Have you ever wondered why when we talk about health and related nutrients, the main focus is always on calcium, iron, vitamin B, D, even C and so forth? But in reality, for us to function effectively there is a whole bunch of other macronutrients that are required to perform certain functions. The thing is nothing in our body is unnecessary and they all have their purpose. So let’s focus on one such nutrient that is talked about but not discussed. Magnesium – you know for an adult the recommended dose is about 400mg in men and about 310mg for women but many people do not meet this requirement.
Now let’s understand what magnesium does for us and hence why is it important that we maintain adequate levels of this mineral.
· Magnesium is a part of almost 300 biochemical reactions in the body as co-factor (facilitating enzymes to perform their functions) including energy creation.
· Magnesium helps muscles that of heart and body to relax after the contraction and resultantly aids in maintaining a healthy heartbeat and avoid muscle contractions and cramps. In the matter of heart, it also helps prevents the blood vessels from getting thinner and keeping the heart valves stronger.
· We all are aware that our brain sends signals to our body for it to action. Well, magnesium plays a role in that too, by preventing overstimulation of NMDA receptors. Beyond that, it aids many brain functions like learning. Extending in that note, magnesium also helps with depression and debilitating migraines.
· One of its functions is also to protect our DNA. It synthesizes RNA and proteins.
· Among its various benefits, helping against type 2 diabetes via curbing insulin resistance has also been observed.
· It is commonly used as an antacid and laxative.
· Oh, I forgot to mention, it is anti-inflammatory. Magnesium supplement or high source of it can reduce CRP (C-Reactive Protein)
· And also it works wonders for insomnia. Your sleepless nights can be a result of magnesium deficiency
· A study also showed improved performance in volleyball players after taking a magnesium supplement. And it is also known to boost mood and reduce blood pressure.
Now you can surely understand why this dose is equally important as other nutrients. Magnesium has to be obtained via food or through supplements. In food it is most abundantly present is Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, whole wheat flour. Quinoa, Nuts(Cashews, Almonds, Peanuts), Seeds, Dark chocolate, Black beans, Fruits like Fig, avocado. Supplements are available as magnesium citrate, aspartate, lactate, magnesium chloride the common one.
The supplement should be added after discussion with a healthcare provider. Ideally, they are safe but sometimes can cause side-effects ranging from gas, diarrhea. More serious issues like lower heart rate, low blood pressure, can occur as a result of too much magnesium.
In a nutshell, when it comes to the human body, it’s very precise and nearly perfect, so too much tweaking or twisting can result in mishaps. To avoid that stick to healthy habits.