Mystical magnesium

By Mina Radman • Published: March 15th, 2017
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Have you heard about magnesium? It could be your key to optimal health.

Magnesium is an essential mineral that is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps control stress hormones by participating in the production of serotonin, which relaxes the nervous system. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar and blood pressure levels, maintains heart health, enhances immunity and strengthens bones and teeth. It also is used to treat asthma attacks, preeclampsia in pregnancy and constipation.

Despite being so important, magnesium remains largely overlooked in this country. About half the U.S. population consumes an inadequate amount of this magnificent mineral. The daily recommended intake of magnesium for women is 310 to 320 milligrams and 400 to 420 milligrams for men.

Why the deficiency? Diet may be the culprit.

Magnesium is available through many foods, but common habits like drinking soda, caffeine and alcohol as well as eating refined sugars deplete your body of its magnesium. The best way to meet your daily magnesium intake goal? Limit those negative habits and ramp up consumption of magnesium-friendly foods, including almonds and cashews, peas, seeds, whole grains and leafy greens such as spinach. Magnesium supplements are available, but they can be toxic when taken in large amounts, so it’s best to speak with a doctor before adding any supplement to your diet.

So don’t ignore this vital piece of your overall well-being. On your next grocery run, stock up on magnesium-rich foods to ensure your intake of this magical mineral is at its optimal level.