(NaturalNews) Magnesium is an important mineral that is essential to good health. In addition to improving blood sugar regulation and bone health, magnesium also has an impact on the health of our hearts. It can even be called an essential nutrient for preventing heart attack deaths.
How Magnesium Benefits Heart Health
Magnesium prevents platelet clotting, dilates blood vessels and regulates heart rhythms. It can also inhibit spasms in the arteries of the heart, which block blood flow and could result in a heart attack. Magnesium also helps to keep blood pressure stable.
Magnesium Prevents Heart Attack Deaths
Researchers have concluded that intravenous magnesium can reduce the odds of heart attack death when given to heart attack patients immediately after the onset of a heart attack. The fact that magnesium is widely available, inexpensive and generally very safe makes it even more viable as a treatment for heart attack patients. Unfortunately, its benefits are often lost in the scramble to promote profitable pharmaceutical drugs.
Are You Deficient in Magnesium?
Unfortunately, many studies show that few people consume enough magnesium in their diets these days. But how does one know if his or her levels of magnesium are too low? One indication of a low magnesium level is a low level of red blood cells. Depression, anxiety, muscle spasms and stomach problems are other indicators that a person might need to have his or her magnesium levels checked by a physician.
What can cause a magnesium deficiency? Prescription drugs such as antibiotics, antidepressants, or estrogen can lower magnesium levels. Too much vitamin D can cause the same result. Drinking too much alcohol or caffeine can cause the body to flush this valuable vitamin through their diuretic actions. Over consumption of monosodium glutamate (MSG) can also deplete the body of magnesium. Communities that have hard water, which contains magnesium, have shown decreases in ischemic heart disease among their residents, indicating that those who drink soft water might be more prone to magnesium deficiency.
Replenishing Magnesium Levels
What is the best way to rebuild a healthy level of magnesium? Supplements are one option, but natural foods are certainly the preferred method of getting more magnesium. Magnesium is found naturally in whole grains, brazil nuts, almonds, and leafy vegetables such as spinach. Chocolate is also a good source of magnesium (and magnesium deficiency may help explain why some people have intense cravings for chocolate).
Liquid trace minerals are an easy way to get more magnesium into your normal foods and beverages. Epsom salt baths are also highly effective for replenishing your magnesium levels.
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more: www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/10/welco...