It’s a busy life these days and it is sometimes difficult to know if you’re getting the proper mix of nutrients that your body needs; but magnesium is one mineral that you just can’t live without.
Of all the minerals, magnesium plays the broadest role in our bodies and many enzymes couldn’t be metabolized without this valuable element.
Magnesium is also responsible for both metabolizing fatty acids, and breaking down glucose (stored calories) which is stored in the fatty tissues, which the body converts it to energy on an on-demand basis. About the time you’re beginning to breathe harder and perhaps perspire as you walk up that mountain trail, is about the time your body — using magnesium — begins to break down the fatty tissues for fuel.
Without magnesium, you wouldn’t be able to convert stored calories into useful fuel.
Not only that, but the creation of new muscle tissue (including the repair or replacement of damaged muscle tissue) and for muscle contraction, the relaxation of muscles, and it’s just as important for our bones as is its elemental cousin, calcium. As a chiropractor, I know just how important it is to maintain strong, healthy bones and a flexible spine.
Your bones and teeth couldn’t have formed, nor will they remain in the absence of magnesium in the body, and a deficiency in the mineral can find the body temporarily stripping it from bones and teeth to use in the pursuit of converting fatty tissue to energy. Yes, magnesium-deficient persons have thinner bones and weaker teeth.
Harvard Medicine says that magnesium is vital to “muscle contraction, blood clotting, and regulation of blood pressure.” — Harvard University
Muscle fatigue, soreness, cramps and spasms, even convulsions may occur when magnesium levels are too low.
“When there is too much calcium and insufficient magnesium inside a cell, you can get sustained muscle contraction.” This means more “twitches, spasms, and even convulsions.”
“Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, even personality changes can occur.” — Carolyn Dean, MD, ND of the Medical Advisory Board of the Nutritional Magnesium Association
You’ll be happy to hear that for most people, getting enough magnesium is as simple as eating right, and if you aren’t presently doing that a few minor changes can make a big difference. Generally speaking, a diet rich in grains, nuts, seeds and leafy vegetables can help you get enough magnesium, but some superfoods (at least as far as magnesium is concerned) can help you to meet your 350mg/day magnesium requirement.
Here is a handy list of magnesium-rich foods, and don’t worry, raw seaweed isn’t among them!
Magnesium supplements are available in most health food stores and pharmacies if you’re not able to change your diet. The recommended daily dose of magnesium is 350mg daily for both men and women.
Just remember, almost everything in the human body works better with magnesium. Do your body a favour and make ‘getting enough magnesium’ a priority, and your body will thank you!