Is Magnesium the Miracle Mineral?
by Pavithra Karthik - Poshan Fitness
You must have learnt about Magnesium as an element in school. You would have heard about its health benefits if you are the health-conscious type who does ‘Research’ about health and fitness.
Magnesium is crucial for fat and carbohydrate metabolism, synthesising proteins and DNA, producing cellular energy and wound healing. It is essential for the function of more than 300 enzymes in our body. It will also help you be cool before and pain free during your periods.
Magnesium helps to maintain the delicate balance between Vitamin D, calcium and other minerals.
If you are already taking supplements for vitamin D or calcium but not seen improvements, you should include Magnesium rich food in your diet. Most doctors don’t realise the importance of this mineral while treating vitamin D and Calcium deficiency
Magnesium helps in preventing fatigue and low energy levels as it helps in producing energy at cellular level. It is a muscle relaxant which will relieve you from muscle cramps, constipation, insomnia, migraine headaches and high blood pressure. This is also why we take an Epsom salt bath for sore legs and muscles.
Low levels of Magnesium can manifest in numerous ways in our body. Some of these are :
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Thyroid problems
- Calcium deficiency
- Low energy levels
- High blood pressure
- Muscle cramps
- Poor sleep
- Headache, Migraine
The magic wand to cure all of these is to embrace Magnesium rich foods.
Even if you are on thyroid medication or not, Magnesium is essential for the optimal functioning of Thyroid gland (cells need Mg to convert T4 to T3). In many cases, improving the Magnesium intake is what is mainly needed to improve an underactive thyroid / Hypothyroid.
Magnesium also has a beneficial effect on Diabetes and insulin resistance as its essential for carbohydrate metabolism. Consuming Magnesium rich foods have been proved to lower insulin resistance and fasting blood sugar levels.
What depletes Magnesium from our body?
Stress, supplementation of calcium, Vitamin D, Iron (as the intricate balance of the minerals are compromised), excessive salt, excess sugar, meat, soft drinks and food grown with chemical fertilizers & depleted soil. Basically, our modern lifestyle and any processed food (that we see on TV).
How do we replenish it?
Some of the richest sources of Magnesium are what we have in plenty in our kitchen, but not on our plate.
- Melon/pumpkin seeds
- Drumstick leaves/moringa
- Sesame seeds
- Dals/lentils and other pulses
- Channa /chickpea
The above list is less popular than the ‘rich man’s food - salmon, oysters, walnuts and other exotic seafood.
Having the right amount of Magnesium will help you reduce your medication for other issues. Isn’t it clever to fix the leaks in a tank if you want it remain full?
Article by Pavithra Karthik - is a Certified Sports Nutritionist and an ISSA Certified Fitness trainer who helps to eat right , stay fit and lose weight. She is also the founder of www.poshanfitness.com
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