The Benefits & Sources of Magnesium

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A little known benefit of magnesium is its ability to reduce the intensity of migraines. (Photo by Kenneth Barker)

Magnesium is one of the macronutrients your body needs to sustain a wide range of functions. From making sure your heart functions efficiently, to building your immune system to developing muscle strength, it plays a vital role.

Health statistics show that a very large number of people are deficient in magnesium. This is because they underestimate its role. And, many of them don’t realize it until it manifests as a cause for some more serious illness.

Here’s a list of the benefits of magnesium as well as the food sources.

The Benefits of Magnesium

Cardiovascular Health

Magnesium keeps your heart in good health by preventing coronary heart disease. It has shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks. It also cuts down the chances of a stroke. It corrects irregular heartbeats and calms the nerves. High blood magnesium levels are also directly related to controlled blood pressure levels, putting off cases of hypertension.

Prevents Osteoporosis

You need magnesium as much as you need calcium for proper bone development. Majority of the magnesium in the body is stored in the bones. It is responsible for bone strength and bone density. Additionally, it benefits the bones by aiding calcium absorption. It also delays the development of osteoporosis.

Reduces Migraine Headaches

Magnesium helps reduce the frequency of migraine headaches and the intensity of the pain. It does so by altering the blood vessels in the brain. It also controls the functions of the various neurotransmitters. Girls and women suffering from menstrual migraines can greatly benefit by adding magnesium-rich foods to your diet.

Blood Sugar Control

According to research, Magnesium can help prevent Type 2 diabetes as it controls glucose metabolism.

Helps for Depression

Magnesium can be a good remedy for depression as it alters the chemical balances in the brain. It increases the amount of serotonin or the happiness hormone as it is popularly called. Thus, it enhances mood at the same time managing panic attacks, anxiety and stress.

Sunflower seeds are a great source of Magnesium. Additionally, sesame seeds, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds are also a good source of Magnesium. (Photo by José Carlos Cortizo Pérez)

Natural Sources of Magnesium

If you’ve tested positive for a magnesium deficiency or you simply want to increase your intake of the mineral, here’s a list of foods you can consider.

  • Green leafy vegetables are the most abundant source of magnesium because of their chlorophyll content. Leafy greens you can eat include spinach, chard, collard greens, broccoli and kale.
  • There are a whole of seeds you can eat to make up your magnesium requirement. It includes sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and flaxseed. Just half a cup of pumpkin seeds will do you a lot of good.
  • Binge on cashew nuts, almonds, Brazil nuts and pine nuts.
  • One medium sized-banana has roughly 30-35 milligrams of magnesium. To add, you will get a healthy dose of potassium, vitamin C and fiber.
  • Dark chocolate, the temptation food, can also do you some good. A square of rich and creamy dark chocolate gives you 95 milligrams of magnesium.
  • Avocados make up for around 15-20% of your daily magnesium requirement. You can also benefit from the heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids.

Along with the foods listed above, you can eat figs, strawberries, fish such as halibut, Salmon and mackerel, yogurt, tofu, black beans, soy beans, skimmed milk, coriander and goat cheese.

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