Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for proper biological functions and optimal health.
It is the 4th most abundant mineral in our bodies and there are over 3,750 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins in our bodies.
Over 300 enzymes are dependent on this nutrient for optimal function. This includes:
- Relaxation of blood vessels
- Regulation of blood sugar and insulin sensitivity
- Proper formation of teeth and bones
- Creation of ATP
- Muscle and nerve function
Lack of Magnesium Can Trigger Serious Health Problems
If your body lacks cellular magnesium, then a deterioration of cellular metabolic function can happen. This can result in severe health issues.
Health issues such as: migraine headaches, depression, anxiety, cardiovascular diseases or fibromyalgia.
This mineral is also vital for the processes of detoxification in the body such as the synthesis of glutathione
Ultimately, magnesium is needed for optimization of mitochondria, which is of utmost importance for cancer prevention and general athletic and energy performance.
How Much Magnesium Do You Need?
Hundred years ago people received about 500 mg of magnesium daily because of the highly nutrient soil in which their food was grown. Today people get only 150-300 mg of magnesium daily.
The RDA is around 310-420 mg daily, depending on age and sex, while some researchers suggest taking as much as 600-900 mg for optimal health.
As for magnesium supplements, magnesium threonate is one of the best options. It is extremely effective in penetrating cell membranes, including the mitochondria and blood-brain barrier.
Risk Factors, Signs and Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
The major risk for lack of deficiency is a highly processed diet.
Magnesium is also lost due to stress, lack of sleep, alcohol consumption and prescription drug use.
All of these factors affect a large percentage of Americans, so the fact that 50-80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium doesn’t come as surprise.
Some of the earliest signs of magnesium deficiency include muscle spasms, migraines, headaches, fatigue, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Chronic magnesium deficiency can lead to problems like seizures, numbness, tingling, abnormal heart rhythms, coronary spasms, and personality changes.
What Are the Foods High in Magnesium?
Dark-green leafy veggies are the highest source of magnesium. If you want to get the most of them, try juicing them. These veggies are:
- Beet Greens
- Bok Choy
- Turnip Greens
- Swiss Chard
- Brussel Sprouts
- Romaine Lettuce
- Collard Greens
Other foods that are particularly rich in magnesium include:
- Fatty fish
- Fruits and berries
- Nuts and seeds
- Parsley, fennel, cumin
- Cocoa powder
When Supplementing, Balance Your Magnesium with Calcium, Vitamin K2, and D
If you take supplements it is very important for you to know how nutrients interact with each other:
For instance, it is of utmost importance to balance between magnesium, calcium, vitamin K2, and vitamin D. These nutrients work in synergy and any imbalance increases the risk of stroke, heart attacks, and vitamin D toxicity.
- The best ratio between magnesium and calcium is 1:1. Note that the need for supplemental magnesium might be two times greater than calcium given that you are likely to get more calcium from your diet
- According to Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue, for every 1,000 IU’s of vitamin D you take, you may need from about 100 micrograms (mcg) of K2
- As for the vitamin D intake, get your vitamin D level tested twice annually to determine your personal dosage