All of us know for sure what magnesium is, however, many may not know how the benefits of magnesium impacts human health. We were surprised to know and now it’s your turn to be surprised. Let’s get started:
What is Magnesium and where does it come from
Magnesium is found in humans, animals, plants, sea as well as earth. Magnesium is a mineral that holds the rank of the fourth most abundant mineral in our bodies. It is very essential for our bodies as it is involved in almost 300 functions in our body.
The body of an adult human contains an estimated 25g of Magnesium and 50%-60% of this magnesium is stored in the skeletal system. While the rest of it is stored in soft tissues, muscles, and body fluids.
Rightfully called as master commander of the body, doctors and nutritionists have established a link of magnesium deficiency with several complications and advise to keep our magnesium intake in check.
We are lucky we are blessed by several natural and easily available sources of magnesium by nature like:
- Cashew nuts
- Dark chocolate
- Fatty fish
Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Magnesium
Here is a table showing the RDAs of magnesium for different age groups:
|Children 1-3 years||80 mg/day|
|Children 4-8 years||130 mg/day|
|Children 9-13 years||240 mg/day|
|Females 4-18 years||360 mg/day|
|Females 19-30 years||310 mg/day|
|Females 31 years and over||320 mg/day|
|Pregnant Women||Under 19 years: 400 mg/day19 to 30 years: 350 mg/day31 years and up: 360 mg/day|
|Breastfeeding Mothers||Under 19 years: 360 mg/day19 to 30 years: 310 mg/day31 years and up 320 mg/day|
|Males 14-18 yearsMales 19-30 yearsMales 31 years and up||410 mg/day400 mg/day420 mg/day|
Benefits of Magnesium
It is evident from the RDAs that magnesium is very important for our health. We are going to list down some evidence-based benefits in detail here. Have a look:
1. Healthy Bones
What remained an unknown fact for many years is that in addition to calcium and phosphorus, magnesium plays a significant role in making your bones healthy and strong. A research has shown that taking an adequate amount of magnesium increases bone density and improves formation of bone crystals. Moreover, it reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis after the onset of menopause in females. Magnesium plays both direct and indirect roles in the regulation of vitamin D and calcium levels in blood which in turn help in maintaining healthy bones.
2. Biochemical Reactions
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in our body, whose 60% amount is present in bones while the rest 40% is divided into body fluids, muscles and soft tissues. It is a fact that every cell in our body contains magnesium and needs it for proper functioning. Enzymes in our body need coenzymes to carry out functions and magnesium acts as a cofactor in several body functions occurring at cellular levels. An estimated number of about 600 body functions use magnesium daily such as formation of proteins, generation of energy, regulation of nervous system, formation and repair of DNA & RNA and contraction & relaxation of muscles.
3. Healthy for Heart
Studies have shown that there is a link between magnesium deficiency and congestive heart failures. Several studies have shown that regular intake of magnesium lowers high blood pressure. Also, magnesium helps in healthy maintenance of heart muscles. Giving magnesium to a heart patient right after a heart attack has shown to reduce the mortality.
4. Helps with Insomnia
Many of us deal with insomnia especially older people. This is often due to lack of proper nutrition, often magnesium which is known to keep your sleep cycle healthy. Research has shown that magnesium helps you have a good night’s sleep as it relaxes your muscle as well as calms your nerves by regulating neurotransmitters that keep you awake.
5. Helps with Asthma
After a life threatening attack of asthma, patients are usually treated with magnesium which gives relief to them. Also, asthma attack is often linked with magnesium deficiency.
6. Boosts Stamina
Magnesium is a key role player during exercise. Our body needs 20% more magnesium while exercising than at rest. Magnesium has shown to increase stamina and performance during a physical activity as it helps in movement of sugar into blood and disposition of lactate.
7. Combats Depression
Studies have proven that low levels of magnesium are linked with depression and anxiety. Magnesium plays a significant role in elevating mood and improving brain function. Hence, adding this mineral to diet will help in fighting off mental health disorders which is the need of the hour.
8. Helps with Diabetes
Magnesium is really beneficial for people having diabetes type 2. Studies have shown that people with diabetes have low amounts of magnesium in their blood which disrupts the ability of insulin to keep blood sugar in check. Moreover, research has shown that people having low levels of magnesium in their blood have a higher risk of developing diabetes mellitus type 2.
9. Prevents Migraines
A good news for many, studies have proved that magnesium can not only relieve a migraine attack but can also alleviate the symptoms of migraine.
Side Effects of Magnesium
There is a very less chance of magnesium overdose via natural foods, however, supplements when taken in more than recommended doses might lead to problems like nausea, diarrhea, low blood pressure, cardiac arrest and possibly death. People with kidney problems should consult their doctor before starting on magnesium supplements.
A miraculous and powerful mineral in itself, magnesium needs to be incorporated in our diets more which is possible if we eliminate the modern diets that are low in magnesium. Add magnesium rich fruits and vegetables to your diet. We are sure you will get many easily available options around you!