By Aliya Waqas

Magnesium is one if the essential mineral needed for good health. Magnesium is found in soil in large amounts and if the food is grown in that soil it is automatically rich in magnesium. These days the chemical treatments to increase the production of crops and use of commercial fertilisers such as calcium, potassium and phosphorus may reduce the amount of magnesium which is naturally preserved in soil and this is the reason more than 80% of the people are deficient in magnesium.
Magnesium plays an important roles in our body some of them are discussed below;

  • Magnesium is responsible for the activation of 300 enzymes which are involved in the metabolism of food components and synthesis of many products.
  • Magnesium plays an important role in transmission of nerve impulses.
  • Along with calcium magnesium helps in the formation of healthy bones and teeth.
  • Magnesium helps in the synthesis of proteins and fatty acids.

Benefits of Magnesium

1. Magnesium helps in lowering blood

Recent studies suggest that magnesium acts as a calcium channel blocker , which means that along with calcium and potassium, it reduces the risk of hypertension.

2. Magnesium helps to prevent heart diseases

One of the most important benefit of magnesium is, it helps to prevent heart diseases. The deficiency of magnesium increases palpitation and thus increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

3. Magnesium in diabetes

Magnesium and insulin are directly related to each other. Magnesium plays a vital role in synthesis and action of insulin and insulin help in the transport of magnesium through red blood cells in a body , as a result it aids in preventing insulin metabolism and type 2 diabetes.

4. Muscle pain and magnesium

Magnesium along with calcium help to improve muscle tone and relax nerves. Magnesium could treat joint and muscle cramps due to any medical condition like osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, and restless leg syndrome. Magnesium and calcium help increase bone mineral density and thus prevent osteoporosis.

Magnesium deficiency

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for a normal adult is 240mg/day.
Magnesium deficiency may cause

  • Tremors
  • Muscle spasm
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tachycardia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleeplessness

Sources of magnesium

Good sources of magnesium are

  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Dark chocolate

Moderate sources of magnesium are milk and other dairy products.
Consumption of any five of these food may prevent magnesium deficiency . They include
1 cup oatmeal
1/ 2 cup of boiled spinach
1 cup of kidney beans or a cup of lentils
2 slices of whole wheat bread
30 grams of nuts.
Supplements of magnesium and calcium are required in some cases when the individuals are taking diuretics or other medicines for hypertension. It is better to consult doctors if you are on such medications in order to prevent magnesium deficiency.