Why You Need Magnesium For Good Health

By Putri PD
Why You Need Magnesium For Good Health

You don’t often think of magnesium when deciding on eating a healthy diet but, in reality, magnesium is just as important as any of the other electrolytes you eat as part of a balanced diet. 

Magnesium is an important cofactor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. It also helps to keep your nerve and muscle function intake so that you have healthy nerves and strong muscles. 

Magnesium is important for a strong immune system and is vital for heart health. Magnesium is a component of bones so you need to take in enough magnesium to keep your bones healthy. In addition, magnesium is important in blood sugar regulation and in the production of certain proteins in the body. You need magnesium in order to have energy.  

Where to get magnesium in the diet

If you eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, you are probably getting enough magnesium in your diet. If you aren’t sure that you are getting enough magnesium in your diet, consider adding these healthful foods to your meals:

  • Dark, leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach. These are excellent sources of magnesium and can be eaten in a salad or sautéed as part of sautéed greens.  
  • Many fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables such as avocados, apricots, and bananas contain a lot of magnesium in them.
  • Nuts are a great source of magnesium. Try a handful of cashews or almonds every day as part of a daily snack regimen to get the magnesium you need in your diet.
  • Seeds, legumes, peas, and beans are excellent sources of magnesium.  
  • Soy foods are high in magnesium. Try soy flour instead of regular flower and include tofu as part of your recipes to get magnesium in your diet.
  • Whole grains. These include foods like millet and brown rice. If you are eating rice a lot, make sure you switch to brown rice instead of white rice for a better source of magnesium in your diet.  

High Or Low Levels Of Magnesium

It is rare to get a high level of magnesium in your diet. Most people who have high magnesium levels are those who choose to take magnesium supplements as part of their dietary supplements. You do not need an extra source of magnesium if you get enough magnesium in your diet. Extra magnesium is gotten rid of by the kidneys but you don’t want to overwork your kidneys who would be trying to get rid of the extra magnesium that would come as a supplement.  

Fortunately, it is not common to have low magnesium, a condition known as hypomagnesemia. If you develop this condition, there are symptoms you can expect that would alert you to the possibility of having low magnesium levels. Unfortunately, the symptoms are quite vague so you would need a savvy doctor to check the levels of all your electrolytes in order to notice a low magnesium level.

Symptoms Of A Low Magnesium Levels

Symptoms of a low magnesium level include sleepiness, hyper-excitability, and muscle weakness. Low magnesium levels can be found in alcoholics who eat poorly and drink more alcohol than they take in food. 

Burn victims, people taking certain types of medications, people with low calcium levels, people who have had surgery, and people who have gut malabsorption syndromes will suffer from low magnesium levels and will require some kind of magnesium supplementation over and above what they can get in their diet.  

If the magnesium level is mildly low, you can expect to feel apathetic and to have symptoms of anorexia. You may be confused and tired all the time and you may not sleep well. You may be irritable and you can suffer from twitching of your muscles. Your memory will be poor and it will be difficult to learn anything. As the magnesium deficiency worsens, you may notice a rapid heartbeat, muscle spasms, numbness of your extremities, hallucinations, and delirium.  

The bottom line is that magnesium is important for many cellular processes and you can get enough magnesium for your needs by consuming the foods listed above as part of a balanced diet. For those who do not get enough of this nutrient in their diets can take supplements, as your doctor.