Minerals play an important role in helping our bodies grow, develop, and remain healthy, which makes it pretty easy to understand why they’re so important!
By helping to turn the food we eat into energy and ensuring the glands which produce hormones (parathyroid glands) work well, magnesium is one of a number of different important minerals that can help ensure we remain in good health.
Some of the main benefits associated with magnesium include:
- Reduce blood pressure
- Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
- Help fight inflammation
- Regulate muscle and nerve functions
What are the main benefits of magnesium?
Considering the number of important roles magnesium plays in keeping our bodies in tip-top shape, it might be easy to see why our bodies benefit so much from it. In saying that, there are a number of health benefits of magnesium that are worth knowing more about.
Reduce blood pressure
According to Harvard Health, a healthy and balanced diet is one of the best ways to control your blood pressure . And, it goes without saying, that a balanced diet involves consuming a number of different vitamins and minerals - including magnesium.
Magnesium essentially helps to regulate the body systems, helps blood vessels relax, and can ultimately help in controlling blood pressure.
Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
A study undertaken by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that high intakes of magnesium were associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes . In fact, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was shown to become around 4 percent lower with every additional 50mg of magnesium taken per day.
Help fight inflammation
Along with its plethora of benefits, magnesium also has anti-inflammatory benefits. That’s right, low magnesium intake is actually associated with inflammation and higher levels of CRP - one of the most acute-phase markers of inflammation .
Regulates muscle and nerve functions
Considering the number of functions magnesium is associated with, it may come as no surprise that magnesium is a critical mineral for both muscle and nerve functions.
Magnesium plays a role in nerve transmission and also helps in making muscles relax. This is why if you’re not getting enough magnesium, your muscles might start to cramp or you may experience spasms.
What are the symptoms of low magnesium in the body?
Although low levels of magnesium may not cause symptoms in the short term, according to Mayo clinic, chronically low levels can increase a person’s risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes .
Some early signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency that you should know more about include:
- Muscle contractions
- Muscle cramps
- Abnormal heart rhythms
Should I take magnesium supplements?
While it’s been said that not everybody gets enough magnesium in their diets, it’s important to remember that there are a number of magnesium-rich foods that can be incorporated into the next grocery shop that will help you meet your daily needs (300mg a day for men aged 19-64 and 270mg a day for women aged 19-64).
These foods include:
- Nuts (almonds or cashews)
- Wholemeal bread
- Leafy vegetables
- Whole grains
One of the best ways to know more about your magnesium levels is through a test.
If you are curious about your magnesium levels, there’s no time like the present to find out more. The most reliable way to do this is through a test; this can be done with your local doctor or from the comfort of your own home with an at-home lab test.
LetsGetChecked’s Mineral Test allows you to measure key nutrient levels and identify potential imbalances in magnesium, copper, selenium, and zinc. Online results will be available within 2-5 days and our dedicated medical team will be available to answer any questions you may have throughout the process.
You should consider taking the test if:
- You follow a vegetarian or vegan diet
- You have recently excluded a particular food group from your diet
- You have a condition that may impact the absorption of minerals
- You are taking medications that impact the absorption of some minerals
- Harvard Health Publishing. Key minerals to help control blood pressure. Online: Health.harvard.edu
- National Library of Medicine. Magnesium Intake, Quality of Carbohydrates, and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Results From Three U.S. Cohorts. Online: Pubmed.ncbi.nih.gov
- National Library of Medicine. Effects of magnesium depletion on inflammation in chronic disease. Online: Pubmed.ncbi.nih.gov
- Mayo Clinic. Nutrition and Healthy Eating. Online: Mayoclinic.org