Magnesium is an essential mineral that has multiple health benefits for your body, including improving the health of your heart, nerves, brain, kidneys, blood and digestion. Our bodies produce a small dose of magnesium, but we need a steady supply of dietary magnesium in order to prevent heart attacks, digestive disorders, poor blood health, inflammation and a variety of diseases.
Leafy greens, seeds, nuts, beans, avocados, bananas and yoghurt are some of the top magnesium rich foods, and a diet rich in these items helps you to meet the daily requirement of 310-400 milligrams per day, for women and men respectively. Optimum nutrition includes foods that offer plenty of magnesium.
Here are the top 10 health benefits of magnesium:
1. Increases Energy Levels
Magnesium stimulates the production of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) in the body, which boosts the energy of your cells and keeps your metabolism functioning at its optimum.
2. Relaxes Stiff Muscles
A steady supply of magnesium has been proven to reduce muscle cramps, and to work on relieving the tension in stiff and tired muscles.
3. Improves Digestive Health
A diet rich in magnesium helps your colon to function better, preventing constipation. It helps to relax the intestinal wall, and colon muscles as well as balancing stomach acid, which promotes regularity.
Insufficient magnesium can lead to serotonin depletion, which are the happy hormones in your brain. By ensuring your diet or supplementation meets your magnesium requirements, you help to elevate serotonin levels and fight off any signs of depression.
5. Keeps Your Heart Strong
The heart is an organ that thrives on magnesium, the highest concentration being found in the left ventricle. Magnesium helps to reduce blood pressure, relax arteries and promote iron and calcium absorption, which keeps your cardiovascular system in peak form.
6. Improves Bone Mineral Density
Studies have proven that magnesium helps to improve bone mineral density by promoting calcium absorption and increasing the amount of Vitamin D in the blood, which further helps to repair brittle bones. Calcium taken on its own has very little value without its best support mineral: magnesium.
7. Gives You Better Sleep
By decreasing cortisol levels and increasing melatonin levels, magnesium has a powerful effect in our body clock and sleeping patterns. A diet rich in magnesium wil give you better, deeper sleep and prevent insomnia, fatigue and being over-stressed.
8. Helps to Reduce Blood Pressure
Research has shown that magnesium helps to reduce the symptoms of hypertension by relaxing arteries, relieving stress and improving the serotonin levels in the brain. By feeling happier, more relaxed and improving the condition of blood you will benefit from a lower blood pressure and better health.
9. Soothes Migraine Headaches
Studies have shown that frequent migraine headaches can be caused by a lack of magnesium, and that sufficient magnesium will relieve their intensity and frequency dramatically. Magnesium helps to open up blood vessels and promote better, richer blood flow to your brain.
10. Alkalizes Your Entire Body
Magnesium is a powerfully alkalizing mineral, which helps your body to create an environment in which diseased cells cannot thrive. It also gives you more energy, releases stored fat and eliminates toxic waste from your system.
To ensure that you meet your daily requirements of magnesium, it’s important to have a look at some of the foods that are magnesium rich, and see if you’re getting enough of them. Here’s a guideline:
- Spinach: 2 Cups= 80% of your daily requirement
- Pumpkin Seeds: ½ Cup= 92% of the daily required amount
- Bananas: 8% RDA per banana
- Nuts: 20% of the daily requirement per 30 gram serving
- Black Beans: 1 Cup= 30% of the daily required amount
- Yoghurt: 13% of the daily amount per cup