I’ve heard that magnesium supplements have health benefits. Should I take one?
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in our body(1). It plays a substantial role in the prevention of numerous health conditions.
It plays several important roles in the health of your body and brain. However, you may not be getting enough of it, even if you eat a healthy diet. How can you tell if you are not getting enough? This important mineral plays a substantial role in the prevention of numerous health conditions.
Nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, leafy vegetables, milk, yogurt and fortified foods are good sources. One ounce of almonds contains 20% of the daily requirement an adult needs. Even water (tap, mineral or bottled) can provide it.
Here are some of the biggest health benefits offered by magnesium:
Improved heart health
A recent study published in Nutrition Journal concluded that magnesium levels circulating in the blood are inversely associated with the incidence of heart disease and hypertension. While more research is needed to determine optimal serum levels, researchers were able to identify higher levels as having a protective effect on heart health.
In other research, magnesium supplementation has also been beneficial in lowering high blood pressure (2), especially among people with insulin resistance and prediabetes.
Reduced risk for osteoporosis
Magnesium and calcium work together to keep your bones strong and healthy, so it makes sense that getting enough of these minerals can help slow or prevent skeletal weakening that often happens with age. Research suggests that getting enough of this mineral in the diet could help maintain musculoskeletal health as you age and even prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures (3).
May help prevent type 2 diabetes
Magnesium also benefits people with type 2 diabetes. Studies suggest that almost 50% of people with type 2 diabetes have low levels of it in their blood. This can impair insulin’s ability to keep blood sugar levels under control.
Additionally, research indicates that people with a low magnesium intake have a higher risk of developing diabetes (4).
May improve sleep patterns and quality
Have you ever wondered does it help you sleep?(5) The answer is yes! This mineral is known to have a calming effect for many people, which may help improve sleep. This could have substantial health benefits, considering that an estimated 50% of older adults have some degree of insomnia, or difficulty sleeping at night.
May reduce and prevent migraines
People with frequent migraines may have low magnesium levels (6). Some studies show that supplementing with this mineral can provide relief from migraines. Many researchers believe that a deficiency may trigger waves of altered cortical activity, clumping of blood platelets in the brain, constricted blood vessels, and release of certain neurotransmitters that can lead to migraines.
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May help regulate mood
If you experience anxiety, you may also experience depression since these two disorders often go hand in hand. In fact, 90% of those with an anxiety disorder experience depression and 85% of those with major depressive disorder are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Getting enough magnesium may also help uplift your spirits. Some experts believe the low magnesium content of modern food may cause many cases of depression and mental illness. Although more research is needed, supplementing with it can reduce symptoms of depression in some people.
Whether or not you take a magnesium supplement, there’s little doubt about the health benefits of adding it to your diet. You can boost intake throughout the day by incorporating magnesium-rich ingredients into your everyday cooking.
by Andrew Ellis