Do you feel:
- Crave sweets during the day?
- Shaky, jittery, or have tremors?
- Fatigue after meals?
- Crave salt?
- Afternoon headaches?
If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you might have a magnesium deficiency.
Good health is one of the things to be thankful for. Unfortunately, 84 million adults in the U.S. are living with prediabetes, while another 27 to 28 million adults are affected with type 2 diabetes, so good health is not a given for everyone. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, and another 44 million have low bone density, putting them at an increased risk. From the body to the brain, psychological and mood issues like depression and anxiety plague people. There is something that may be beneficial for all of these issues and is a workhorse nutrient that does not get its share of the spotlight. It has been regulated to the shadows behind the flashier and more buzzworthy compounds that get recognition than this nutrient. Magnesium is the critically essential, time-tested, go-to reliable nutrient that everybody needs.
The human body contains about 25 grams of magnesium, which is needed for over 300 enzymes to react. The data from the NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) indicated that the majority of Americans from all ages consume less that than their respective EARs (estimated average requirements) on magnesium. It is a massive problem because magnesium deficiency plays a role in hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and migraine headaches.
Magnesium and Glucose Levels
Magnesium is required for several enzymes in glycolysis, which is the first process in glucose metabolism in the body, and it may explain why it is such an essential factor for blood sugar regulation in the body. Epidemiological evidence indicates that magnesium intake is inversely correlated with the risk of type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that higher magnesium intakes may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes as much as 17%, and 48% of people with type 2 diabetes may have hypomagnesemia.
The inverse correlations have been observed between circulating magnesium levels, fasting blood glucose, and insulin level. There is even a response to an OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test) for those with type 2 diabetes. Research shows that higher magnesium intakes are also associated with reducing the risk for cardiovascular mortality, particularly in women as it is estimated that 100 mg/day increase in dietary magnesium may confer as much as 25% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular mortality. Researchers have called subclinical magnesium deficiency “principal dicer of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis,” so naturopathic practitioners suggesting adding magnesium-rich foods to a person’s diet is beneficial to prevent magnesium deficiency from happening.
Magnesium and Mental Health
In regards to mental health, evidence has suggested that magnesium deficiency may play a role in the etiology of depression and that high-dose supplementation of magnesium may improve this condition. Studies found that other issues that have responded favorably to magnesium supplementation include irritability, insomnia, postpartum depression, and substance abuse in the body. There is some suggestive but inconclusive evidence that indicates that magnesium supplementation may be beneficial for individuals with mild anxiety and possibly owing to its role as a natural relaxing agent.
Magnesium and Osteoporosis
For osteoporosis, calcium gets all the attention when it comes to bone mineral density; however, magnesium is an essential component for the physical structure of bone density as well. There is about 60% of the body’s magnesium stored in the bones, and considering the high prevalence of suboptimal magnesium intake in North America, the concurrent high prevalence of osteoporosis is unsurprising. Concerning bone health, low magnesium status may interfere with the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation. In the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, a review was covered in which researchers affirmed that vitamin D could not be metabolized without the sufficient levels of magnesium.
Adding Magnesium-rich Food To Your Feast
With Thanksgiving coming around the corner, there is a way to bring magnesium to the holiday table. The good news is that this crucial mineral fits perfectly into Thanksgiving entertainment. People can serve mixed nuts as part of appetizers or hors d’oeuvres while their guests are socializing. Mixed nuts can provide a substantial amount of magnesium. They can be an excellent addition to turkey stuffing/dressing or a whole grain salad, which can provide even more magnesium that the body needs. Serving leafy greens like chard and spinach are reliable sources of magnesium, as well as certain beans like black beans and kidney beans are filled with magnesium.
Since nuts, seeds, and beans are high in phytic acid, which is a compound that binds to the minerals. So in order to increase the bioavailability of magnesium in these foods, soaking nuts, seeds, and beans is a traditional preparation method to neutralize some of this problematic molecule.
For dessert, adding chocolate is an excellent way to get magnesium in the body. Since the cocoa powder is a rich source of magnesium, research has been speculating that the chocolate cravings might be the body’s way of crying for magnesium. Not to mention, when foods are much higher in magnesium, they are not the usual subjects for intense cravings like chocolate.
“So for Thanksgiving, adding magnesium-rich foods can help cut back the sodium and carb intake of the holiday feast can be beneficial to your body to function correctly and good for your health.”-Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight
Magnesium is an excellent and beneficial nutrient for anyone to add to their Thanksgiving dinner. The nutrient plays many roles in the body like regulating blood sugar, improving mental health as a natural relaxing agent, and preventing osteoporosis from occurring. Adding this nutrient and some products can help the body metabolize and stable the blood sugar levels to their normal range for beneficial results.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
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