Magnesium is a mineral essential to the body’s everyday functions, and we can’t live without it. Magnesium is a vital nutrient your body needs for essential functions and to prevent illness. Despite its essential nature, 48% of Americans consume inadequate amounts of magnesium in their diets. This trend has been attributed to a decrease in the consumption of nutrient-rich foods, such as pumpkin seeds, cashews, and spinach in the diet, as well as an increase in industrial farming and food processing, which reduces the amount of magnesium present in whole foods. Magnesium increases GABA, which encourages relaxation and sleep. Despite how essential magnesium is most people don’t get enough, so here are foods that are high in magnesium:
- Black beans
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dark chocolate
- Whole grains
- Yogurt and milk
Provides you with better sleep
Magnesium plays an essential role in sleep regulation, and a lack of it negatively impacts sleep. While magnesium is known to help the body relax, it can also improve insomnia symptoms. People diagnosed with insomnia may struggle with irritability, depression, and sleepiness. By taking 500mg of magnesium daily, you can improve your overall sleep health. It can help you stay asleep longer, concentrate more and relieve the stress associated with sleep deprivation.
Helps you maintain a healthy heart
When it comes to heart health, magnesium is beneficial to healthy heart rhythm and can help transport necessary electrolytes into cells. Magnesium is essential to heart health, and you want to make sure you get enough of it. In a review published in May 2019 in Cardiology Research and Practice, researchers found that a low level of magnesium in the blood may increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In addition, the review showed that a low magnesium level is associated with atrial fibrillation (afib), the most common heart rate disorder. Afib occurs when a malfunction in the heart’s electrical system causes the upper chambers of the heart to quiver. (Dallas and Michael Cutler, 2022)
Relieves occasional constipation
Constipation can be very uncomfortable at times. Magnesium has been used as a laxative for many years in East Asia. Relaxes muscles in the intestines to help with a smooth flow as stool passes. Magnesium helps draw water into waste and makes it easier to push things through. It has been proven through studies that magnesium is great for those diagnosed with IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome). When it comes to occasional constipation, magnesium is a gentle reliever; it won’t cause emergency bathroom runs unless you take too much.
Magnesium is a mineral with many benefits, but its most known benefit is relaxation. While magnesium levels vary based on age, sex, and activity level, you should always try to meet your recommended intake level. From relaxing muscles, relieving constipation, and improving heart health. Magnesium is essential to our health and should be monitored and supplemented when needed.
If you are interested in learning more about magnesium, click here to schedule a virtual Comprehensive Health Assessment with Dr. Tawainna Houston.
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Gröber, U., Schmidt, J. and Kisters, K., 2015. Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy. Nutrients, 7(9), pp.8199-8226.
Dallas, M. and Michael Cutler, P., 2022. How Magnesium Keeps Your Heart Rhythm Healthy. [online] EverydayHealth.com. Available at: <https://www.everydayhealth.com/atrial-fibrillation/diet/where-to-get-your-magnesium-for-healthy-heart/> [Accessed 24 May 2022].