We're used to hearing about how our bodies need omega-3s, calcium, protein, and antioxidants, but how often do we hear about needing often forgetten nutrients like iodine or potassium? Even iron has made its way to the B list, but one mineral in particular is often left out of the spotlight: magnesium. It's been discovered that magnesium may possibly play a larger role in good health than previously thought.
Magnesium is an essential macromineral, meaning our body does not supply it; we must obtain it from our diet in several milligrams each day. The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for magnesium varies by age and gender.
Our bones, tissues, cells, organs, blood, and other bodily fluids, all utilize magnesium. It's responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in our body. This is not a nutrient that sits on the sidelines! Magnesium helps relax nerves and muscles, builds and strengthens bones, maintains blood circulation, regulates blood sugar and blood pressure levels, helps metabolize macronutrients, promotes bowel regularity, helps regulate sleep cycles, and basically plays a role in every one of our body’s systems.
When looking for a supplement, small studies have found that magnesium in the aspartate, citrate, lactate, and chloride forms is absorbed more completely and is more bioavailable than magnesium oxide and magnesium sulfate. For bone health, it's best to balance your intake with calcium, vitamin K, and vitamin D (the other bone-building superstars). However, before you stress about finding the right ratio, let me tell you it isn’t necessary to have a math degree! Just think variety. Eating a variety of colorful fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes will provide the ideal ratio nature intended.
Foods rich in magnesium:
- Pumpkin and sesame seeds
- Almonds and almond butter
- Cashews and cashew butter
- Spinach, Swiss chard, and collard greens
- Flax seeds
- Raw cacao
- Sea vegetables
Signs of magnesium deficiency:
- Frequent headache
- Muscle cramps
- Tingling and/or numbness
- Arrhythmia, irregular heat beat
- Weak bones
- Nausea/vomiting or lack of appetite
- Weight gain
Looking to enrich your diet with magnesium? Increase consumption of greens, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains. Of course, a daily NutriBlast can help you do this!