Great Benefits Of Magnesium: A No.1 Mineral

Magnesium is an important mineral which plays an inportant role in over 300 enzyme reactions. It helps with muscle and nerve function, regulating blood pressure, and supporting the immune system.

You need it for many tasks. It’s involved in more than 300 chemical reactions in the body. Muscles need this mineral to contract; nerves need it to send and receive messages. It keeps your heart beating steadily and your immune system strong. Most people can get enough magnesium by eating foods such as green leafy vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and fish.

Magnesium Rich Foods

An easy way to remember foods that are good Mg sources is to think fiber. Foods that are high in fiber are generally high in magnesium.

Dietary sources 

  • legumes,
  • whole grains,
  • vegetables (especially broccoli, squash, and green leafy vegetables),
  • seeds,
  • and nuts (especially almonds).

Dairy products

  • meats
  • chocolate,
  • and coffee.

Water with a high mineral content, or “hard” water, is also a source of magnesium.

The following foods offer Mg:

  • Pumpkin seeds, 168 mg per ounce
  • Almonds, 80 mg per ounce dry roasted
  • Cashews, 74 mg per ounce dry roasted
  • Peanuts, 63 mg per ounce oil roasted
  • Spinach, 78 mg per ½ cup boiled
  • Black beans, 60 mg per ½ cup cooked
  • Edamame, 50 mg per ½ cup cooked
  • Dark chocolate, 50 mg per ounce serving of 60–69 percent cocoa
  • Whole-wheat bread, 46 mg per 2 slices
  • Avocados, 44 mg per cubed cup


1. Bone health

May improve bone health both directly and indirectly, as it helps to regulate calcium and vitamin D levels, which are two other nutrients vital for bone health.

2. Diabetes

May worsen insulin resistance, which is a condition that often develops before type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, insulin resistance may cause low magnesium levels.

3. Cardiovascular health

The body needs it to maintain the health of muscles, including the heart. Research has found that it plays an important role in heart health.

People who receive magnesium soon after a heart attack have a lower risk of mortality. Doctors sometimes use it during treatment for congestive heart failure (CHF) to reduce the risk of arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm.

4. Migraine headaches

People who experience migraines may have lower levels of magnesium in their blood and body tissues compared with others. Mg levels in a person’s brain may be low during a migraine.

5. Premenstrual syndrome

Magnesium may also play a role in premenstrual syndrome (PMS). The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggest that taking magnesium supplements could help to reduce bloating, mood symptoms, and breast tenderness in PMS.

6. Anxiety

May play a role in mood disorders, including depression and anxiety.  According to a study, low magnesium levels may have links with higher levels of anxiety. 

Magnesium Deficiency

Symptomatic magnesium deficiency due to low dietary intake in otherwise-healthy people is uncommon because the kidneys limit urinary excretion of this mineral . However, habitually low intakes or excessive losses of magnesium due to certain health conditions, chronic alcoholism, and/or the use of certain medications can lead to magnesium deficiency.

Early signs of Mg deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As Mg deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms can occur.Severe Mg deficiency can result in hypocalcemia or hypokalemia (low serum calcium or potassium levels, respectively) because mineral homeostasis is disrupted.

Groups at Risk of Magnesium Inadequacy

People with gastrointestinal diseases

The chronic diarrhea and fat malabsorption resulting from Crohn’s disease, gluten-sensitive enteropathy (celiac disease), and regional enteritis can lead to magnesium depletion over time 

People with type 2 diabetes

Magnesium deficits and increased urinary magnesium excretion can occur in people with insulin resistance and/or type 2 diabetes. The magnesium loss appears to be secondary to higher concentrations of glucose in the kidney that increase urine output

People with alcohol dependence

Magnesium deficiency is common in people with chronic alcoholism. In these individuals, poor dietary intake and nutritional status; gastrointestinal problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, and steatorrhea (fatty stools) resulting from pancreatitis

Older adults

Older adults have lower dietary intakes of magnesium than younger adults. In addition, magnesium absorption from the gut decreases and renal magnesium excretion increases with age.

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