Published: 08/15/2014 - Updated: 08/15/2014
Magnesium is a metal very easily found in nature in the form of salts. Of all the metals in the world, it is the eighth most common on Earth, and in the ocean, it is the second most common, after sodium.
This mineral is hugely important for the body in keeping its natural balance. It is found in nerve cells, for which it is largely important for proper nervous system functioning.
Magnesium’s bodily functions
- Metabolism: Magnesium influences protein and nucleic acid metabolism.
- Enzymes: Absolutely necessary to activate enzymes. Helps transport sodium and potassium through cell membranes.
- Muscles: Influences calcium levels inside cells, and collaborates in muscular contraction.
- Bones: Contributes to bone growth, and nerve and muscle performance. Absolutely indispensable for preventing osteoporosis.
- Children and school: Magnesium is essential for good school performance in children.
- Heart: Consuming adequate amounts of magnesium helps control certain circulatory diseases, like hypertension, angina, heart attack, arrhythmia (irregular cardiac rhythm), etc.
- Teeth: Also strengthens and sends nervous signals to the teeth.
- Laxative: Provides a laxative effect when taken in high doses; acts as an antacid when taken in small doses.
- Poisoning: It has been attributed to helping reduce the effects of lead poisoning.
- Relaxing: Contains relaxing properties that help manage pains associated with fibromyalgia or muscle tears.
- Depression: Magnesium is appropriate for treating depression.
- Kidney stones: an appropriate treatment, helps reduce kidney stones.
- Drugs and alcohol: following appropriate treatment, it is very useful for people that have greater nutritional needs than normal, or for those who abuse drugs or alcohol.
- Chronic illnesses: helps treat chronic, debilitating illnesses, and people who have recently undergone surgery.
- Migraines: it has been proven to prevent headaches (but does not treat them). It is a useful preventive remedy for people who suffer from frequent headaches. It is recommended to take 500 mg a day. Always do this, however, under the supervision of a professional.
- Menstrual cramps: using 400 mg of magnesium a day, one week before or during your period, could help reduce irritability, breast pain, or depression that frequently affects some women.
Proper treatment should be carried out under medical supervision
Magnesium deficiency is relatively common, which is due to a bad diet, eating lots of processed and fast foods (of poor nutritional value), diabetes, alcoholism, taking frequent diuretics, or poor nutrient absorption in the intestines, among other things.
Symptoms of dietary Magnesium deficiency:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Asthma and bronchitis
- Memory loss
- Because magnesium contributes to muscular relaxation, this deficiency should translate into a constant sense of fatigue.
- A fairly tell-tale sign of magnesium deficiency is eye spasms.
- A diet low in magnesium could affect cardiac muscles, causing arrhythmia, tachycardia, or a pinching in the chest.
- Osteoporosis or osteoarthritis.
- Magnesium deficiency can cause stress, as well as hypersensitivity to stress. This is a viscous circle.
Foods that contain magnesium:
Cacao (420 mg), walnuts (approx. 410 mg), soy flour (230 mg), almonds (230 mg)
Nuts are also rich in sodium (peanuts, hazelnuts, pistachios), as well as legumes, whole grains, ginger, beans, fresh leafy greens, and dried fruit.