17 Magnesium Filled Foods That Can Lower Your Risk of Anxiety, Depression, Heart Attacks And More!
Magnesium is vitally important for biological function and optimal health. It’s the fourth most abundant mineral in your body, and researchers have detecte more than 3,750 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins.
More than 300 different enzymes also rely on magnesium for proper function. This reflects the impact magnesium has on your biochemical processes, many of which are crucial for proper metabolic function. This includes but not limited to:
- Creation of ATP (adenosine triphospate), the energy currency of your body
- Relaxation of blood vessels
- Muscle and nerve function, including the action of your heart muscle
- Proper formation of bones and teeth
- Regulation of blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, which is important for the prevention of type 2 diabetes4,5,6,7 (In one study,prediabetics with the highest magnesium intake reduced their risk for blood sugar and metabolic problems by 71 percent)
-Lack of Magnesium Can Trigger Serious Health Problems
If you’re lacking in cellular magnesium, it can lead to the deterioration of your cellular metabolic function, which in turn can snowball into more serious health problems.
This includes migraine headaches, anxiety and depression (magnesium acts as a catalyst for mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin), fibromyalgia, cardiovascular disease, sudden cardiac death, and even death from all causes.
Magnesium also plays a role in your body’s detoxification processes (including the synthesis of glutathione) and is therefore important for minimizing damage from toxic exposures.
Perhaps most importantly, magnesium is vital for the optimization of your mitochondria, and this has enormous potential to influence your health, especially the prevention of cancer, but also for general energy and athletic performance.
-The Importance of Magnesium for Mitochondrial Health
Mitochondria are tiny bacteria-derive organelles residing inside your cells. Your organs need energy to function properly, and that energy, known as adenosine triphospate or ATP, is largely produce in the mitochondria.
Mounting evidence suggests that most health problems can be trace back to mitochondrial dysfunction, so making sure you get the right nutrients and precursors your mitochondria need for optimal performance is extremely important for health, disease prevention, and exercise performance.
As explained by mitochondrial researcher Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., in the video above, magneium plays an important role. Without it, other strategies aimed at improving mitochondrial health simply may not work.
Take athletic performance for example. It is in part dependent on your oxidative capacity, meaning the ability of your muscle cells to consume oxygen, and your oxidative capacity relies on your mitochondria’s ability to produce ATP by consuming oxygen inside the cell.
You can increase your oxidative capacity in two ways, and both require magesium:
- Increasing the total number of mitochondria in your cells by engaging in exercise. However, in order for new mitochondria to be create, you must have sufficient amounts of magnesium.
- Increasing the efficiency of your mitochondria to repair damage and produce ATP. This process also requires magnesium as a co-factor
-How Much Magnesium Do You Need?
A century ago, people got an estimate 500 milligrams (mg) of magnesiu from their diet. Courtesy of the nutrient-rich soil in which the food was grown. Today, estimates suggest we’re only getting 150 to 300 mg a day from our food.
Organic unprocesse foods tend to be your best bet, but since the magnesiu content of your food depends on the richness of magnesiu in the soil in which the plant was grown. Even organics are no guarantee you’re getting high magnesiu content.
Most soils have become severely depleted of nutrients. And for this reason, some magnesiu experts believe virtually everyone needs to take supplemental magnesium.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is around 310 to 420 mg per day depending on your age and sex,although some researchers believe we may need as much as 600 to 900 mg/day for optimal health.
Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of “The Magnesium Miracle”, suggests using your intestinal reaction as a marker for your ideal dose. Start out by taking 200 mg of oral magnesium citrate per day. And gradually increase your dose until you develop slightly loose stools.
When your body has too much magnesiu it flushes it out the other end, so in this way you can determine your own individual cutoff point. (Be sure to use magnesium citrate, as it’s known for having a laxative effect. It’s also better to divide your dose and take it two or three times a day instead of one large dose.)
When it comes to magnesiu supplements, my personal preference is magnesiu threonate. It seems to be most efficient at penetrating cell membranes, including your mitochondria, which can help boost your energy level. It also penetrates your blood-brain barrier and may help improve memory.
If you struggle with headaches or migraines, magnesium threonate may be a good alternative for that reason as well.
-Risk Factors, Signs and Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
A primary risk factor for magnesium deficiency is eating a processe food diet. And the reason for this is because magnesium resides at the center of the chlorophyll molecule. If you rarely eat leafy greens. And other magnesiu-rich whole foods (below), you’re likely not getting enough magnesium from your diet.
Magnesiu is also lost through stress, lack of sleep, alcohol consumption. And prescription drug use (especially diuretics, statins, fluoride, and fluoride-containing drugs such as flouroquinolone antibiotics). And tend to decline in the presence of elevate insulin levels.These are all factors that affect a large majority of people in the Western world. So it’s not so surprising then that anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of Americans are thought to be deficient in magnesiu.
Unfortunately, no lab test will give you a truly accurate reading of your magnesiu status. The reason for this is because the vast majority of the magnesium in your body is found in bones and soft tissues. Only 1 percent of it shows up in your blood. That said, some specialty labs do provide an RBC magnesium test that can give you a reasonable estimate. Perhaps the best way to ascertain your status is to carefully evaluate and track your symptoms.
Early signs of magnesiu deficiency include “Charlie horses” (the muscle spasm that occurs when you stretch your legs), headaches/migraines, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, fatigue or weakness. These are all warning signs indicating you probably need to boost your magnesium intake. More chronic magnesium deficiency can lead to far more serious symptoms such as abnormal heart rhythms. And coronary spasms, seizures, numbness and tingling. And personality changes.
Dr. Dean’s book, “The Magnesiu Miracle,” contains a far more exhaustive list of signs and symptoms. Which can help you determine whether or not you might be deficient. You can also follow the instructions in her blog post, “Gauging Magnesiu Deficiency Symptoms”,which will give you a check list to go through every few weeks. This will also help you gauge how much magnesium you need to resolve your deficiency symptoms.