Magnesium is a critical micronutrient
Magnesium, how it works and why your body needs magnesium.
All of our cells contain magnesium. In fact the average human body has around 28 grams of this important mineral within it at any given time. Most of it is found in your bone muscles and soft tissue. This macro mineral plays an important role in over 300 enzymatic reactions in your body. It’s no exaggeration to say that magnesium is involved in a huge number of your body’s major processes.
Let’s take a look.
- First magnesium plays an important role in metabolism in fact it acts as a cofactor and helps convert the food you eat, into energy. When we eat, food is broken down and this allows the constituent carbohydrate fat and protein to enter the body cells. There, these nutrients are turned into fuel or used as building blocks for the body. To use the fuel as energy, magnesium contributes to the production of ATP. It is during this process that the cells create valuable energy stores to allow the cells to do their basic functions.
- Second magnesium is an important mineral because in conjunction with calcium it helps your muscles to relax and contract appropriately. For that reason magnesium is important in the prevention of cramps during exercise by ensuring appropriate electrolyte balance. This doesn’t just apply to your skeletal muscles the muscles that you use when you walk run and jump but also your heart muscle. It also works to keep your heart beat regular and your blood pressure under control.
- Third your body uses magnesium to build new bone cells and this is especially important in those processes concerned with bone strengthening and repair. Getting adequate magnesium ensures that you can maintain your bone integrity as you grow older.
Sadly a large part of the population in the Western world is not getting enough of the mineral. The recommended daily intake in the United States is 400 milligrams for a 30-year old male and 310 milligrams per day for a similarly aged female with these requirements increasing with age or pregnancy.
Yet research has found that half of Americans don’t obtain enough of the mineral from their diet. Foods like unrefined whole grains spinach and kale nuts and seeds and a variety of fruits and vegetables are potentially all excellent sources. That said, vegetables and fruits can only absorb magnesium while they are growing and due to the mineral depletion in our soils, these foods typically contain much less of this important mineral now than they did 100 years ago. And bear this in mind – there’s currently no law requiring farmers to label the nutritional content of their crops so even if you are eating foods that are known for being magnesium rich, it is really difficult to know for sure if you are getting adequate amounts.
For that reason, a high-quality readily absorbed a magnesium supplement is an easy way to make sure you’re getting enough of this really important mineral.