Magnesium is one of those trace elements we tend to forget about when it comes to our diets, but it is absolutely essential that we get enough of this important mineral.
Magnesium is involved in important processes such as endocrine control in the release of neurotransmitters, control over vasocontriction and vasoldilation, maintenance of blood sugar levels, metabolism and many other minor functions as well.
Magnesium plays a role in over 300 chemical reactions in our body that we know of so we need to make sure that we are getting enough of it in our diets.
When you suspect that you have a deficiency in a certain vitamin or mineral, it is typical that you would go to a medical professional to get blood work done to check the levels of these nutrients. The problem with magnesium however is that it is most stored in our bones, so if you are low on magnesium it won’t show up on these tests.
If you are low on magnesium it can cause numerous health problems through your body, because as we now know, magnesium is involved in so many processes throughout the body.
Low magnesium can cause type ii diabetes, osteoporosis, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and hormone imbalance among other things as well.
Magnesium is one of these trace minerals we absolutely know that we need in our diets because of all the scientific data we have to back it up. Magnesium has been widely researched over a long period of time, with thousands of scientific articles and papers being published that support the benefits to our health that it provides.
One major disease that many people especially in the western world like the United States are worried about is cardiovascular disease, mainly because of poor diets that contribute to the increased risk that these people have of getting it.
Type ii diabetes is another huge problem in places like the United States because of the typical diet high in refined and simple sugars. Magnesium helps to fight against diabetes because it is involved in the metabolism of glucose, otherwise known as sugar.
Bone loss is another problem many people face as they age, and it’s not just elderly women who are at risk for bone loss from diseases like osteoporosis. Magnesium is important in not only preventing bone loss, but in the formation of the bone itself as it works with calcium.
If you think that magnesium is only important for aging people or people with serious health ailment, you’re wrong. Magnesium is just as important for younger people, and if you’re an athlete or if you are a gym rat, you need to be getting enough magnesium. This is because magnesium is involved in activing the sodium potassium pumps in our cell membrane, which controls muscle contraction.
If you ever feel that twitching sensation in your muscles after a heavy lifting session, or if you’re cramping up during a long run, a magnesium deficiency is probably your problem.
Dark leafy greens are a superfood, so it really shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see them top out this list. When it comes to this group of foods, the best ones that have the most magnesium are spinach, collard greens, kale, or swiss chard. Dark leafy greens retain the most magnesium when eaten raw, so use these in a salad, or lightly steam them and use as side for dinner.
Nuts and seeds are also great sources of magnesium, are loaded with good fats along with other vitamins and minerals. Pumpkins seeds are the best of the bunch, and just a serving size of 1/2cup can get you all the magnesium you need for the day.
Other options when looking for seeds and nuts high in magnesium are sunflower seeds, flaxseed, chia seeds, pecans, and almonds just to name a few. So many nuts and seeds are high in magnesium that getting enough for the day is easy by just throwing together a trail mix you can snack on throughout your day.
Yogurt is loaded with not only magnesium, but potassium and calcium as well which will give you everything you need to maintain and grow your bones. Greek yogurt in particular is also a great source of protein and should be a part of every athlete’s diet.