Magnesium and its Fantastic Benefits to your Health

Magnesium was first recognized as an element in 1755 by Joseph Black. Magnesium is reported to be the 8th most abundant element in the universe, named after Magnesia – a region in Greece where it is naturally occurring, although it only exists naturally in combination with other elements like carbon, calcium and oxygen.

This important mineral comprises 2% of the Earth’s crust, and forms part of chlorophyll, the green pigment that plants use to derive energy from sunlight. Not only is it an integral part of our planet, it is also biologically vital for the human body – every single cell in our bodies contains it and it is essential for over 300 of our bodies’ biological processes including having a role in making and repairing DNA, regulating neurotransmitters to achieve healthy brain function and nervous system, building new proteins from amino acids and helping to convert nutrients from food into energy.

Benefits of Magnesium

Magnesium has been proven to help fight depression, help reduce insulin resistance which occurs in type 2 diabetes and have a positive effect on high blood pressure. It also has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, to boost physical performance during exercise, to be a valuable aid in preventing migraine, to give relief from symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and to alleviate restless leg syndrome.

Including foods rich in Magnesium in your diet will, of course, be of clear benefit to your body, however in spite of this, magnesium deficiency (hypomagnesemia) is commonplace and occurs in around 2.5 to 15% of the population – it is believed by some nutritional experts that 50% in US and Europe do not consume their recommended daily dose.

Foods High in Magnesium

Magnesium can be found in certain fruit, leafy green vegetables, seeds, nuts and wholegrains, legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils etc), oily fish and even dark chocolate.

Other foods that are rich in magnesium include:

  • Pumpkin seeds – just 16grams will supply nearly half of the recommended daily intake (RDI)
  • Flax and chia seeds (consider seeded bread)
  • Spinach or kale
  • Dark chocolate (70–85% cocoa content)
  • Quinoa
  • Oily fish such as halibut, salmon and mackerel
  • Nuts such as cashews, Brazil nuts and almonds
  • Banana and avocado

Although it was scientifically debated for a long while, recent studies have now conclusively shown that magnesium can, in fact, be absorbed through the skin via a topical cream, transdermal patches or sprays so applying a magnesium body butter or cream is also an easy way to increase the magnesium levels in your body.

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