What are the Benefits of Magnesium
What are the Benefits of Magnesium?
Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body that we get from magnesium-rich foods. However, despite it being one of the most important nutrients, Health Direct confirms that over ⅓ of Australians don't get enough magnesium every day. The recommended dietary allowance is 400-420 mg for men and 310-320 mg for women.
Magnesium plays a vital role in our body's natural processes and it's important that we get the correct magnesium intake to function optimally.
In our article, we will cover what magnesium does in the body, how long it stays in the body, magnesium-rich foods, supplement benefits of magnesium and when to take it.
What does magnesium do?
Magnesium is actually involved in over 300 chemical reactions in the human body, so pretty major, right? We store more than half of our magnesium intake in our bones and the rest in soft tissues. It is vital for our brain neurotransmitters, heart health and muscle and nerve function; and when we function properly we improve our immune system and have a reduced risk of health conditions.
We store 60% of our magnesium levels in our bones so it's no surprise that our bodies use this essential mineral for bone health. Our bone-building cells use it to help in the regeneration cycle, improve bone density and help hormones that regulate calcium levels (the most abundant mineral in our body).
The brain neurotransmitters help the cells communicate with each other and the rest of the body and the GABA (glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid) transmitter is dependent on good magnesium levels. Low levels of magnesium can cause excess glutamate levels which causes nerve cells to become overexcited and lead to nerve damage. These nerves aid brain development, memory and learning.
Calcium and magnesium regulate the heart muscle together, calcium will stimulate it to contract and magnesium will help it to relax. Both essential minerals are vital in maintaining a healthy heartbeat.
However, when we have low magnesium levels, calcium is not counteracted which could lead to a rapid or irregular heartbeat.
Magnesium is used to assist in our insulin and carbohydrate metabolism, turning food into energy production. Healthy levels of magnesium can help your body regulate your blood sugar levels.
Magnesium and calcium also team up together in muscle contraction. Calcium will help it contract and magnesium will do its job of them helping the muscle to relax again. Just like in the brain, low magnesium levels can cause calcium to overact and can lead to muscle cramps.
Stress and Anxiety
When we feel chronic stress and anxiety, our magnesium levels deplete. If we don't have enough magnesium before our next stress response, it can feel even more intense and taxing. Keeping our magnesium levels at a healthy balance allows our body to use the right nutrients to respond to stress.
How long does magnesium stay in the body?
Magnesium will stay in the body between 12 and 24 hours as the body absorbs and uses it quite quickly. This is why our magnesium intake must be daily; it is an important nutrient in our bodily functions with multiple health benefits.
Magnesium food sources
So, how do healthy adults get an adequate magnesium intake? Luckily, many foods are great sources of magnesium. We can ensure we have a balanced diet of whole grains and magnesium-rich foods from the following foods:
- Brown Rice
- Black Beans
- Cultured Yogurt
- Green leafy vegetables
- Chia Seeds
- Nuts (cashews, peanuts and almonds)
- Whole Wheat Bread
- Soy Milk
- Dark Chocolate
- Fatty Fish
- Pumpkin Seeds
Magnesium supplement benefits
There may be many reasons why healthy adults are unable to get all the magnesium-rich foods in their diet and maintain healthy levels of magnesium. This is where magnesium supplements are great in bridging that gap in diet to give your body the important nutrient it needs. Magnesium plays a vital role and provides amazing health benefits:
- Maintain bone health
- Improve bone density
- Support a healthy nerve function
- Regulate nerve function for learning and development
- Maintain a regular healthy heartbeat
- Supports cardiovascular health
- Improve muscle function
- Help muscles and heart to relax which can improve sleep quality
- Can improve PMS symptoms
- Supports energy production
- Helps maintain blood sugar levels
- May maintain a healthy blood pressure
- May help relieve migraine prophylaxis
- Boost immune system
- Release symptoms of anxiety and stress
- Maintain a healthy blood pressure
- Support blood sugar levels
- Improve insulin sensitivity
- Support energy production
When to take magnesium?
Research suggests that taking magnesium supplements 1 or 2 hours before going to sleep is the best time. Due to their ability to relax the heart and muscles, they can have a calming effect and improve sleep quality.
Magnesium is important in many functions and processes in our body. Maintaining healthy magnesium levels through magnesium-rich foods and/or taking magnesium supplements can ensure it has the all-important nutrient in needs to function optimally.