If you’ve read my blog post discussing the 10 mood-boosting nutrients, then you probably know a good deal about magnesium, the fourth most abundant mineral in the body that can prevent fatigue, confusion, irritability, apathy, and stress. But did you know that magnesium isn’t just for keeping the rainy days away? It has so many health benefits most of us don’t know about.

1. It regulates blood pressure
Inadequate magnesium intake has been associated with hypertension. On the other hand, taking a magnesium supplement can reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The change isn’t significant enough to normalize a hypertensive patient’s blood pressure, but it can still help fight the common adverse effects of high blood pressure.

2. It can prevent cardiovascular problems
Did you know that a magnesium deficiency can lead to heart disease? This mineral protects your heart from irregular heartbeats and the muscle damage that could result from chronic stress. It can also ward off numerous threats to your cardiovascular system, such as abdominal pain, constipation, cramps, flatulence, and vomiting.

3. It can fight osteoporosis
When it comes to maintaining a healthy skeletal system, magnesium is just as important as calcium. A deficiency of this mineral can lead to osteoporosis. Magnesium helps regulate not just calcium, but also copper, zinc and vitamin D, making it crucial to maintaining bone health.

4. It contributes to a healthy pregnancy
Magnesium is one of the nutrients essential to ensuring optimal health throughout pregnancy. Sufficient magnesium supplementation during pregnancy can boost the expectant mother’s pain tolerance and minimise the risk of osteoporosis, which will, of course, result in a healthy delivery.

5. It can prevent digestive problems
Individuals suffering from severe constipation can find relief by taking a high dose of water-soluble magnesium supplement. Magnesium attracts water and softens the stool as it passes through the intestines. It acts as a laxative that relaxes intestinal muscles and helps maintain a healthy bowel movement rhythm.

6. It helps in nutrient absorption
You might have a hard time absorbing vital vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium if your body lacks magnesium. With adequate magnesium intake, your small intestine will have an easier time absorbing nutrients and your body will be more capable of detoxifying harmful toxins.

7. It can fight diabetes
Individuals with a magnesium deficiency have a higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Magnesium plays a key role in carbohydrate and glucose metabolism. It also influences insulin secretion and sensitivity. Ultimately, it can help control blood glucose levels. In fact, several studies have shown that a 100mg increase in daily magnesium intake can decrease diabetes risk by approximately 15%.

8. It wards off asthma attacks
If you suffer from chronic asthma, you may be able to find relief from adequate magnesium supplementation. Magnesium helps regulate breathing and relaxes bronchial muscles. In fact, intravenous magnesium is often administered to individuals who are experiencing breathlessness and uncontrollable wheezing.

More than 300 biochemical reactions in your body rely on magnesium. Around 50% of the mineral is stored in the bones, and the other half can be found in the cells of tissues and organs. If you are experiencing anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, muscle spasms, and weakness, nausea, pain in the neck and back, muscle twitching, or a combination of these symptoms you might have a magnesium deficiency.

What foods are rich in magnesium?
You can find plenty of magnesium in sea vegetables, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains. Other excellent sources are sweet potatoes, lima beans, artichokes, beet greens, tomatoes, peanuts, and of course, chocolate. In fact, chocolate’s high magnesium content is the reason why it can ward off the ill effects of stress, put you in a state of relaxation and improve sleep quality.

Like all good things, too much magnesium intake can have negative effects. It can even lead to health problems as serious as diarrhea. But if you take magnesium in the form of nutritional supplement, side effects won’t be a problem.

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