Your body requires a number of nutrients to maintain proper health, one of them being magnesium. There are various benefits of magnesium. It is needed for more than 300 different functions in the body to promote good health, including blood pressure regulation, blood glucose control, enhanced immunity, and balanced mood.
Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body and is stored in bones, muscles, body fluids, and soft tissues. Although magnesium is found in a variety of foods, it is estimated that approximately 50 percent of Americans have a magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium can be used to treat or prevent a number of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, migraines, and cardiovascular disease. Below are some of the top benefits of magnesium and why you need to ensure you are consuming an ample amount of magnesium rich foods.
Benefits of Magnesium
Magnesium along with calcium is used by the heart muscle to maintain a steady, regular heartbeat. Calcium stimulates the muscle fibers in the heart and causes them to contract. Then magnesium activates and blocks calcium’s effect on the heart, allowing the heart to relax.
When you have a magnesium deficiency, you are at an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation and cardiovascular disease. Magnesium is also needed for the production of the electrical impulses that impact heart rate. When your blood vessel linings no longer function properly, plaque can begin building up in your blood vessels. As plaque builds up, your arteries become narrower which restricts blood flow through the body. This narrowing may also increase blood pressure readings.
Muscle Aches and Pain
Are you experiencing muscle cramps in your legs or feet? Do you have tight, achy muscles? If so, a magnesium deficiency may be to blame.
Magnesium is needed for healthy muscle function. This essential mineral acts as a natural muscle relaxant and helps prevent tight muscles, back pain, and cramps. Lactic acid occurs when your muscles are exercised. If too much lactic acid is allowed to remain in the muscle following exercise, muscle soreness can occur. The body uses magnesium to help flush lactic acid from the muscles, which reduces the risk of muscle cramps and pain.
There are numerous benefits of magnesium. It helps to calm your mood and reduce stress levels. Magnesium is often referred to as Mother Nature’s version of valium. Low magnesium levels have been associated with increased stress levels, fatigue, headaches and migraines, sleep disturbances, anxiety, and depression.
Magnesium helps reduce mild anxiety, postpartum anxiety, generalized anxiety, and anxiety experienced during premenstrual syndrome. Magnesium improves brain function and is used by the body to create and regulate neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are used by the body to deliver messages throughout the body and brain. Magnesium also helps to regulate the release of stress hormones, including cortisol, adrenaline, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. These hormones are used by the body to elevate blood pressure, increase blood glucose, and increase heart rate to prepare the body for action.
Have you been told you are pre-diabetic? Do you want to do everything you can to prevent a type 2 diagnosis? In addition to eating a healthy diet and getting daily exercise, ensuring you are receiving the recommended magnesium may help. Magnesium is important to insulin sensitivity.
About half of all people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have low magnesium levels. When the body does not have enough magnesium, it can be hard to keep glucose levels within the recommended range, resulting in a higher risk of developing diabetes. Luckily, getting enough magnesium can help regulate glucose levels and improve insulin resistance.
Individuals who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can benefit from eating a magnesium rich diet and magnesium supplementation. Getting enough magnesium improves blood sugar levels, reduces insulin resistance, and improves A1C levels.
Constipation and Digestive Health
If you are experiencing acid reflux, bloating, gas, indigestion, or constipation, it may be because your foods are not digesting properly. When this occurs, essential nutrients may not be absorbed, which can lead to serious, long term health problems.
Without magnesium, your body cannot digest foods. Magnesium is needed to create stomach acid, create digestive enzymes that are used to digest protein, fat, and carbohydrates, and protect and repair the organs in your digestive tract, including the esophagus, intestines, colon, stomach, and pancreas.
Constipation plagues everyone from time to time; however, chronic constipation which is defined as having less than three bowel movements a week can be caused by a magnesium deficiency. If you experience constipation often, increasing your consumption of magnesium rich foods or taking a magnesium supplement can relieve your constipation and improve your digestion.
Improved Bone Health
Many people think that the only mineral needed for strong bones is calcium; however, magnesium is also needed for healthy bones. Magnesium is used by the body to improve calcium absorption.
More than half of the magnesium in your body is stored in your bones. Magnesium strengthens your bones and prevents fractures. This powerful mineral helps decrease the degradation rate of bones.
Consuming plenty of magnesium results in higher bone density, which can reduce the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Additionally, magnesium helps regulate vitamin D and calcium stores, which are used by the body for optimal bone health.
Approximately 50 percent of older Americans suffer from insomnia, which includes difficulty getting to sleep, not waking feeling refreshed, not sleeping soundly, or waking early. As you age, your circadian rhythms may change. In addition to this, you may experience nutritional deficiencies. One important nutrient needed for a good night’s sleep is magnesium.
Magnesium relaxes your muscles, regulates the neurotransmitters in the brain, and helps calm your nerves. Increasing your magnesium levels helps reduce and prevent a variety of sleep disorders and improves sleep times, reduces early awakenings, and enhances sleep efficiency. Finally, magnesium may help prevent or relieve restless leg syndrome by helping to relax muscles, lower inflammation, and aid in the production of melatonin.
Migraine headaches are debilitating. In addition to a headache, sufferers often experience light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting. Oftentimes, a magnesium deficiency is a culprit behind frequent migraines.
Magnesium helps regulate blood glucose levels, reduces stress levels, decreases blood pressure readings, and relaxes tense muscles. It also helps regulate neurotransmitters, which may help block pain signals to the brain. Low magnesium levels may increase the risk of changes in vision (auras, flashing lights, etc.) during a migraine headache.
Enjoy Magnesium Rich Foods
Magnesium is an essential mineral needed for optimal health. You can enjoy the benefits of magnesium by incorporating magnesium rich foods into your diet or by taking magnesium supplements. Below are some magnesium rich foods that will help increase your magnesium levels naturally:
- Black beans
- Dark chocolate
- Pumpkin seeds
Holistic Approach To Health
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