Magnesium-rich foods offer a host of nutritional benefits due to the central role magnesium plays in keeping the body healthy. A wide range of different foods like legumes, nuts, seeds, bananas, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables all offer rich sources of magnesium. This valuable mineral can be found in high concentrations within the bones of the body, and the muscles, and it also resides within tissues and fluids throughout. Not surprisingly, low magnesium levels can set the stage for any number and type of health problems to develop. Here are just five of the many health benefits magnesium-rich foods have to offer:
1. Involved in Hundreds of Biochemical Processes
Magnesium-rich foods contain one of the body’s “jack-of-all-trades minerals,” that being magnesium, of course. Every cell in the human body relies on the presence of magnesium to carry out essential biochemical processes that keep cells functioning normally. This often undervalued mineral plays a role in more than 600 chemical processes throughout the body. For example, magnesium helps in the absorption of vitamin D and vitamin B6. It helps the body balance potassium levels, as well as facilitates the conversion of vitamin B6 to a form the body can use. As a cofactor agent, magnesium is involved in more than 300 enzyme systems in which it acts as a catalyst for more than a few cell functions, including:
- DNA and RNA synthesis
- Energy production
- Bone tissue development
- Muscle and nerve function
- Protein synthesis
2. Supports Healthy Heart Function
As one relatively small organ in the body, the heart works incredibly hard at keeping blood flowing, and it does this on a nonstop basis. In order to keep working as it should, the heart requires huge amounts of energy on an ongoing basis. The magnesium contained in magnesium-rich foods plays a central role in providing the level of energy the heart needs to do its job. Cells use magnesium to produce ATP, the energy molecule that fuels every process in the body. The ATP production process takes place in three stages, and magnesium is needed to carry out all three stages of the process. Not only that, but ATP molecules must attach themselves to magnesium ions in order for cells to be able to use them. In effect, magnesium enables the heart to receive the energy it needs to keep the body alive.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure Levels
Promoting healthy blood pressure levels is yet another key benefit of magnesium-rich foods. Magnesium has direct and indirect effects on blood pressure levels, both of which are important. The role magnesium plays in biochemical processes within the nervous system helps relax the “smooth muscle” cells that line your veins and arteries. This action prevents blood passageways from constricting, allowing blood to move through freely. Magnesium also prevents calcium from building up in the arteries, which can also impede blood flow when left unchecked. In fact, preventing calcium buildup in the arteries can greatly reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
4. Helps You Sleep Restfully
While wonky circadian rhythms and high stress levels can make it hard to fall asleep at night, a magnesium mineral deficiency will most definitely make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Magnesium’s role in regulating nerve and muscle activities not only enables the body’s muscles to relax so sleep can come but also relaxes or “shuts off” the mind. So, if you’re having trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep, or not feeling rested when you wake up, including more magnesium-rich foods in your diet may help.
5. Promotes Healthy Digestion & Relieves Constipation
The body’s digestive tract relies on a series of enzyme reactions to properly break down, digest, and absorb nutrients and to eliminate waste. When a magnesium deficiency persists, digestive problems such as constipation, bloating, GERD, and acid reflex may well develop over time. Magnesium plays a vital role in each of these reactions. Digestive processes in the mouth, stomach, intestines, and pancreas all require magnesium to produce the enzymes needed to convert and deliver food nutrients to the body’s systems.
Magnesium Deficiency & Signs to Watch For
In developed countries like the United States, rates of magnesium deficiency can affect as much as 20 percent of the "healthy" adult population, with rates running especially high among postmenopausal women, older adults and anyone with a chronic illness. The percentage of people who have low, but not quite deficient magnesium levels is quite likely the vast majority of the USA population. Being able to spot signs of a deficiency can go a long way toward correcting a number of health problems. Signs to watch for include:
- Migraine headaches
- Random aches and pains
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle twitching or spasms
While increasing your intake of magnesium-rich foods can help, if your body is unable to properly absorb this vital mineral, a quality magnesium supplement may be needed. Hallelujah Diet makes a supplement for just this purpose called Magnesium Complex. Magnesium Complex combines four bioavailable forms of magnesium and is specifically formulated to be rapidly absorbed in the body. So, if you’re looking a magnesium supplement that the body can actually absorb and use, Magnesium Complex is the way to go.