Unfortunately, many Americans are magnesium deficient. A recent government study indicates that 68% of Americans do not consume the recommended daily intake of magnesium and that 19% of Americans do not consume even half of the magnesium they need every day. The typical American diet, which is rich in fat, sugar, salt, synthetic vitamin D, phosphates, protein, and supplemented calcium, not only is deficient in magnesium but actually increases the need for magnesium in the body.
Magnesium intake has many health benefits, the most important include:
Helps to Reverse Osteoporosis
Published studies indicate that calcium supplemented with magnesium improves bone mineral density. Magnesium deficiency alters calcium metabolism and the hormones that regulate calcium, resulting in osteoporosis. Like calcium, magnesium is an integral part of the structure of bones and teeth, and adequate dietary magnesium is essential for the development and maintenance of bone density.
Magnesium Improves Cardiovascular Health
Magnesium is associated with lowering the risk of coronary heart diseases. Dietary surveys have suggested that sufficient magnesium intake may reduce the chance of having a stroke. Magnesium deficiency increases the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, which increases the risk of complications after a heart attack. Therefore, consuming recommended amounts of magnesium in foods and dietary supplements is important for general heart health and cardiovascular function.
Magnesium Helps to Reduce Hypertension
Magnesium plays a key role in regulating blood pressure naturally. Magnesium supplements and a diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are good sources of potassium and magnesium, are consistently associated with lowering blood pressure.
Magnesium Helps to Control Diabetes
Studies show that individuals with a magnesium deficiency have a risk of developing type-2 diabetes and severe diabetic retinopathy. Magnesium aids in carbohydrate metabolism and influences the release and activity of insulin, thereby controlling blood glucose levels. It has been proven that for every 100 milligrams of increase in magnesium daily intake, there was a 15 percent decrease in the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. The metabolism of carbohydrates and fats to produce energy requires many magnesium‐dependent chemical reactions and it’s therefore a critical component of energy production in the body.
Magnesium Helps to Treat Migraines, Insomnia, and Depression
The numerous magnesium health benefits also include the treatment of migraines, insomnia, and symptoms of depression. Magnesium is also known to cure severe forms of psychiatric dysfunctions including panic attacks, stress, anxiety, and undue agitations. Extra magnesium intake could considerably reduce the severity of such attacks and help in reducing the rate of recurrence. Magnesium plays a role in transporting calcium and potassium across cell membranes, a process which is important for nerve conduction.
Magnesium is involved in more than 300 metabolic reactions in the human body and is therefore an essential nutrient to maintain health. In order to get the health benefits of magnesium, we need to incorporate plenty of magnesium‐rich foods in our diet. These foods are good sources of magnesium:
- Unrefined whole grains including oats and brown rice.
- Green leafy vegetables such as spinach because magnesium is a part of chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants.
- Nuts such as cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts and almonds.
- Legumes including edamame, kidney beans, black beans and lima beans.
- Blackstrap molasses.
- Salmon and halibut.