Do you suffer from muscle spasms, cramps, weakness, chronic pain, poor sleep, heart palpitations or are constantly getting sick? These are all symptoms of being magnesium-deficient. Consuming a diet rich in magnesium could help minimize symptoms and keep you feeling your best.
There are six “macro-minerals” that the human body needs in large amounts to function normally, and magnesium is one of them. It is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions. All major organs need it to function normally, and the average American diet does not contain even 50% of the recommended daily allowance. There are 4-6 teaspoons of magnesium found in the human body, 60% of which is located in the skeletal system.
There are three main roles of magnesium in the human body:
Enzyme regulation– It allows enzymes to function appropriately in their necessary chemical reactions to sustain life. Protein and antioxidant production are included in magnesium’s responsibilities. It is responsible for regulating the most important, naturally occurring antioxidant in the body, glutathione. Glutathione has a direct responsibility in the performance of all other antioxidants as well. Antioxidants are essential in cleaning up toxic free-radicals that can wreak havoc in our systems and lead to a plethora of illness.
Cell membrane development– According to the Linus Pauling Institute, magnesium helps with the transport of ions across the cell membrane. Magnesium, therefore, has a direct effect on the firing of nerves and the contraction of all muscle.
Energy production– Magnesium is required for the chemical reactions necessary for the proper use of carbohydrates and fats for energy production. Not enough magnesium can result in sugars not being used or stored appropriately and can lead to illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and insulin sensitivities.
Considering that only about 20-50% of magnesium intake is actually absorbed by the body and that magnesium oxide, the most common form of magnesium supplement found in drug stores, has been found to have only a 4% absorption rate, it is extremely important to eat plenty of foods that are high in naturally occurring in magnesium content. These foods include: dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, bananas and dark chocolate.
Curious if your lifestyle is leading to magnesium deficiency? Click here to learn more.