If you try and remember back to your science lessons at school you may remember fun experiments featuring magnesium however you probably won't have been told that magnesium is actually an incredibly important dietary mineral in terms of your health and well being.
Not only is magnesium of critical importance, a damning report has revealed that as many as 80% of the Americans surveyed have some level of magnesium deficiency. Perhaps if more was widely known about the benefits of magnesium this number would alter dramatically, and hopefully fast!
Did you know?
Human proteins have been found to have as many as 3751 magnesium sites? This shows that magnesium is very much an important part of your health and something your body will and does utilise. A great number of enzymes within the human body contain magnesium and these enzymes boast power over functions such as bowel movement regulation, blood sugar management, ATP production, the relaxation of the blood vessels and countless more.
Clearly despite magnesium not being talked about very much when it comes to your health, it is very much present and active.
Why You Need to Have Enough Magnesium in Your System
Magnesium has been linked to a wide number of health benefits and boosting and maintaining magnesium levels may help to reduce the risk of or the impact in some cases of the following:
- Restless legs
- Muscle cramps
- Type 2 Diabetes
- PMT and as may as 100 more.
In addition to these key benefits magnesium is also known to be a great detoxifier, ridding the body or toxins which may cause or contribute to illness and disease.
Clearly magnesium is essential to good health so why are reports showing that so many people have a magnesium deficiency? The exact answer is difficult to prove however many believe that a drop in magnesium levels may be caused by poor food choices.
If you look at a standard modern menu these days we find an increasing number of processed foods whose vitamins and minerals have been lost. Some are concerned that modern farming practices have caused a weakening of the soil and therefore the resulting foods suffer a lack of nutrients from day one.
What Can We Do?
Thankfully adding magnesium back into your diet isn't difficult. It may be found as a supplement (please as always only consider using supplements from reputable sources!) as well as in a number of foods:
- Kelp and a variety of other sea-based vegetables (kelp contains as much as 30% of your magnesium RDA)
- Cacao, i.e. 70% cacao dark chocolate contains a high level of magnesium although it is of course important to balance your magnesium intake needs with the need not to overdo the chocolate intake!
- Blackstrap Molasses (found in health shops and supermarkets in the UK) also contains a decent quantity of magnesium and is a low GI ingredient therefore will not spike your blood sugar levels. Blackstrap molasses contains less sugar and is rich in minerals such as calcium and potassium too.
Overall it is easier to ensure your RDA of magnesium via supplement however including natural forms via your food intake is a way to ensure a more balanced and nutritious diet.