Heart health, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, migraines, fibromyalgia and osteoporosis are just some of the conditions where magnesium can bring you truly amazing benefits! With more and more studies showing that large numbers of people are taking in much less than the recommended daily allowance it is time to that we understood and paid more attention to this great mineral.
Magnesium is one of those hidden super-stars of nutrition. Its benefits for anti-aging, health and wellness are colossal. Focussing on getting a little more in your daily diet by getting some more whole-grains, pulses, seeds and leafy green vegetables can do wonders for you. The fact that it is involved in the functioning of over 300 enzymes in the body gives you an idea of how widespread, powerful and important it is, but it is perhaps its role in helping some of the most prominent and devastating health problems of today that might get it the attention it deserves.
A few European studies have shown widespread cases of people not getting enough magnesium daily but not to the extent of U.S. studies where a whopping 80% of people are not getting enough daily. However there is absolutely no reason to think that Ireland and Europe are not heading in the direction of the U.S. because we tend to follow their other lifestyle trends. Indeed as a dietician who works on a daily basis with people on their food I see huge deficiencies in the intake of magnesium.
Stress, alcohol, medication and exercise all contribute to the depletion of this vital mineral.
Heart problems and disease are still the World’s No. 1 killer! The hearts most important mineral is magnesium. Interestingly some of the World’s top cardiologists have noted that large portions of the people they see are magnesium deficient. By relaxing constricted blood vessels, stabilising irregular heart rhythms, lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of clots from platelet clumping, magnesium is a standout for heart health. Add to this the fact that it helps maintain the body’s balance of potassium (another vital often deficient heart mineral) and improves cholesterol levels and you can clearly see why it would be the hearts No.1 mineral!
Type 2 Diabetes & Blood Sugar Levels
Magnesium has a key role in the metabolism of sugar in the body. It helps control the highs and lows of blood sugar levels that are becoming increasingly common with our food choices, stress levels and other lifestyle habits. This is of great assistance to people who want to lose weight and to those who suffer sugar cravings because stable blood sugar is one of the key secrets to solving these problems. This ability to stabilise blood sugar is also of enormous benefit to diabetics especially type 2 diabetics.
Top Magnesium Food Sources
Whole-grains especially bran.
Nuts/seeds especially sunflower seeds
Pulses (beans, peas and lentils)
Leafy green vegetables especially spinach.
High Blood Pressure
Magnesium is superb for high blood pressure because it addresses many of the primary causes of this condition. It is especially useful for the pregnancy related high blood pressure condition preeclampsia. First of all it is a natural blocker of calcium channels which is the same effect of many high blood pressure medications but magnesium has none of the side effects. As mentioned earlier it relaxes constricted blood vessels and improves potassium levels which are other cornerstones of improving blood pressure. Magnesium also helps control excess insulin and insulin resistance which are root factors in many blood pressure conditions.
Magnesium is best taken as part of amulti-mineral supplement especially with calcium. Limit supplementation to300mg daily. One of the best forms is magnesium citrate. People with kidneyproblems should always discuss supplementation with their doctor first!
Many studies have shown the benefits of magnesium for migraine sufferers with anything up to a whopping 40% reduction in the frequency of attacks. Seeing as migraine is highly related to blood flow to the brain the blood vessel relaxing effects of magnesium seem to be most likely behind this. However magnesium also helps with maintaining hormone balance and many migraines are related to hormone issues. Sufferers of migraine seem to have lower levels of magnesium than those who don’t so this strengthens the whole argument. There is no doubt that seeing the effect of increasing your magnesium levels would be well worth your while. Like most nutritional changes make sure to wait 30 to 60 days to truly judge the results!
Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue
If you suffer from the debilitating muscle and joint pains of fibromyalgia or the similar condition of chronic fatigue then proper magnesium levels can really help you. It is very interesting to note that many sufferers of these conditions do not get enough magnesium daily either. Add to this the stress of the condition itself which further depletes magnesium and you are stuck in a vicious circle. Due to its role in energy production and relaxing muscles and other tissues, extra magnesium often proves a real miracle for these conditions.
Special Note from David
We are always looking for the next miracle for anti-aging, health and weight loss. Correcting basic nutritional deficiencies like magnesium levels is very often that miracle and shouldnever be overlooked. Basic nutrition should be the first thing to get right in the treatment of any condition, illness or disease no matter how serious.
If you want great bones magnesium could be more important than calcium. There is only a small amount of magnesium in bones but it has a huge role in their health. Magnesium helps keep calcium in your bones and many scientists now believe that your magnesium levels are a better indicator of done health then even calcium. What is even more important is that if you are taking calcium supplements or prescription calcium and not balancing it with magnesium intake then the calcium can possibly end up in undesirable places like clogging your arteries! So beware, everything in the body works best in balance.
Above I have briefly touched on some of the key conditions where proper magnesium levels can help bring transforming effects. However magnesium has countless other vital roles and benefits and I am sure that over the next 5 years you will be hearing a lot more about it. For now, work on getting a little more into your diet and keep in mind that it really is one of the hidden super-stars of nutrition!