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magnesium foods

What is Magnesium Good For?

Magnesium is involved in over 300 different biochemical reactions, yet many of us lack sufficient amounts of this important mineral.  

In this Healthy Insight:

man supplemented with magnesium working out

What is magnesium?

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body right after calcium and phosphorous, a grayish metal, and the eighth most abundant element in the earth’s crust. Adults have about 25 grams of magnesium in their bodies. Almost all of it is stored in the bones, muscles, and soft tissues which is difficult for your body to access. There are many types of magnesium including magnesium carbonate, chloride, oxide, sulfate, aspartate, lactate and more. Regardless of the type, what is magnesium good for?

What is magnesium good for?

  • Supports healthy functioning of nerves and muscles
  • Helps convert food into energy
  • Plays a key role in the contraction and relaxation of muscles
  • Helps regulate neurotransmitters that send messages throughout your brain and nervous system
  • Produces energy to power you through the day
  • Helps form protein
  • May boost athletic performance
  • Makes DNA and RNA
  • Supports heart and overall health
  • Fosters healthy brain function and positive mood
  • Supports healthy blood sugar levels and blood pressure levels already in the normal range
  • Eases issues associated with women’s cycle
magnesium foods in wooden spoons

What foods contain magnesium?  

The best food sources for magnesium include dark, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, whole grains, milk, baked potatoes, oily fish, beans, lentils, avocadoes, bananas, and dried fruit among others.

What are the warning signs of a magnesium deficiency?

Low levels of the mineral magnesium often have no overt signs, but can include the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle cramps, twitches, and weakness
  • Poor sleep
  • Feeling blue, out of sorts
  • Brittle bones
  • Tiredness

How much magnesium do I need?

How much magnesium you need each day depends on your gender and age, but typically it’s about 420 mg. per day. It’s estimated that over 60% of Americans may be deficient.

Magnesium is readily available but don’t just grab whatever you see. Magnesium glycinate, citrate, chloride, and carbonate are more easily absorbed than magnesium oxide and sulfate. But please note that magnesium citrate may cause stomach distress and magnesium in general may interact with other medications, so be sure to check with your healthcare provider regarding what’s right for you.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Individual results may vary.

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