For your body to function properly, the cells and tissues require trace amounts of magnesium. Indeed, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium is about 320 mg per day for women, 420 mg for men and 240 mg for children.
Yet in USA, nearly 20% of the population consumes less than 2/3 of the recommended amount of magnesium. Note that a deficiency of this mineral can lead to several health problems.
Magnesium is found mainly in the bones and teeth. It is also present in the blood, heart, muscles and brain, and is essential for over 300 metabolic functions.
Unfortunately, the modern and unhealthy lifestyle sometimes prevents us to adopt a healthy and balanced diet, which is why we consume insufficient amounts of magnesium. During the long, eventful days at work, the body tends to use available magnesium rapidly.
What is the role of magnesium?
Magnesium is used to:
- Transports the calcium, silica, potassium and certain vitamins (D and K) through the cell membranes
- Reduces damages due to heavy metals, free radicals and toxins
- Detoxifies the body
- Boosts energy
Magnesium also contributes to the development of many processes in the body. It contributes to cell and bone formation, nutrient metabolism, and is involved in the proper functioning of muscles, heart and kidneys.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency
Magnesium deficiency may manifest different symptoms, such as:
- Leg cramps
- Chronic fatigue
- Anxiety, irritability and depression
- Heart problems
- Facial tics
- Blood clots
- Irregular blood sugar
What diseases can be prevented with magnesium?
Consuming adequate amounts of magnesium can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, since this mineral can improve memory functions of the brain. In addition, magnesium provides a rejuvenating effect for the muscles, which helps prevent Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, people with Parkinson’s often have low magnesium levels in the brain.
Other chronic diseases are related to lack of magnesium, such as type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
How to know if the body gets enough magnesium?
The best way to know if the body contains enough magnesium is the “gut health test”. In fact, an excessive amount of magnesium results in loose or watery stools.
It is important to adopt a diet consisting mainly of natural foods, some rich in magnesium such as:
- Dark chocolate
- Almonds and walnuts
- Flax seeds