Magnesium, the mighty mineral

In today’s day and age, it’s never been more important to take care of our health. We all know the health benefits of taking vitamin C and of taking vitamin D, and we know how beneficial it is for us to eat a healthy diet and to ensure that we get enough water, but what about the other, lesser known minerals that are still vital to our health? Do you know about the vast array of vitamins and minerals that you need to take in every day in order to keep your body functioning at an optimal level? There are a huge number of minerals and vitamins that are present in food, and unless you’re aware of them and working to consume the right amounts, you may miss out on something vital and potentially develop a deficit somewhere down the line.

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Magnesium is one of these vital minerals and while you mightn’t have jumped to the importance of it, it’s responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in your body ­– although, worryingly, over 55% of Americans don’t get enough magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that affects your nerves, the rhythm of your heart, your blood glucose, your immune system and your bone strength. You might think that you’re doing enough to take care of your bone health by taking natural osteoporosis supplements, but there are other things that you can do in order to ensure that you’re looking after your body. High up on the scale of looking after yourself is ensuring that you’re getting enough magnesium, because it can have a huge impact on your body if you don’t get enough.

What’s the deal with magnesium?

You would usually be able to get your recommended daily dose of magnesium from a varied diet that included a range of leafy greens, nuts, grains and seeds. Sadly, modern farming techniques have stripped the amount of magnesium that we’re getting from our food; where once before we got enough magnesium from our food, now modern food has fifty per cent less magnesium than before. In addition to this, many foods that we eat are made with refined flours instead of whole wheats, and so many of the natural nutrients (like magnesium) are now removed from our diets. Food manufacturers compensate for this by ‘enriching’ our food with things like iron and B4 vitamins, but this doesn’t replace the magnesium in our lives.

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How can we get enough magnesium?

When you’re planning your diet, it can be helpful for you to ensure that you’re focusing on eating organic foods that are rich in natural minerals and vitamins. Eating over-processed food and non-organic foods will mean that you’re eating a diet that is sapped of things like magnesium and other important minerals.

Foods that are high in magnesium

You can get your recommended daily intake of magnesium from a range of food sources. Let’s take a look at some of these here:

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Soybeans
  • Avocados
  • Fish
  • Dark chocolate
  • Low fat yoghurt

Making sure that you’re buying organic wherever possible and working to maximise the variety in your diet will help you to hit your recommended daily targets of magnesium. I hope that this article on the benefits of magnesium has proven useful for you and that you manage to strike the right balance between health, diet (and supplements if you need them). We may not be aware of all of the different vitamins and minerals that our body needs, but by keeping a balanced diet that is rich in plant foods, we are better prepared for a healthy lifestyle.

 

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