Magnesium: an important mineral for your health: Your bones, brain, and heart all benefit from magnesium.
While the study was observational and did not show a direct cause-and-effect relationship between higher magnesium intake and lowering disease risk, there is no doubt that magnesium consumption is vital to your overall health.
"Your body also needs magnesium for optimal brain functioning, energy production, and bone formation," says Jenna Rosenfeld, MS, RD, CDN, CNSC, a dietitian at NewYork-Presbyterian/ Weill Cornell. "A deficiency in magnesium can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, migraines, and even make you feel more anxious or stressed."
The current recommendation for women age 50 or older is to consume at least 320 milligrams (mg) of magnesium daily. Good dietary sources of magnesium include nuts, leafy greens, soy products, avocados, whole grains (oats, barley, quinoa, cornmeal, whole wheat), beans, and peas.
Rosenfeld says it's easy to incorporate more magnesium-rich foods into your regular diet. "You can add spinach to scrambled eggs in the morning or as a side salad at lunch or dinner," she suggests. "Or, snack on almonds, cashews or peanuts for an afternoon pick-me-up. It's also easy to switch to whole grains, such as replacing white rice with brown rice."
Detecting a Deficiency
Most of the magnesium in your body is in your bones and soft tissues. Only about one percent of your total magnesium is circulating in your bloodstream, so it can be difficult to determine if your magnesium level is in the healthy range.
"A simple blood test evaluates only the serum (blood) content, which doesn't indicate the amount of magnesium that's stored throughout your body," Rosenfeld says. "Usually, magnesium levels are estimated by looking at your usual dietary intake, checking for symptoms of deficiency (see What You Should Know), and noting aberrations in other important mineral levels, such as calcium and potassium."
Doctors will generally suspect a magnesium deficit if they discover a person's dietary intake of magnesium is very low, she adds. "Magnesium deficiency may also be a side effect of a medication that is causing you to excrete too much magnesium or not absorb enough magnesium, such as diuretics (for hypertension) or proton pump inhibitors (for heartburn)."
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Signs of magnesium deficiency include:
* Nausea and vomiting
* Sleep disturbances
* Restless leg syndrome
* Low blood pressure
* Irregular heart rhythm
* Muscle weakness or spasms
* Poor fingernail growth
Caption: Spinach, nuts, and avocados are excellent sources of Magnesium, a mineral that is vital to good health.
SOURCES OF MAGNESIUM FOOD SERVING MAGNESIUM SIZE (MG) Quinoa, cooked 1 cup 118 Brown rice, cooked 1 cup 86 Almonds 1 oz 80 Spinach, cooked 1/2 cup 78 White beans, cooked 1/2 cup 77 Cashews 1 oz 74 Soy milk 1 cup 61 Black beans, cooked 1/2 cup 60
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|Publication:||Women's Nutrition Connection|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2017|
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