Magnesium is an important mineral that can fight various illnesses, including depression. Learn about the importance of magnesium in the diet and how you can take advantage of it.
All nutrients are very important, but some have a greater impact on health when they are below the optimal level of the body (you can read more information about magnesium deficiency). Therefore, it is very important not only to take advantage of the benefits of magnesium, but also to monitor its need in the body.
Among other things, magnesium is responsible for the regulation of calcium, energy production and the balance of cell functions, its deficiency can trigger symptoms ranging from cramps to hypertension, poor circulation and heart problems. To have a good amount of this nutrient in the body, it is essential that your menu is reinforced with foods rich in this mineral, and in some cases, you must resort to supplementation.
Magnesium: The king of minerals
Magnesium is among the four most important mineral salts for our health, it is essential in various body processes. It is also related to the proper functioning of the nerves and muscles and plays an important role under muscle contraction and relaxation. Along with cardiovascular health, studies indicate that this mineral could regulate the heart rate and act as a preventive factor for various diseases.
In addition, it is essential for nutritional balance. Apart from improving the absorption of vitamin D, magnesium helps regulate calcium in the body and fix it properly in the bones. Therefore, this nutrient is also essential for those trying to strengthen bone health, and its presence is essential even for the formation of teeth.
Signs and consequences of magnesium deficiency
The lack or malabsorption of magnesium can present in several ways: at first, the individual may present acute weakness, cramps, muscle aches and spasms, problems that also occur due to the imbalance in the absorption of calcium. Identifying the problem is not an easy task, even laboratory tests are not as accurate as the availability of this mineral in the body.
As much of it is concentrated in the organs and bones, leaving a minimal circulating parcel in the bloodstream, detecting magnesium deficiency depends on factors that go far beyond the simple recognition of symptoms.
Precisely for this reason, before any suspicion, it is essential to consult a doctor to obtain an analysis of the entire nutritional status. In summary, this nutrient has an unquestionable importance and deserves special attention in the daily diet, since it is the best way to guarantee its adequate supply.
Magnesium for depression
The research was conducted by the University of Vermont and the results showed that magnesium pills may be the solution to the disease that is considered "evil of the century." According to the study, the tablets can significantly improve depression in just two weeks. And for those who are concerned about side effects, know that they are minimal compared to those currently used for treatment.
126 52-year-old adults were needed for the research. And the main thing is that they had mild to moderate depression. The participants were divided into two groups in which one took magnesium tablets and the other did not
The researchers concluded that magnesium's benefits were effective regardless of the age, gender, or antidepressant use of the people involved in the study. This is due to the low dose of the magnesium tablet, which was administered in only 248 milligrams.
How much magnesium do we need?
In a balanced diet, the need for magnesium is, on average, 320 mg / day for men and 230 mg / day for women. The best way to achieve this cut is to invest in magnesium-rich foods, especially dark plants, seeds, oilseeds, and grains.
It is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and is involved in more than 300 biochemical functions. About 60% of magnesium is found in bones, while the rest is in muscles, soft tissues, and fluids like blood.
One of the main functions of magnesium is to act as a cofactor or "helper molecule" in the biochemical reactions that enzymes carry out continuously.
The magnesium is important against conditions such as osteoporosis, constipation and asthma, in addition to improving the health of the nerves, muscles and bones and helps with protein synthesis and cell metabolism.
Common symptoms of magnesium deficiency include neck and back pain, anxiety, tiredness, migraine attacks, muscle weakness and muscle spasms, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, insomnia, heart arrhythmias, and diarrhea.
A very common symptom of this mineral deficiency is a craving for raw cocoa or dark chocolate, as chocolate is rich in this essential mineral. A deficiency in this can be a significant cause of diabetes, depression, and menopausal symptoms.
11 fundamental benefits of magnesium
Here are some important benefits and effects of magnesium.
1. Increase performance
Depending on the intensity with which we do a physical activity, we may need 10-20% more magnesium during it, compared to the state of rest.
Magnesium helps transport blood sugar to muscles, and to eliminate lactic acid that accumulates in muscles during exercise and causes pain.
On the other hand, it also helps to improve the amount of time that certain activities are done, such as running, cycling, and swimming, and it reduces the levels of insulin and stress hormone.
2. Provides more energy
Magnesium helps increase energy production in the body and promotes enzyme activation. This activates adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and, therefore, increases our energy levels.
Having very low amounts of magnesium in our body means that we will tire faster and need more oxygen during exercise.
3. Helps against constipation
Magnesium helps relax the muscles of the digestive tract. This water-soluble nutrient relaxes the muscles of the intestine and facilitates bowel movements.
4. Promotes a healthy pregnancy
Magnesium is one of the most important nutrients for a healthy pregnancy, as it reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis, normalizes blood pressure and increases tolerance to pain during labor. Plus, it's an easy way to avoid dangerous cramps in pregnancy.
5. Improves sleep health
Magnesium has a calming effect, helps relax the mind, and makes it easier to fall asleep. It also increases the production of melatonin, reduces the amounts of stress hormone (cortisol) and allows you to have a restful sleep.
6. Helps to have healthy bones
The amounts of magnesium in the body are directly related to our bone density. Having low levels of this mineral in the body can be a cause of osteoporosis. This helps regulate calcium levels and should be consumed especially during growth periods.
7. It is very good for the nervous system
In conjunction with other electrolytes, magnesium regulates various biochemical reactions in the body. This enhances the transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, which improves the conduction of nerve impulses, muscle contractions, and heart rate.
Magnesium in combination with calcium improves the structural development of bones, and is really necessary for the synthesis of DNA and the antioxidant glutathione.
8. Magnesium for a healthy heart
Magnesium is very important for heart health. The heart stores large amounts of this mineral, especially in the left ventricle. This stored mineral works together with calcium to lower blood pressure and prevent hypertension.
Having high blood pressure is one of the main reasons a heart attack can occur. When there is not a proper balance of magnesium with other minerals like calcium, a heart attack can occur due to severe muscle spasms.
9. Works to fight migraine headaches
Magnesium reduces the severity of migraine attacks and the frequency with which they occur, as it is involved in the function of neurotransmitters and blood circulation. Magnesium helps control migraine headaches, this happens by releasing hormones to relieve pain and prevent narrowing of blood vessels that increase blood pressure.
10. Improves collagen production
Magnesium enhances the production of collagen, which is a natural protein found in tissues such as tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, and the skin. In turn, this protein improves skin and hair health, reduces joint pain, promotes intestinal health, improves metabolism, and increases muscle mass.
11. Improves mineral absorption
Magnesium improves the absorption of vitamins and minerals such as sodium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus in the small intestine. It also helps to activate vitamin D stored in the body, which has no function in its inactive form.
Important sources of magnesium
Foods that are high in magnesium include almonds, cashews, avocados, bananas, broccoli, spinach, whole grains, tomatoes, lima beans, artichokes, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, barley, and raw cocoa.
Remember that it is always best to get magnesium through healthy foods, not supplements. However, there are some supplement options that can be very helpful, such as magnesium chloride or magnesium threonate.
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