Magnesium is one of the vital macrominerals required by the human body, along with calcium and phosphorous, to maintain optimal bone health. It also performs key roles in many important biochemical processes in the system, enabling the proper functioning of several enzymes needed for growth, development and energy metabolism. Also Read: National Nutrition Week: Must-Have Essential Nutrients In Your Regular Diet
The average daily requirement of magnesium is 100mg per day. Most of the magnesium is stored in the skeletal system comprising the bones and joints, while minor amounts are present in the muscles and other soft tissues.
Magnesium performs numerous crucial functions in the body, including:
Strengthening bones and joints
Preventing insulin resistance and lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes
Enhancing cardiac muscle activity
Averting frequent migraines by promoting neurotransmitter synthesis in the brain
Reducing the occurrence of depression and anxiety
Decreasing the risk of acquiring severe heart and neurological disorders like arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, Alzheimer's and stroke
Magnesium assists in muscle contractions within the digestive tract, promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. It also contributes to the synthesis of enzymes involved in digestion.
Magnesium's calming effects extend to sleep. It can improve sleep quality by promoting relaxation and aiding in the regulation of the sleep hormone melatonin.
Balanced magnesium levels can contribute to hormonal equilibrium, making them beneficial for women's health, particularly during the menstrual cycle and menopause.
Magnesium supports a robust immune system by promoting the production and activity of immune cells. It aids in protecting the body against infections and illnesses.
Various natural foods supply magnesium in adequate amounts. Also Check Out: 5 Foods Abundant In Magnesium That Are Incredibly Healthy - Infographic
Some of the foods rich in magnesium content are:
- Nuts and seeds like almonds and pumpkin seeds
- Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale
- Whole wheat bread, oatmeal
- Fruit such as figs, avocado, banana and raspberries
- Legumes including black beans, chickpeas and kidney beans
- Vegetables such as peas, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, artichokes, asparagus, brussels sprouts
- Raw cacao
- Dark Chocolate
Most healthy children and adults do not suffer from a low intake of magnesium in the diet.
However, in instances of magnesium deficiency, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, muscle cramps do occur in the person.
Severe deficiency of magnesium is rare but in such cases, immediate medical care needs to be provided, as abnormal heartbeat and brain disorders are triggered in the individual.
Most of the magnesium consumed in the diet is flushed out by means of urine.
Situations of magnesium accumulating in the body to toxic levels do not occur often.
Nevertheless, when magnesium toxicity is detected in a person, grave complications like kidney problems, central nervous system malfunctioning and cardiac arrest can occur. Hence, prompt medical treatment is required in such cases, for normalizing body functions in the person.