Magnesium is an important mineral that helps regulate blood sugar and blood pressure. It creates protein and strengthens bones and the immune system. Involved in heart, nerve and muscle function, magnesium may also help to prevent liver problems.
Food processing, soil conditions and dietary habits all play a role in decreasing levels of magnesium. Vitamin and mineral depletion in the soil has been linked to the use of pesticides and fertilizers by some experts. Also, the amount of magnesium in refined oils, sugar and grains have been reduced to almost zero.
Mother Earth News, Charles Benbrook, Ph.D. and agricultural expert explained:
High nitrogen levels make plants grow fast and bulk up with carbohydrates and water. Although the produce is heavier and larger, they lack in nutritional quality.
Dr. Mildred Seelig, author of The Magnesium Factor:
If restaurant, homemade, or store-bought food contains fat, refined flour, and/or sugar as one or more of the major ingredients, it is a low-magnesium, and quite possibly high-calorie, food. A steady diet of such foods year after year can produce a magnesium deficit. The deficiency can develop in to metabolic syndrome X, a major factor in heart disease.
Foods that contain magnesium:
Beans, oats, spinach, curly kale, beet greens, baked potato, artichoke, butternut squash, plantain, Swiss chard, okra, raspberries, blackberries, whole grains, fish, mackerel, halibut, blackeye peas, nuts and cooked quinoa. Spinach, dark chocolate and almonds are good sources for magnesium, however, they contain oxalates that may hinder absorption.
Those who have difficulty digesting foods, or have a liver disorder and the elderly may become deficient in magnesium.
Symptoms of low magnesium levels:
Low calcium and potassium levels, sodium retention, tremors, fatigue, loss of appetite, numbness, tingling, weakness, muscle spasms, nausea, abnormal heart rhythms and mood changes.
There are various forms of magnesium. Oxide is the most prevalent, but is not very effective. Aspartate is not recommended because it is similar to excito-toxins aspartame and msg. Other forms include citrate, malate, glutamate, glycinate, taurinate, lactate, chloride and a few more.
Magnesium lactate and chloride absorb better than the oxide form. Malate is combined with malic acid, which is found in apples, and helps to produce bile. It is also recommended for fibromyalgia and rheumatism. The B vitamins assist in magnesium absorption.
Daily Dose of Magnesium
The amount on average over the age of 19 are 200 to 250 milligrams every day. Not common at this dose, there exist a potential of a toxic overload, therefore an occasional three month program may be all that is needed to boost magnesium levels.