There is a reason why nutritionists and health experts emphasise so much on having a balanced diet with the right mix of all essential nutrients. Each one of these nutrients plays an important role in the body and its deficiency can lead to many diseases and complications that could stop you from living a healthy and happy life. Magnesium for instance is an important mineral that performs crucial functions in the body from controlling blood sugar, ensuring proper functioning of the muscles and nerves and also heart. It also keeps bone and teeth healthy. (Web story: Magnesium-rich foods good for your heart)
Most of magnesium we eat – almost 60% – is used by the bones to maintain their density. Not having sufficient magnesium in the body could lead to conditions like osteoporosis. Several studies have shown that eating a high-magnesium diet can keep diabetes away. It is always advised to include natural sources of magnesium in your diet instead of taking supplements as you get additional phytonutrients and antioxidants when to consume fruits and vegetables like spinach, guavas, bananas and okra. Nuts and seeds like almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashews among others are also high in magnesium.
“Magnesium is an electrolyte found in blood and other bodily fluids. It is essential for proper functioning of the muscles, nerves and heart. It also helps to regulate blood sugar and other metabolic processes. Every cell and organ needs magnesium to function properly,” says Preeti Gupta, Dietician and Founder of Perfect Health by Preeti Gupta.
Here are top reasons to add magnesium to your diet:
1. Bone health
Magnesium helps to keep bone and teeth healthy: It is essential for healthy bones as it helps to activate Vitamin D in the body, which is needed for calcium absorption. It helps to regulate calcium levels and promote strong bones and healthy teeth.
2. Promotes heart health and reduces blood pressure
Magnesium helps to regulate the heart beat and relaxes and dilates the blood vessels, which can help to reduce high blood pressure and cuts risk of heart disease.
3. Reduces stress
Magnesium helps to reduce stress by regulating the production of stress hormones. So it provides a calming effect and helps to relax the body.
4. Reduces Migraine pain
Magnesium helps to increase mental clarity and focus, sharpens our memory and can even reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. It helps to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines.
5. Improves skin health
Magnesium helps to regulate the production of collagen, which is a skin protein, so it helps to attain healthy skin. Magnesium is added in skin care supplement and gummies.
6. Boosts sleep quality
In order to sleep properly our body and brain need to relax. Magnesium activates the parasympathetic nerve system to relax our brain and nerve system. It also regulates melatonin which is a sleep hormone. So it prepares brain and body to sleep.
7. Enhances immune system
Magnesium has strong relation with immune system. It improves the white blood cells to fight with germs and destroy them. So when magnesium is low, body attacks its own cells and tissues instead of fighting infection.
8. Boosts energy levels and controls blood sugar
Most adults need 300-400 milligram of magnesium per day. It helps to convert glucose present in the food into energy. So keeping energy level stable it gives you natural energy boost throughout the day and also helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Sources of magnesium
“Magnesium is found in many natural sources of foods including green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grain. Good sources of magnesium includes spinach, chard, pumpkin seeds, yogurt or kefir, almonds, black beans, avocados, figs, dark chocolate, banana, some fatty fish, tofu and legumes. It can also be found in some fortified foods and dietary supplements,” says Preeti Gupta.