Marvelous Minerals: Magnesium for bone and muscle health

So behind! This is supposed to be last Thursday’s blog. Magnesium is a ‘macromineral,’ so we need to intake hundreds of milligrams a day. Think like macronutrients (proteins and fats) and how important they are, same for minerals. Other macronminerals are calcium, sodium, potassium, chloride, and phosphorus. Your body cannot produce it, therefore you have to get it through your food sources. Magnesium is found predominately in the bones (60-65%) and 25% in found in muscles. In bones it’s located in two spots. Magnesium gives bone their structure in the crystal lattice and bone ‘scaffolding.’ It is also found on the surface of bones, where it is a storage site of magnesium that the body can draw on in times of poor dietary supply. Along with calcium it regulates nerve and muscle tone. It keeps nerves relaxed by acting as a chemical gate-blocker. It prevents calcium from rushing into the nerve and activating it. When a nerve is overactivated it can send too many messages to muscles and cause muscles to over contract. This is why magnesium deficiency is associated with: muscle tension, muscle soreness, muscle spasms, muscle cramps, and muscle fatigue. Magnesium is in high demand by other body functions as well. More than 3,000 enzymes (proteins that trigger chemical reactions) require magnesium for function. It’s involved int he metabolism of proteins, carbs, and fats; in addition to helping genes function properly. The cardiovascular system, nervous system, digestive system, muscles, kidneys, liver hormone-secreting glands and the brain all rely on magnesium for metabolic function. Magnesium may help prevent/treat:

  • alcoholism
  • asthma
  • autism
  • chronic fatigue
  • congestive heart failure
  • coronary artery disease
  • diabetes
  • epilepsy
  • glaucoma
  • heart attack
  • HIV/AIDs
  • hypertension
  • migraine
  • multiple sclerosis
  • osteoporosis

Colorful Swiss chard

How can you get magnesium?

Excellent sources: spinach and swiss chard

Very good sources: mustard greens, summer squash, broccoli, halibut, turnip greens, pumpkin seeds, and peppermint.

Celery, a good source of magnesium

Good sources: cucumber, celery, kale, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds.

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