In general, most people are simply not aware of the importance of magnesium in their diet in the same way that they are of minerals like iron or calcium. However, this nutrient, too, is vital to the healthy functioning of the body and is it estimated that it is necessary for at least 300 chemical reactions throughout every system in the body. There are many benefits to getting enough magnesium in the diet, and the five most important are listed below.
Osteoporosis is an age-related condition which results in the thinning of the bones, greatly increasing the risk for a fracture. Magnesium, in combination with calcium can help treat or even reverse this condition, however. It is able to improve bone density and alter the hormone and calcium metabolism that results in osteoporosis to begin with. This is of great benefit to both women and men as they age.
Promotes Cardiac Health
Adequate levels of magnesium in the body can lower the risk of heart disease in two ways. Firstly, magnesium is able to lower the blood pressure by relaxing the walls of the arteries and also acts on cardiac muscle to reduce the chances of abnormal rhythms. Both high blood pressure and arrhythmias are major risk factors for heart attacks, so reducing those risk factors translates into promoting cardiac health.
Helps Manage Diabetes
Due to the fact that magnesium is necessary for the proper metabolism of carbohydrates, a deficiency in this mineral can put the individual are greater risk for developing Type II diabetes. Sufficient magnesium, on the other hand, helps regulate the release and function of insulin to control the levels of glucose in the blood, a major challenge in diabetes management.
Support Neurological Health
Because magnesium is needed by the brain for a variety of neurological functions, there are many neurological conditions which benefit from adequate levels of the mineral. This long list includes migraines, depression, stress, anxiety, insomnia and panic attacks, all of which can be eased with magnesium supplementation.
Improves Women’s Health
Magnesium is particularly important for women. Aside from helping to treat osteoporosis, which post-menopausal women are at high risk for, it can also help with other issues in women’s health. These include improvement in the side effects associated with menopause, premenstrual syndrome and the risk of premature labor during pregnancy.
So if you are interested in upping your magnesium intake, considering adding foods rich in this mineral to your diet: these include things like fish, leafy green vegetables, nuts, whole grains and wheat germ. Since oftentimes diet alone is not enough to meet your body’s needs for this mineral, supplementation is recommended. While it might take some effort, however, the health benefits that adequate magnesium levels bring definitely makes those efforts worthwhile.
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