Originally published February 19 2013
Six amazing health benefits of magnesium - and some great ways to get more of it
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Poor dietary habits, pharmaceutical drug use, and nutrient-depleted growing soils are among the most common reasons why many people today are dangerously deficient in the mineral magnesium, a necessary nutrient for the proper function of virtually all systems of the body. The good news, though, is that incorporating more magnesium into your diet does not have to be an burdensome chore, and doing so could drastically improve your health in ways you never before imagined.
As it turns out, magnesium deficiency is linked to causing all sorts of chronic health problems that, if left unaddressed, will eventually lead to even more serious health problems down the road. This is why it is important to eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods and take high-quality magnesium supplements regularly for optimal health. Here are six ways that magnesium can improve your health:
Since magnesium is required by the body to properly digest foods, supplementing with it can help 1) alleviate gastrointestinal discomfort and disease. Magnesium acts as a coenzyme in the digestive tract, which means it helps break down food and assimilate nutrients into your body. Magnesium also aids in the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, as well as triggers the healthy production of bile in your liver.
The fourth most abundant mineral in the body, magnesium is utilized as part of more than 300 essential metabolic reactions, one of which involves 2) regulating healthy blood sugar levels. Magnesium deficiency is directly linked to causing insulin resistance, which in turn can lead to diabetes and other chronic health conditions.
Magnesium is also necessary for 3) maintaining a healthy heart, as the mineral aids in the proper transport of potassium, calcium, and other nutrient ions across cell membranes. According to a 2006 study published in the journal Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, these nutrients help promote healthy nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm.
The mainstream media is constantly talking about the importance of calcium for maintaining healthy bones, but a much more important mineral for 4) nurturing healthy bones is magnesium. In fact, roughly half of your body's magnesium supply is stored in your bones, and magnesium also acts as a co-factor with both calcium and vitamin D to maintain and strengthen your bone structure.
Because of its strong elimination potential, magnesium is considered a 5) powerful detoxifier as well, especially since your body's "master antioxidant," glutathione, requires magnesium in order to function properly. Heavy metals, environmental chemicals, pesticides and herbicides, and various other toxins are greatly inhibited from taking hold inside the body when magnesium is present.
Cancer rates have risen dramatically throughout the past century, and are expected to nearly double within the next few decades. But maintaining healthy magnesium levels in your body can 6) greatly decrease your risk of developing cancer. A study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that for every 100-milligram (mg) increase in magnesium intake, a person's risk of developing colorectal cancer drops by about 13 percent.
Some of the best food-based sources of natural magnesium include chlorophyll, seaweed, raw cacao, coriander leaf, dried pumpkin seeds, and almond butter. The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University (OSU) has provided a helpful writeup on its website that includes a list of foods with high levels of natural magnesium: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/magnesium/
You can also supplement with a high-quality magnesium supplement such as Natural Vitality's "Calm" formula. Other types of magnesium include magnesium oxide, magnesium amino acid chelate, magnesium orotate, magnesium chloride, magnesium lactate, magnesium sulfate, magnesium carbonate, magnesium glycinate, magnesium malate, and magnesium taurate, which you can learn more about here:
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