In order for our bodies to function at a normal level and maintain optimal health, it needs a sufficient amount of magnesium. It is the fourth most important mineral in the body, and researchers have detected over 3,750 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins.
More than 300 different enzymes in our body rely on magnesium for proper function. This further illustrates the importance magnesium has on the biochemical processes, many of which are essential for proper metabolic function. For example, the relaxation of blood vessels depends on magnesium, the proper formation of our bones and teeth relies on magnesium, and finally, our muscle and nerve functions (including the action of the heart muscle) rely on sufficient magnesium.
It’s not to say that we cannot live without magnesium, but it can be said that it would be in our body’s best interest to ensure that we at least try and maintain an average magnesium level.
Lack of Magnesium Can Trigger Health Issues: If you’re lacking magnesium, your cellular metabolic function can deteriorate, which in turn can lead to more serious health issues. Such issues include migraine headaches, anxiety and depression, fibromyalgia and cardiovascular disease.
Importance of Magnesium for Mitochondrial Health: Mitochondria are tiny bacteria-derived organelles that are found inside your cells. In order for your organs to function properly, they need energy. This energy is called adenosine triphosphate, also known as ATP, and its primary producer is mitochondria. Research has suggested that most health issues can be tracked by mitochondria dysfunction, so make sure the right nutrients for your mitochondria.
One example of how the mitochondria play an essential role is Athletic Performance. In order to maintain high athletic performance, your muscles need oxygen. Your oxidative capacity relies on your mitochondria’s ability to produce ATP.
How Much Magnesium Do You Need: Over a century ago, people were getting an estimated 500mg of magnesium from their diet. Today, research suggests that people are only getting 150 to 200 mg a day from food. Most people do not prefer to take supplements to get their magnesium dose, but since the quality of naturally grown foods is no guarantee, it might be a good idea. Dr. Carolyn Dean, who is the author of “The Magnesium Miracle,” suggests the RDA for magnesium is between 310 to 420 mg.
Risk Factors, Signs & Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency: One of the primary risk factors for magnesium deficiency is eating too many processed foods. So if you’re not eating enough leafy greens, chances are you’re not getting enough magnesium.
Also, magnesium gets lost through stress, lack of sleep and constant alcohol consumption and prescription drug use. Because of this, it is no surprise that between 50 to 80 percent of Americans are thought to be magnesium deficient.
It is really tough to spot signs of magnesium deficiency, but if you suddenly suffer from a Charlie horse, or you constantly get headaches/migraines, you could be lacking magnesium. Loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, or fatigue and weakness also signs.
With that said, it’s essential that you find ways to get magnesium into your body. The best way to do that is through your diet. Below are the top foods that contain high magnesium.
Spinach: This dark leafy green that most of us were forced to eat as children are extremely high in magnesium. They can contribute to 40% of your daily vitamins. Not only will it help raise your levels, but can also lower your blood pressure and improve your bone health.
Beans and Lentils: These are probably the most versatile and nutritious vegetables with magnesium. They are low in cholesterol and very low in fat. They control your blood sugar level and are a strong supporter of the heart.
Edamame: For women, the high level of magnesium in edamame can help reduce PMS symptoms. It also has the ability to prevent migraines and headaches and can also regulate your blood pressure.
Cauliflower: This high magnesium vegetable can help the parathyroid gland to produce hormones that are required for proper bone function.
Potato: This food is in almost everyone’s diet because it is rich in magnesium and potassium. It has the ability to protect you from rheumatism.
Avocados: Known for their large content of vitamins and minerals, they also supply a decent amount of magnesium. They are good strength for your heart and can lower your cholesterol.
Bananas: This sweet fruit can help boost the production of white blood cells which are essential for different bodily functions. But they are also a great addition to your diet if you’re looking to lose weight or reduce swelling.
Passion Fruit: This high-magnesium fruit can help with your digestion, boost your immune system, improve your eyesight, and improve your bone mineral density.