What Is Magnesium & Why Do We Need It?

Published November 22, 2012

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Magnesium rich foods

What is Magnesium?

Few substances have such a broad impact on your general health as magnesium. It’s a mineral that’s essential for the body to function.

About half of your body’s magnesium is stored in your bones and about a quarter in your muscles. Magnesium is also found in the cell membranes and your chromosomes.

Why your body needs Magnesium

Magnesium is vital for more than 300 of your body’s metabolic reactions. It plays a major role in producing energy, by burning carbohydrates and fat. It also enables your body to store this energy in your cells.

Magnesium is also needed for the movement of calcium and potassium across nerve cells. This creates the nerve impulses that allow muscles to contract and relax.

As well as general mobility, this is essential for maintaining a regular heart rhythm and healthy blood flow.

Along with calcium, magnesium is very important for bone health. Maintaining healthy levels of magnesium in the body may also help to relieve menstrual and premenstrual symptoms, and may reduce the duration and frequency of migraines.

Dietary sources of Magnesium

Good sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables, wholegrains, bran, nuts, beans, peas and bananas.

Your body’s magnesium levels can be lowered by excessive alcohol intake. Likewise, health conditions such as blood sugar imbalances or urinary or gastrointestinal problems, or some medicines can cause a drop in magnesium stores.

In these cases magnesium supplementation provides a reliable way to maintain optimum levels.

Always read the label, use only as directed. If symptoms persist, seek advice from your healthcare professional.

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