The Importance of Magnesium
Magnesium is a mineral that’s naturally found in the body and is present in many of the everyday foods you consume. Magnesium can also be found in supplements and medicines normally found in your medicine cabinet, such as antacids and laxatives. This powerful mineral aids in biochemical reactions in the body, muscle, and nerve function, blood pressure regulation, protein synthesis, and blood glucose control.
Magnesium is imperative for energy, bone, and DNA production. Without this mineral, calcium and potassium ions could not be transported across the cell’s membranes. This process is important for muscle contraction, impulse conduction, and normal heart rhythm. It’s proven difficult to get a spot-on and accurate reading of magnesium levels due to its presence in bone and cells.
Only a trace amount of magnesium can be found in the blood serum. A medical professional can assume that you have high or low magnesium levels by assessing whether your blood serum levels test in the normal range via a blood test. Normal serum concentrations range between 0.75 and 0.95 millimoles (mmol)/L.
Hypomagnesemia is defined by levels less than 0.75. So, with magnesium being a vital part of your body’s function, what can you eat to keep your levels at a normal ratio and what is affected when your body is deprived of this important mineral?
Foods rich in Magnesium
If you have low magnesium levels (Hypomagnesemia), one of the easiest ways to help raise them and keep them at an appropriate level is by eating magnesium rich foods. Magnesium is wildly found in plant and animal foods. Think green leafy vegetables such as spinach, nuts, whole grains, legumes, and seeds. In general, foods that are rich in dietary fiber have been found to contain a good source of magnesium.
If you’re in need of this mineral, stay away from processed foods, as the process in which they remove the nutrient-rich germ and bran can lower magnesium levels substantially.
If your levels are low, ask yourself, are you getting enough water? Bottled, tap, and mineral water are great sources of magnesium. Be careful, though, the amount of magnesium found in water can vary by brand and source. If you’re a numbers person, then you would be happy to know that 30% to 40% of dietary magnesium consumed is absorbed by the body.
Magnesium can help with…
PMS: Along with mood swings, PMS can cause symptoms such as heavy abdominal cramping, fatigue, and water retention. By increasing ingestion of magnesium rich foods, you can improve your general mood along with reducing bloating and stomach cramps. You can also go to your local health store for dietary supplements containing this mineral.
Diabetes: Can be prevented or helped by consuming magnesium. The most common causes of diabetes are the result of insulin resistance. Magnesium has been shown to be effective in stopping insulin resistance or helping protect against it in the first place.
Migraines: People who suffer from migraines have lower levels of magnesium than those who do not. Magnesium can have a tremendous effect in reducing migraines or stopping them in their tracks.
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