Magnesium: How it Affects Your Health

Magnesium is a mineral that is present in relatively large amounts in the body. This mineral is involved in more than 300 chemical reactions that keep the body working properly. People get magnesium from their diet, but sometimes magnesium supplements are needed if magnesium levels are too low, especially among women.

Foods that are rich in magnesium are often also rich in fibre. These include legumes, whole grains, vegetables (especially broccoli, squash, and green leafy vegetables), seeds, and nuts (especially almonds), As well as dairy products, meats, chocolate, and coffee.

Use of Magnesium

So what exactly is magnesium used for? Magnesium is required for the growth and maintenance of bones, and for the functioning of nerves, muscles, and other parts of the human body. In the stomach, magnesium helps neutralise stomach acid and moves stools through the intestine. Supplementation of magnesium therefore has a number of uses including as a laxative for constipation and for preparation of the bowel for surgical or diagnostic procedures, for treating attention ADHD, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, leg cramps during pregnancy, diabetes, kidney stones, migraine headaches, osteoporosis, PMS, altitude sickness, urinary incontinence, restless leg syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and to increase energy and endurance in athletes.

Most of the early signs of magnesium deficiency are neurological or neuromuscular defects that may develop with time into anorexia, nausea, muscular weakness, lethargy, weight loss, hyper-irritability, hyper-excitability, muscular spasms, tetany and convulsions. The recommended daily intake of magnesium is 320mg for females and 420mg for males which can be achieved through the diet, however sometimes this is not possible. The table below shows the amount of magnesium present in some common foods.

            Wheat Bran, crude, ¼ cup                                89mg

            Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce                         80mg

            Spinach, frozen, cooked, ½ cup                        78mg

            Raisin bran cereal, 1 cup                                  77mg

            Nuts, mixed, dry roasted, 1 ounce                     64mg

            Wheat biscuits, 2 biscuits                                   61mg

            Oatmeal, instant, 1 cup                                      61mg

            Peanut butter, 2 Tablespoons                            49mg

            Banana, 1 medium                                             38mg

            Yogurt, low fat, 1 cup                                         32mg

            Milk, low fat or non-fat, 1 cup                            27mg

My final question to you is: Are getting enough magnesium each day that your body needs for Optimum Health in the body?

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