Benefits of Magnesium for Your Health


Benefits of magnesium are not known to most people but magnesium deficiency symptoms are very common. Eating magnesium rich foods is one way to prevent deficiency and restore proper mineral balance.

I know what you’re thinking, “not another essential nutrient that we all must have!” However in the case of magnesium this IS really essential. Active people tend to burn through a lot of magnesium and so deficiency is really common.

Why is Magnesium So Important?

Magnesium is a critical component in over 300 different chemical reactions in your body. The increased interest among mainstream doctors for using magnesium to treat heart problems is an indication of how important this mineral is.

Magnesium is essential for proper function of the heart, muscles, and nervous system. A deficiency of magnesium can affect every system of the body, and since it is depleted so readily by stress and strenuous activity it must be supplemented to avoid problems.

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Without a diet of magnesium rich foods, deficiency is almost certain given our modern stressful lifestyles and the failure of many people to supplement their diet with this mineral.

Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

Magnesium deficiency is widespread because few people understand the benefits of magnesium or recognize the signs of deficiency. Here is a list of symptoms:

  • Muscle twitching, cramping, tension, and soreness
  • Tension headaches, pain in the back, neck, and jaw
  • Tightness in the chest and inability to breath deeply
  • Constipation, urinary spasms, menstrual cramps and difficulty swallowing
  • Insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, restlessness
  • Numbness and tingling in hands and feet
  • Heart arrhythmias, palpitations, angina pain, an high blood pressure
  • Salt cravings, carbohydrate cravings, breast tenderness

This is by no means an all-inclusive list, just a guide that you should take note of and investigate further if any of these magnesium deficiency symptoms persist. A physician familiar with nutritional biochemistry can confirm or rule out a deficiency.

Diagnosing Magnesium Deficiency

Blood tests for magnesium deficiency are not accurate because the levels in your blood don’t reflect what is in your cells. There are two good ways to determine deficiency:

  • Magnesium loading test, where they measure the magnesium levels in your urine over a 24 hour period, then give you a magnesium supplement and again measure the levels over 24 hours. If the body retains more than a certain amount, that indicates you are deficient.

  • Another way is just to begin magnesium supplementation and see if the magnesium deficiency symptoms improve.

Magnesium Rich Foods

One of the best ways to get the benefits of magnesium and avoid deficiencies is to eat a diet rich in this essential mineral. Here is a short list of magnesium rich foods:

  • Black beans, Navy Beans, Soybeans, White Beans, Brown Rice
  • Pumpkin and squash seeds
  • Halibut, Tuna
  • Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Pine Nuts
  • Bananas, dried figs
  • Spinach, Artichokes, Tomato paste
  • Barley, Oat Bran, Buckwheat, Whole Wheat, Cornmeal

You can search online for a more comprehensive list of magnesium rich foods, which will hopefully include some of your personal favorites! The idea is to work these into your diet on a regular basis to help you get the benefits of magnesium you need.

Magnesium Supplements

The RDA for magnesium is 350 milligrams/day of “elemental magnesium.” When looking at the label of a magnesium supplement remember that it’s the amount of “elemental magnesium” that matters! 400 to 1000 mg per day is the therapeutic range for normal individuals. I ideally a doctor knowledgeable about nutritional supplementation should adjust the dosage based on your medical history and condition.

There are three forms of magnesium supplements.

  • Oral magnesium – magnesium oxide, citrate, taurate, orotate, glycinate, aspartate, and magnesium chloride
  • The most effective oral forms are ones that end in “ate.” Oxide is not absorbed very well, however magnesium chloride is the prescription form and is used by doctors.

  • Injectable magnesium – magnesium sulfate, chloride, citrate, orotate
  • Injectable or intravenous magnesium is the most effective way of getting the benefits of magnesium especially for medical emergencies such as a heart attack. A doctor of course administers this.

  • Transdermal magnesium chloride

Magnesium oil is a formulation of magnesium chloride and while technically not oil it IS applied and absorbed through he skin.

To Sum Up

Magnesium deficiency symptoms shouldn’t be ignored. Magnesium is a critical nutrient for heart function and deficiency can pose dangerous health risks.

Add magnesium rich foods to your diet, and consult your antiaging doctor or nutritionist regarding the best form of supplementation to use. The benefits of magnesium are a healthy heart and nervous system; so make sure you are getting enough of this key mineral.




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