Sometimes, while we’re writing articles, we notice some nutrients mentioned over and over again as having qualities that are generally healthy for us. Of course, you have the usual suspects like different vitamins, protein, or antioxidants. But, one nutrient that’s been discussed a lot on Medicareful Living that doesn’t get a lot of credit is magnesium. It’s time we fix that. Magnesium is a mineral and an electrolyte, but the benefits of having a proper intake of magnesium in your diet cannot be overstated.
Magnesium Gives You a Mood Boost
One of the most-studied and well-known benefits of magnesium is what it can do for you mentally. Magnesium deficiencies have an established connection with several cognitive disorders. While the proper amount can improve mental function, insufficient amounts of magnesium in your diet can be linked to increased anxiety and depression. In fact, controlled supplementation of magnesium was found to be as effective in treating depression as an antidepressant medication in one study.
Magnesium can be a powerful nutrient to protect your mental wellbeing.
Further study into magnesium also shows that it can help us sleep better, primarily through moderation of the circadian rhythm. Both stress and sleep can have major influences on our mental health. Between its direct ties to mental health and influence on factors that can improve mental health, magnesium can be a powerful nutrient to protect your mental wellbeing.
Promotes Heart Health
Moving from the head to the heart, magnesium has long been linked with promoting a number of facets of heart health. First, there is a solid amount of evidence that a healthy magnesium intake can lower your blood pressure, which has wide-reaching effects on your heart health. Increasing your intake of magnesium may even lower your risk of stroke by as much as two percent for each 100 milligrams per day added. Conversely, a deficiency of magnesium is linked with an increased risk of congestive heart failure, as well as an increased likelihood that any cases that develop being worse than those with a health magnesium intake. Low magnesium levels also are connected with a higher risk of death from cardiac disease.
Higher levels of magnesium are generally associated with lower risks of most types of heart disease.
Part of the reason for this may be magnesium’s connection to inflammation. Low levels of magnesium have been linked with chronic inflammation, which influences many areas of the body, including the heart. Beyond inflammation, higher levels of magnesium are generally associated with lower risks of most types of heart disease. This is why it’s been suggested that people with heart conditions monitor their magnesium and maintain healthy levels.
Prevents or Aids with Diabetes
Heart disease isn’t the only chronic condition that magnesium could help aid. In fact, there are plenty of reasons to up your magnesium intake if you have diabetes or want to prevent yourself from developing it. As we mentioned earlier, magnesium can lower inflammation, which in turn can lower your risks of developing diabetes. Magnesium itself may play a key role in regulating insulin usage in the body, which further plays into a lowered chance of diabetes.
One study connected a high intake of magnesium with substantial decrease in diabetes risk.
It should only make sense, then, that a healthy intake of magnesium lowers your risk of diabetes. This belief has been backed by research, with one study connecting a high intake of magnesium with substantial decrease in diabetes risk. Another study claims that magnesium supplementation can improve insulin resistance, another key component of diabetes. It makes sense then that magnesium deficiency is common in people with diabetes. It should be noted, however, that this isn’t the case for everyone, and magnesium supplementation was found to not be effective in diabetes patients who didn’t have a magnesium deficiency.
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While these are three important benefits that a healthy intake of magnesium can help you achieve, they are certainly not the only ones. Magnesium is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions that are necessary to keep your body running. Its influence reaches your muscular, skeletal, nervous, and immune systems. This in turn may give it an important role in the potential prevention and treatment of numerous diseases. The wide range of health benefits don’t mean you should go overboard and load up on the dietary supplements, though. While the potential risks of too much magnesium (generally only possible through over-supplementation) are usually less severe than chronically not enough magnesium, it can still include nausea, diarrhea, cramping, and potentially interacting with some antibiotics and medications. The best way to maximize the health benefits of magnesium is through your diet. Do that, and you can be confident that you’re getting the many surprising health benefits of this mineral.