it is important to maintain sufficient levels.
Because magnesium is required for efficient muscle function we need to make sure we have the right amount in order to feel physically well and capable. A deficiency could cause inflammation and muscle damage during exercise. This could prevent or at least delay a decline in physical ability as we age.
A healthy level of magnesium is required for maintaining the integrity of our bones. Neither too much nor too little is a good thing in this respect. Regular magnesium intake can help with sufferers of osteoporosis. However, too much magnesium can lead to mineralisation defects so it is important to regulate your intake to match your bodily requirements.
Not only can magnesium help reduce high blood pressure but it also works alongside medication which reduces blood pressure to improve its effectiveness.
Magnesium benefits the cardiovascular system by reducing inflammation, improving our metabolic rate, and widening the blood vessels. It also helps to keep our heart rhythm regular. Healthy magnesium levels promote good heart health, lowering risk of heart disease, cardiovascular disease and heart attack.
Magnesium can lower the risk of diabetes, reduce the risk of liver disease and obesity – all of which are related to insulin resistance. A healthy level of magnesium means less risk of insulin resistance.
A healthy magnesium intake attributes to a healthy brain. It can also help those suffering from neurological disorders by enhancing nerve regeneration and reducing inflammation.
Headaches & Migraines
Magnesium can help to reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches and migraines.
Anxiety and Depression
Magnesium has a positive effect in treating anxiety, depression and combatting disorders such as OCD, ADHD. It also helps to relieve pre-menstrual anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, and post-traumatic stress.
Magnesium is also important for a healthy pregnancy and to support a healthy immune system. Critically low levels of magnesium are often found in people suffering from potentially fatal conditions; cancer, kidney failure, liver damage. Deficiency also produces a variety of neuromuscular and psychiatric symptoms such as hyper-excitability, agitation, involuntary muscle contractions, seizures, ataxia, vertigo, tremors, irritability, insomnia, nervous fits, faintness, fatigue, confusion, and hallucinations.
Magnesium is also used for treating Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, cystic fibrosis, alcoholism, mania, recovery after surgery, leg cramps, altitude sickness, urinary incontinence, erythromelalgia, restless legs syndrome (RLS), asthma, hay-fever, multiple sclerosis, and for preventing hearing loss and cancer.
We are not claiming you will suffer any of the above if you do not rush out and fill yourself with magnesium, but an awareness of the relevance of it in our diets is extremely important to note.
Recommended Daily Intake
Good sources of magnesium through diet: You can easily find magnesium supplements at the pharmacy or even supermarkets but we recommend, as always, to achieve a healthy balance of your vitamins and minerals via a nutritious diet. Good sources of magnesium are legumes, whole grains, vegetables (especially broccoli, squash, and green leafy vegetables), seeds, and nuts (especially almonds). Other sources include dairy products, meats, chocolate, coffee, and mineral water.
Become a qualified Nutritional Therapist
Here at the School of Natural Health Sciences we offer seven courses for those interested in nutrition – Clinical Nutrition, Advanced Nutrition, Child & Adolescent Nutrition, Ethical & Sustainable Eating, Nutrition for Aged 50 Plus, Sport & Exercise Nutrition and Vegan & Vegetarian Nutrition. All these distance learning diploma courses are accredited in 26 countries worldwide, meaning you can get into business as soon as you have passed your course!