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The Health Benefits of Magnesium, the Forgotten Electrolyte

Magnesium, or Mg, is one of those elements that seems to be forgotten. In chemistry, it’s used as a catalyst for chemical reactions. In nature, it’s the eighth most abundant element. In the human body, magnesium is an electrolyte and helps maintain quality health. But unlike sodium and potassium, the more popular electrolytes, magnesium is rarely talked about. Not today though. We are going to talk about the many health benefits of magnesium and how to get more of it into your daily diet.

Magnesium affects most of the major functions of the body like energy production, nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction and heart rhythm. Needless to say, it’s pretty important.

The problem is that studies have shown that American’s aren’t getting enough magnesium either from improper nutrition, disease or even certain medications. It’s been estimated that as many as 75% are not meeting the daily recommended amount. Though you might not be chronically deficient in magnesium, even reduced levels can start to wreak havoc on your health.  

How can you tell if you are deficient in magnesium?

Doctors have identified eight signs and symptoms that point to magnesium deficiency:

  1. Muscle Twitches, Spasms, and Cramps
  2. Apathy, Depression, and Anxiety
  3. Osteoporosis
  4. Muscle Fatigue and Weakness
  5. High Blood Pressure
  6. Asthma
  7. Irregular Heartbeat
  8. Impaired Athletic Performance

Any of these eight could indicate that you are not getting enough magnesium in your diet. (Please note, always talk to your doctor about all your health concerns before you start any supplementation to correct a deficiency. Though these signs and symptoms could be related to magnesium deficiency, they could also be signs of something more serious that needs to be addressed immediately.)

Foods high in magnesium to add to your diet

Here’s the good news, unlike some vitamins and minerals, it’s very hard to over consume an amount of magnesium! It’s found in seeds, nuts, whole grains, beans, leafy green veggies and fortified breakfast cereals. Here are 8 foods to add to your diet that not only contain magnesium but lots of other nutrients as well. 

Almonds

Not only rich in magnesium, they are also high in healthy unsaturated fat, vitamin E, and copper. They are useful in helping prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer.

almond magnesium

Spinach

As one of the best dietary sources of magnesium, spinach is also one of the leading sources of calcium, making it a prime candidate for improving bone health. To reap the benefits of spinach, pair it with an acidic fruit such as a tomato or citrus fruit to help unlock the nutrients during digestion.

Dark Chocolate

In addition, dark chocolate contains a high level of antioxidants which helps reduce cancer-causing free radicals in the body. Eating dark chocolate can help improve your memory, brain function, and your cholesterol levels. Choose chocolate with a higher percentage of cocoa (70% or greater).

Peanuts

This legume is rich in biotin, a B vitamin, as well as monounsaturated fats and antioxidants making it a snack that is part of a heart-healthy, energizing and cancer-fighting diet.

Black Beans

Black beans are not only rich in magnesium but also iron, potassium, zinc, calcium, selenium and other micronutrients that are crucial for keeping your bones healthy, preventing heart disease, lowering your risk of cancer and keeping your thyroid functioning properly. Black beans can be eaten in meals or mixed into baked goods to add an extra punch of health.

Oats

Oats are part of a healthy diet because they contain fiber and a substance called beta glucan, which can help lower our bad cholesterol. Oats have been shown to have heart-healthy benefits and reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Avocado

Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber,  avocados are truly a superfood. Avocados can improve your cholesterol, protect your eyes and help you better digest nutrients from other foods.

Potatoes

Though the white potato typically gets a lot of bad press, it’s actually a great source of electrolytes and nutrients. Its health benefits include supporting heart health reducing chronic inflammation.

*As an added bonus to these foods, remember that Perfect Bar contain up to 30% of the daily recommended value of magnesium. Adding these nourishing foods to your diet not only helps you get the magnesium you need, but also helps improve the overall quality of your health. 

Health Wellbeing
Amanda Mercer
About me

Amanda Mercer, a former collegiate water polo player turned triathlete, owns her own fitness and wellness studio in southern Ohio. Her mission is helping all people find true health and fitness by working on all aspects of their life, not just their physical training. When she isn’t training at the studio or coaching, Amanda can be found swimming, biking, running, or cooking with her husband. You can follow her on Instagram at @thrivefittlife or @amandamercer_fitt or at www.thrivefittlife.com.

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