Magnesium is the second most abundant mineral in the body and is required for more than 300 metabolic reactions. Not getting enough magnesium is associated with a long list of medical conditions and diseases, including heart disease, atherosclerosis, type II diabetes, chronic fatigue, migraine headaches, high blood pressure, stroke, kidney disease, colon cancer, osteoporosis, asthma, hyperactive nervous system, insomnia, muscle cramps, psychiatric conditions, depression, poor memory, lack of concentration, and sudden cardiac death! Magnesium deficiency also elevates C-reactive protein, a result of systemic inflammation, which predisposes you to virtually any disease.
Causes of Magnesium Deficiency
There are several factors that have been shown to increase the body’s need for magnesium, including stress, anxiety, lack of exercise, eating large amounts of “bad” fat, sugar and salt, diuretics, antacids, antibiotics, gluten, alcohol, exposure to pesticides and herbicides, low vitamin D intake, and calcium and fiber supplements. It is these factors in combination with not eating enough magnesium-rich foods and lack of supplementation that contribute to magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium helps reduce systemic inflammation, blocks tissues from becoming fibrotic (as in uterine fibroids, endometriosis, prostate hypertrophy/enlargement), protects genes (DNA) against environmental damage, stimulates collagen production for repair of injured tissues, and helps prevent swelling and degeneration of joint cartilage.
Magnesium-Rich Foods and Supplement Recommendations
The way to ensure you and your family are getting enough magnesium is to eat green vegetables, dark chocolate (at least 70 percent), and raw nuts (no nuts containing sunflower, peanut, cottonseed or other inflammatory oils). In addition, it is a good idea to take a magnesium supplement. One of the best forms is magnesium citrate. The recommended dosage is 400 to 800mg depending on many factors. The more stress you are under, the more magnesium you need. The more you use your brain in thinking, the more magnesium you use. The more active you are the more magnesium you use up. The larger frame you have, the more magnesium you require. Prescription drugs, recreational drugs and alcohol require extra magnesium.
If you take calcium supplements, it is very important that you are taking calcium and magnesium in a 1:1 ratio. In other words, if you are taking 500mg of calcium, you should also take 500mg of magnesium to avoid a calcium imbalance.
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for good health. It is vital to eat magnesium rich foods and taking extra a magnesium supplement if you want to help prevent some of the most common diseases.