Magnesium is an extremely crucial mineral for our bodies. Magnesium is one of the body’s six essential minerals that the body is primarily composed of. Most magnesium in the body can be found in the bones (about 50% to 60%) and the rest is found within the soft tissues of the body (National Institutes of Health). Magnesium is responsible for bone strength, nerve function, and metabolization of energy. It is a co-factor in over 400 enzyme reactions within the body. It not only plays an important role in various reactions within the body, such as metabolizing food intake and synthesizing fatty acids, but also plays a part in neuromuscular transmission as well.
Being deficient in magnesium is linked to several health problems, such as insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, constipation, and migraine headaches (Ware). According to the National Institutes of Health, the daily recommended intake of magnesium for adult males is between 400-420mg. For adult females, the daily recommended intake is between 310-320mg, and increases in the case of pregnancy. Many people fail to meet their daily recommended intake of magnesium, which can lead to a magnesium deficiency.
Forms of Magnesium
Some forms of magnesium supplementation include:
- magnesium citrate (best form to use for constipation)
- magnesium glysinate (best form overall)
- magnesium oxide (need high doses for maximum magnesium absorption)
Some ways to incorporate more magnesium into your diet include consuming nuts and seeds, dark leafy vegetables, and whole grains. Some magnesium-heavy foods include:
- sunflower seeds
- spinach (think Popeye!)
- black beans
- kidney beans
If you suffer from a magnesium deficiency, or are just concerned about eating healthier, try including some of the foods above in your diet or ask your doctor about using a magnesium supplement.
Megan Ware RDN LD. (2016, June 7). “Magnesium: Health Benefits, Facts, Research.” Medical News Today.