Back to Basics- All About Magnesium

What is magnesium?

Magnesium is a predominantly intracellular mineral that facilitates as many as 300 enzymatic reactions. 60 percent of magnesium in the body is found in the bone, 25 percent in muscle, and the remainder in the fluids and soft tissue.

Why do we need it?

We need to have a good amount of magnesium in our bodies for a variety of reasons:

  • Structural integrity of teeth and bones
  • Regulates contractility of heart muscle
  • Relaxes smooth muscle
  • Decreases coagulation of the blood
  • Necessary for essential fatty acid metabolism
  • Essential for protein synthesis
  • Used to produce urea in the urea cycle in the liver
  • Along with vitamin B6 it is useful for prevention of kidney stones

How do we get magnesium?

There are a variety of foods that contain good amounts of magnesium. Such foods include:

  • Almonds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Quinoa
  • Swiss Chard
  • Wheat germ
  • Cashews
  • Brown rice
  • Spinach
  • Kidney beans

How do we know if we are deficient in it?

Unfortunately, many of people living in the United States are deficient in magnesium. This is because we eat a lot of processed foods and the soil our crops are grown lacks the mineral. Some signs of deficiency include:

  • Muscle spasms and tightness
  • Painful menstrual cramps
  • High blood pressure and heart arrhythmias
  • Increased blood triglycerides and cholesterol
  • Nerve conduction problems

Source: The Nutritional Therapy Association