If you’re an athlete, struggle with sleep, are trying to keep your bones as strong as possible, or simply want your entire body to work a little better (and who doesn’t?), you may want to consider adding more magnesium to your diet.
Magnesium is essential to the “basic nucleic acid chemistry of life,” which means that it’s pretty important to every living thing — including humans. It’s recommended that adult women get about 320mg of magnesium daily, while men should get around 340mg, although studies have shown that most people aren’t getting enough.
One big giveaway that you might be magnesium deficient is a long-term lack of energy, or finding that you tire more easily during athletic exercise than you used to. A few other symptoms include anxiety, low blood pressure, insomnia, and poor nail growth.
Health Benefits Of Magnesium
Magnesium is a hugely important component of healthy bones, muscles, sleep, and cardiovascular systems.
One of the best natural fighters against osteoporosis, magnesium is essential in helping bones absorb calcium, and activating vitamin D. If you’re taking either calcium or vitamin D supplements, increasing your intake of magnesium may make them more effective.
A few studies have found that those who suffer from Type 2 diabetes have low amounts of magnesium, and that magnesium supplementation may help with insulin sensitivity in those who are diabetic or pre-diabetic.
If you work out often, adding more magnesium to your diet may help with muscle soreness, since lactic acid (the cause of most workout-related aches) can build up when there isn’t a sufficient amount of the mineral. Magnesium has also been linked to muscle growth, by helping the body create Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF-1), ”a major contributor to the growth and strength of muscles.”
If your nervous system is keeping you awake at night with undue stress and anxiety, magnesium may be your natural calming agent. Both melatonin (which regulates sleep), and serotonin (which regulates mood), are dependent on magnesium, so increasing the amount of it in your diet can make you a happier, more rested person!
Because magnesium is so important to muscles, and the heart is a muscle, increased magnesium has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
Magnesium can also help with constipation, and can actually lead to diarrhea if too much is taken at once.
Best Food Sources Of Magnesium
Now that you know there’s a good chance you need more magnesium in your life, a few natural sources include: garbanzo beans, lima beans, soybeans, halibut, pumpkin seeds, spinach, oatmeal, broccoli, almonds and sesame seeds.
Whether you increase your intake of these foods, or go for a natural supplement, it’s always good to talk to your doctor first before changing your diet in any big way. But in terms of helpful supplements that could make our lives better, magnesium is definitely on the top of that list!
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