This article covers the importance of magnesium, the signs of magnesium deficiency, and the benefits of whole food magnesium and magnesium supplementation.
Magnesium is 1 of 102 essential minerals that is crucial to the human body. It is a key player in bone health, metabolism, maintaining health blood sugar levels and even your mood. Magnesium is also, unfortunately, under-consumed by most of the population. Magnesium deficiency can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes and depression. This decline in public magnesium intake is attributed to poor nutrient content of produce and grains as well as the public’s increase intake in processed foods.
Regulating Magnesium in the Body
Most of the magnesium stored in your body can be found in the musculoskeletal system. Magnesium consumed in the diet is regulated through a four-step process: absorption by the gut, renal filtration, reabsorption, and excretion. Magnesium is filtered through the kidney (2.4 grams per day) and absorbs up to 95% of the nutrient. The excess is excreted through urine, which is why urinary magnesium levels are the best indicator of magnesium intake.
Factors of Magnesium Deficiency
Conditions Associated with Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium Intake Through Whole Foods
The highest sources of magnesium in whole foods primarily come from nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains and vegetables. Your daily intake of magnesium can be negatively affected by consuming processed foods, sugar, saturated fat, and refined grains. These foods can also affect your intake of other essential nutrients and should be avoided. Below are the best whole food sources of magnesium.
Magnesium Intake Through Supplementation
With the previously mentioned poor nutrient content of produce and grains, magnesium supplementation has proven to be the best addition to maintain healthy magnesium levels. Adequate magnesium supplementation has also been linked to reduced stress and depressive symptoms. The addition of a magnesium supplement is beneficial to replenish magnesium stores and maintain healthy magnesium levels for the long term. The recommended daily intake of magnesium varies based on age, gender and reproductive status.