The mineral magnesium is found all throughout the earth, sea and in plants, animals and humans. It’s the fourth most abundant mineral found in the human body and is actively involved in more than 600 functions of our systems. It helps to convert what we eat into energy, assists in the creation and repair of DNA and RNA, plays a part in muscle movement, works to create new proteins from amino acids and regulates neurotransmitters sending messages in the brain and nervous system.
During exercise, magnesium helps to transport blood sugar to the muscles. During a strenuous workout, lactic acid can build up in the muscles and cause cramping but increasing your intake of magnesium can help dispose of the lactic acid.
Recent studies indicate that nearly half of the citizens of the United States and Europe get less than the daily recommended amount. Lack of this essential mineral has been linked to migraines and muscle fatigue. It’s also been linked to insulin resistance, one of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes. The muscles and liver cells cannot properly absorb sugar and magnesium plays such an important role in this process. Since high levels of insulin also results in loss of the nutrient through the urine, increasing intake is important.
Magnesium deficiency has also been studied as a contributing factor to depression and anxiety. One thought is that the tightening or cramping of muscles triggers the “fight or flight” response, releasing epinephrine and cortisol. It’s is also one of the few nutrients that can increase neuroplasicity, the ability to create and repair brain cells and make new neural connections.
Magnesium can be found in foods such as pumpkin seeds, fish like mackerel, salmon and halibut, black beans, avocados, dark chocolate, almonds, cashews, quinoa, swiss chard and spinach. Load more of these foods into your diet to reap the many benefits of magnesium.