Minerals like sodium, potassium, zinc, magnesium and others, are essential for many functions in our bodies. Without these essential minerals, we would be open to disease, fatigue and other health related issues. The goal of this article is to look in depth to what is magnesium, what positive effects it has on our system and what foods are rich in this important mineral.
What is magnesium?
As a group, minerals are one of the four groups of essential nutrients, the others of which are vitamins, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids. The five major minerals in the human body are calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and magnesium.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays upwards to 1000 functions in our bodies. Magnesium plays a role in 300 enzyme reactions on your human body. Each mineral is absorbed in the gut via unique, complex pathways that can involve a cascade of receptors and binding proteins. Foods can both provide dietary minerals and contain components that impact the bioavailability of minerals in the digestive system. Nutrient minerals, being elements, cannot be synthesized biochemically by living organisms. Plants get minerals from soil. Most of the minerals in a human diet come from eating plants and animals or from drinking water.
What are the positive effects?
Research has linked high magnesium diets with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. This may be because magnesium plays an important in glucose control and insuline metabolism.
A magnesium deficiency may worsen insuline resistance, which is a condition that often develops before type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, insulin resistance may cause low magnesium levels.
In many studies, researchers have linked high magnesium diets with diabetes.
(2) Cardiovascular health
The body needs magnesium to maintain the health of muscles, including the heart. Research has found that magnesium plays an important role in heart health.
A 2018 review reports that magnesium deficiency can increase a person’s risk of cardiovascular problems. This is partly due to its roles on a cellular level. The authors observe that magnesium deficiency is common in people with congestive, heart failure and can worsen their clinical outcomes.
People who receive magnesium soon after a heart attack have a lower risk of mortality. Doctors sometimes use magnesium during treatment for congestive heart failure (CHF) to reduce the risk of arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm.
Magnesium levels may play a role in mood disorders, including depression and anxiety.
According to a systematic review,
low magnesium levels may have links with higher levels of anxiety. This is partly due to activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is a set of three glands that control a person’s reaction to stress.
However, the review points out that the quality of evidence is poor, and that researchers need to do high quality studies to find out how well magnesium supplements might work for reducing anxiety.
Foods with high magnesium
(1) Dark chocolate
It’s very rich in magnesium, with 64 mg in a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving — that’s 16% of the RDI.
Dark chocolate is also in high in iron, copper and manganese and contains prebiotic fibre that feeds your healthy gut bacteria.
What’s more, it’s loaded with beneficial antioxydants. These are nutrients that neutralize free radicals, which are harmful molecules that can damage your cells and lead to disease.
Avocados is as filling as it is nutritious. One medium avocado provides 58 mg of magnesium, which is 15% of the RDI.
Avocados are also high in potassium, B vitamins and vitamin K. And unlike most fruits, they’re high in fat — especially heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.
In addition, avocados are an excellent source of fibre. In fact, 13 of the 17 grams of carbs in an avocado come from fibre, making it very low in digestive carbs.
Types of nuts that are particularly high in magnesium include almonds, cashews and Brazil nuts.
For instance, a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of cashews contains 82 mg of magnesium, or 20% of the RDI.
Most nuts are also a good source of fibre and monounsaturated fat and have been shown to improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels in people with diabetes .
The goal of our nutrition is to aim and create equilibrium in our bodies. Magnesium provides a solid foundation of health and longevity.
Love and Peace