Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in your body. From a microscopic process like synthesis of DNA to prevention of diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s – magnesium plays many important functions in your body.
There are many delicious and easy to find source of magnesium. Superfoods like avocado, almond, figs and other vegetables offer enough quantity per serving to combat magnesium deficiency.
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a naturally occurring element and mineral. It makes up your body’s electrolytes. It is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body and is therefore critical to many aspects of one’s health.
Your bones, muscles and tissues contain about 99 percent of your body’s magnesium and only 1 percent can be found in your blood. There is strong correlation between low levels of magnesium and diseases and conditions like Alzheimer’s, insulin resistance, migraines, type 2 diabetes, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, hypertension and heart disease.
Spinach and other green leafy vegetables are among the best sources of magnesium. Even plants that grew with magnesium fertilizers have been reported to absorb increased levels of magnesium in the soil, and thereby transferring them to your body when you eat them.
There are also magnesium supplement available in the market. Magnesium citrate and magnesium oil can be purchased by those looking to augment their magnesium source.
The Top 10 Magnesium Rich Foods
Below are the best 10 magnesium rich foods. They are rank according to daily recommended value per specific amount of serving.
Spinach, cooked — 1 cup: 157 milligrams (39 % DAILY RECOMMENDED VALUE)
Swiss chard, cooked — 1 cup: 150 milligrams (38 % DAILY RECOMMENDED VALUE)
Dark Chocolate — 1 square: 95 milligrams (24 % DAILY RECOMMENDED VALUE)
Pumpkin seeds, dried — 1/8 cup: 92 milligrams (23 % DAILY RECOMMENDED VALUE)
Almonds — 1 ounce: 75 milligrams (19 % DAILY RECOMMENDED VALUE)
Black beans — 1/2 cup: 60 milligrams (15 % DAILY RECOMMENDED VALUE)
Avocado — 1 medium: 58 milligrams (15 % DAILY RECOMMENDED VALUE)
Figs, dried — 1/2 cup: 50 milligrams (13 % DAILY RECOMMENDED VALUE)
Yogurt or Kefir — 1 cup: 46.5 milligrams (12 % DAILY RECOMMENDED VALUE)
Banana — 1 medium: 32 milligrams (8 % DAILY RECOMMENDED VALUE)
Top Proven Benefits of Magnesium
1. Alleviates PMS Symptoms
To say that Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS makes being a woman hard to same would be an understatement. It is a group of painful and uncomfortable symptoms that occur to women one to two weeks before their monthly period. According to research, mood swings, food cravings, weight gain, water retention, bloating, fatigue, sore breasts, irritability and digestive issues are just some of the most prevalent PMS symptoms.
A 2010 study however have shown that magnesium when combined with vitamin B6 may be able to reduce the aforementioned symptoms. A separate study by Journal of Women’s Health moreover learned that 200 milligrams of magnesium daily can help reduce the severity of some PMS symptoms like bloating, weight gain, swelling and breast tenderness.
2. Reduces Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can lead to a number of cardiovascular complications including heart disease.
Magnesium is found to lower blood pressure and therefore keep your cardiovascular system in check. This is why you need to make sure you have enough magnesium in your diet. You also want to add potassium. Doing so will keep your electrolyte levels in check and your blood pressure in good balance.
Filling your diet with magnesium-rich foods may be able to help keep your blood pressure in check to promote better heart health. A study in Mexico even found that taking magnesium supplementation reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults with high blood pressure.
3. Boosts Performance
Good levels of magnesium have a positive impact on your physical performance. During intense physical activity such as exercise, your body’s magnesium requirement doubles.
Numerous studies have shown that athletes who took magnesium supplements performed better versus their counterparts who didn’t.
4. Relieves Inflammation
A low level of magnesium is correlated to inflammation based on a number of studies. In a study in 2014 for instance, both low magnesium intake and low magnesium levels in the blood were seen to have high correlation with inflammation markers.
The results can be attributed to the fact that inflammation is a common immune response and is often brought by infection or injury. Magnesium has been shown to improve immune system.
It can also be noted that many of the top anti-inflammatory food have high concentration of magnesium.
5. Prevents Migraines
Low levels of magnesium have been shown to contribute to regular occurrence of migraines. Consequently, magnesium supplementations have been shown to cure or at least reduce it.
6. Improves Blood Sugar
Taking magnesium supplement can lower your blood sugar, protect against diabetes and even prevent insulin resistance – a problem experienced by people who eat lots of carbs and refined sugar.
According to the journal Diabetes Care, oral magnesium supplementation improved insulin sensitivity and reduced blood sugar levels in diabetic patients with low magnesium levels.
7. Fight Against Depression
Low intake of magnesium has been found to be associated with high risk of depression. This supports earlier studies that show magnesium to have mood-boosting properties.
There are also some researches that suggest magnesium to be as effective as antidepressants in dealing with depression. This is based on a study conducted by Magnesium Research which compared magnesium supplements with antidepressant medication.
8. Improves Sleep Quality
Recent studies have shown that there could be connection between magnesium levels in the body and sleep.
A study conducted in Iran proved that taking magnesium supplement can reduce insomnia severity. It has also improved sleep time while reducing the amount of time needed to fall asleep of the subjects.
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