Most people aren’t aware of how much magnesium is important for our health. This mineral plays a role in over 300 metabolic processes in the body and is considered a master mineral by scientists. If you want to keep your health in perfect shape, you should make sure to keep the levels of the mineral in your body steady.
How is magnesium important?
Magnesium is important for most organs in the body, but is especially important for our heart, kidney and muscle function. Lack of magnesium is a big problem that may cause muscle spasms, fatigue and arrhythmia among other symptoms.
Magnesium is also important for proper body detoxification and can prevent the damage done to the body by environmental toxins.
Here’s a list of magnesium’s benefits for the body:
- Allows proper transportation of vitamin K and D, calcium and silica;
- Ensures proper energy production;
- Assist in the digestion of carbs, fats and proteins;
- Is a building block for DNA and RNA synthesis;
- Activates the nerves and muscles;
- Detoxifies the body;
- Acts as a precursor to serotonin.
Nowadays, a big part of the world population is magnesium deficient. This didn’t happen in the past when the soil was rich in this important mineral. However, the modern way of farming depletes the soil of nutrients, resulting in serious problems such as magnesium deficiency.
In the USA, about 80% of adults are suffering from lack of magnesium. In general, we need about 310-320 mg. of magnesium daily, although this number may be higher for some individuals. We mostly get our magnesium through dietary sources, but even the organic foods grown in nutrient-rich soil sometimes lack the mineral. Magnesium supplements are effective, but you need to pick the right one in order to benefit from it. Magnesium must be bound to certain elements which increase its bioavailability in order to be effective. Magnesium threonate and citrate are the best choices, but we recommend consulting your doctor for the best magnesium supplement in your case.
Epsom salt baths and foot baths are another way to stock up on magnesium. Epsom salt is essentially magnesium sulfate that the body can absorb through the skin easily. For topical application, experts recommend magnesium oil strongly, but no matter what supplement you choose, you should avoid those containing magnesium stearate, which is hazardous for our health.
Magnesium overdose is rare and may cause side-effects such as slow breathing and irregular heartbeat.
How to tell how much magnesium you need?
In general, the so-called bowel test can tell you how much magnesium your body needs. You need to start with a smaller amount of magnesium and increase the dosage until you experience loose stools.
The main symptoms of magnesium deficiency
Magnesium is an anti-inflammatory agent that can treat a variety of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. It is also effective against high blood pressure, respiratory problems and diabetes. Only 1% of the magnesium in the body is distributed through the blood, so blood serum tests are not really good for determining if you’re suffering from magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium operates at a cellular level and accumulates in organ and nerve tissues, so blood tests can be pretty deceptive. However, magnesium deficiency manifests through a variety of symptoms you can see listed below.
- Liver and kidney disease;
- Difficulty swallowing;
- Calcium and potassium deficiency;
- Blood clots;
- Bowel problems;
- Irregular heartbeat;
- High blood pressure;
- High blood sugar levels;
- Asthma and other respiratory diseases;
- Loss of focus;
- Poor memory;
- Tooth decay;
- Osteoporosis and other bone problems;
- Muscle cramps;
To increase your magnesium intake, you can either take supplements, Epsom salt baths or get the mineral from dietary sources. The richest foods in magnesium are leafy green vegetables, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds, bananas, avocados, figs, dark chocolate, beans and lentils, soybeans, spinach, whole grains, squash and okra.