magnesium health benefits

Top 14 Magnesium Health Benefits and Where to Get It From

Minerals are essential nutrients that often go unnoticed in our diets. One of the most important among them is magnesium. A large number of bodily functions require the presence of magnesium to function properly. We’ll look at 14 top magnesium health benefits and where to get if from in this article. But let’s look at magnesium’s function first.

How essential is magnesium? It is involved in over 600 reactions in your body, including:

  • Energy production: Assists in converting food into energy.
  • Formation of protein: Helps to create protein from amino acid.
  • Genetic function: Is essential in the creation and repair of DNA and RNA.
  • Muscle movement: Takes part in the contraction and relaxation of muscles.
  • Regulation of the nervous system: Helps to regulate neurotransmitters. These carry messages throughout the brain and nervous system.

A sustained deficiency of magnesium in your body can create serious health issues. On the list of health conditions and diseases brought on by a prolonged deficiency of magnesium are:

  • Kidney and liver failure;
  • Hypertension;
  • Migraine headaches, glaucoma or Alzheimer's disease or multiple sclerosis;
  • Restless leg syndrome, osteoporosis;
  • Insomnia; a depressed immune system;
  • Nutrient deficiencies of vitamin B1, vitamin K, potassium and calcium;
  • Worsened symptoms of PMS;
  • Mood swings and behavior-related disorders;
  • Cavities, tooth decay and gum disease;
  • Muscle weakness and cramps;
  • Impotence.

From the lists above, it is pretty easy to understand there are a ton of magnesium health benefits. Also, you can be certain that you have plenty in your system that you need to pay attention to. Magnesium can be found in many common foods, but if necessary, it can be taken in a supplement. As a supplement, however, there are some precautions for which you need to be made aware.

Precautions for Using Magnesium

When it comes to magnesium supplements, you can get too much of a good thing. In fact, for some, taking magnesium as a supplement instead of ingesting it in the food they eat can cause nausea, cramps, and diarrhea. Additionally, magnesium supplements do not work well for people who take diuretics, heart medicines, or antibiotics. People with diabetes, intestinal disease, heart disease or kidney disease are at increased risk for other severe medical conditions as well. A very high dose of magnesium can be fatal.

As a general guide, the proper dosage of magnesium supplements is related to weight and age, which can be found on this Web MD chart. But, to be safe, you should consult a health care professional before adding this supplement to your diet.

Top 14 Magnesium Health Benefits and Where to Get It From

Regulates Calcium, Potassium and Sodium Levels

One of the magnesium health benefits that will get your blood flowing is its contribution in the regulation of three other essential minerals: calcium, potassium and sodium.

What to do:

  • Add at least 1 cup of spinach to your diet three to four times a week.
  • Raw spinach in a salad is one of the best ways to get all of its nutrients.

How it works:

A cup of spinach contains 40% of the daily value (DV) of magnesium at 157 mg.

Eases Muscle Pain

The easing of muscle pain is toward the top of our long list of magnesium health benefits.

What to do:

  • Add 1 cup of Epsom salts to a tub full of warm water when you bathe.

How it works:

Epsom salts are high in magnesium and work wonders in bringing relief to muscle pain and inflammation.

Constipation Relief

Another of the many magnesium health benefits is found in how it can help bring constipation relief.

What to do:

  • Consuming a couple of 1 oz. squares of dark chocolate a few times a week can help prevent and bring relief to constipation .

How it works:

There are 95 mg (24% DV) of magnesium in a single 1 oz. square of dark chocolate. You’ll note that some laxatives use chocolate as a main ingredient.

Migraine Headache Relief

Migraine prevention and relief is another among the many magnesium health benefits.

What to do:

  • Add 1 cup of Swiss chard to your diet three to four times per week.

How it works:

Swiss chard contributes 38% DV or 154 mg of magnesium in a single cup. Consuming it regularly can help prevent migraines.

seeds and almonds
You can enjoy pumpkin seeds as such or use them as ingredients for a delicious dessert.

Combats Depression

Also included our list of magnesium health benefits is its ability to combat depression.

What to do:

  • Have a handful of roasted pumpkin seeds or almonds as a snack if you’re feeling blue.
  • Cooking with or using either of these oils for salads is another way to combat depression.

How it works:

Magnesium is essential in maintaining a healthy mood. An ounce of almonds or 1/8 cup of pumpkin seeds each contribute more than 20% DV of magnesium.

Treatment for Insomnia

Another addition to our list of magnesium health benefits is its use as a treatment for insomnia.

What to do:

  • Add 1 medium sliced banana to a cup of yogurt and consume it 30 to 45 minutes before going to bed.

How it works:

Magnesium helps to get control of your racing mind, relax your muscles and lower’s your heart rate to help you get to sleep. The combination of yogurt and banana provides 82 mg (21% DV) of magnesium.

Bladder Control

Getting better control of your bladder is another prized use on the list of magnesium health benefits.

What to do:

  • Substitute black beans in place of other types of beans in your regular cooking.
  • Consume a cup of black beans several times a week.

How it works:

Besides fighting off infections, interstitial cystitis, and nephritis, which are common factors in bladder control issues, magnesium also assists in the contraction and relaxation of bladder muscles. A cup of black beans contributes 120 mg (30% DV) of magnesium to your diet.

Pregnancy

Of the many magnesium health benefits its importance in pregnancy is one of its top contribution to the health of both mother and baby.

What to do:

  • Make certain that your diet contains plenty of magnesium rich foods throughout your pregnancy.
  • Make sure that your prenatal vitamin supplement includes proper levels of magnesium.

How it works:

Magnesium benefits both mother and baby during pregnancy by increasing the pain threshold, reducing the risk of bone deficiencies, optimizing blood circulation, and preventing eclampsia. Magnesium also contributes to fetal tissue development.

Cardiovascular Health

Believe it or not, magnesium health benefits are extended to your cardiovascular health as well.

What to do:

How it works:

Potassium is a major contributor to lowering your cholesterol and systolic blood pressure, as well as cleansing your blood to prevent the buildup of plaque in your arteries. But without magnesium, potassium cannot perform this function. A single medium avocado provides 15% DV of magnesium along with loads of beneficial fats to boost your heart health even further.

ripe sweet figs
Try eating raw figs and discover their surprising taste!

Collagen Production

A boost in collagen production for healthy hair and skin might be one of the more shocking items among the magnesium health benefits.

What to do:

  • Another delicious way to add more magnesium into your diet is the consumption of figs.
  • Figgy pudding doesn’t have to be reserved for the holiday season.

How it works:

Magnesium helps to synthesize certain proteins into collagen in order to regulate the hormones which enhances bone and joint health as well as healthy skin and hair. ½ cup of figs provide 15% DV of magnesium.

Energy Boost

You can also get a boost in energy as one of the many magnesium health benefits.

What to do:

  • Consume a serving of salmon, halibut, mackerel and other cold water fish several times a week.

How it works:

Because of all of the essential bodily functions of magnesium, which we listed above, maintaining a proper level of magnesium in your system gives your body a boost of energy. 100 grams of salmon provides not only 6% DV of magnesium, but also several other essential vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids to give you a boost.

Improved Dental Health

Another on our list of Magnesium health benefits is improved dental health.

What to do:

  • Consume cashews and almonds as regular snacks instead of reaching for something sweet or salty.

How it works:

The magnesium in found in cashews and almonds (20% DV per ounce) is an essential element in preventing the formation of cavities, tooth decay and gum diseases.

Strengthening Bones

Strengthening bones is also among the many magnesium health benefits.

What to do:

  • Add blackstrap molasses in place of sugar or maple syrup in marinades, bar-b-cue sauces, oatmeal, baked beans and many other recipes.

How it works:

Besides the high calcium content in blackstrap molasses as a major contributor to strengthening bones, the added benefit of magnesium (60% DV per 100 grams) makes calcium more effective in this process.

leaves of kale
Add kale to your daily diet and you will enjoy both its fresh taste and energizing effect!

Relief from PMS Symptoms

The final, but in no way the least, on our list of magnesium health benefits is its help in relieving PMS symptoms.

What to do:

  • Maintain your levels of magnesium through magnesium rich foods on a daily basis or take a supplement.

How it works:

Magnesium helps to regulate water retention, relieve abdominal cramps, combat fatigue and reduce irritability, which are all major symptoms of PMS.

Final Thoughts

Magnesium plays such an essential role in how your body functions. So it should be an obvious conclusion that adding magnesium rich foods or a magnesium supplement to your regular diet routine will improve your health.

Make use of one or more of the top 14 magnesium health benefits and their sources in our list above to enhance your overall health. Then, tell us about it in the comments section below.

The images are from depositphotos.com.

Alice Maria Fuentes

Alice Maria Fuentes

Alice grew up in Los Angeles and currently lives in California, though she likes to visit home frequently. She graduated from a marketing specialist degree and worked at the core of outreach teams for more than 5 years.

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