Magnesium - Why do we need it and how can we get it?
Magnesium is a mineral essential for good health with over 300 cellular reactions dependant on it. Sounds important! So lets learn a little bit more about this powerhouse of everyday nutrition.
The recommended daily intake of magnesium as listed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) is:
· Male: 320mg/day
· Female: 270mg/day
We know that many Australians are deficient in magnesium. Possible attributing factors for this include nutritional trends and modern soil depletion. The opinion of a number of health researchers is that the recommended levels listed by the council are already too low. Given estimates that our hunter and gatherer ancestors were consuming upwards of 700mg/day it is wise for all of us to increase our daily intakes. We can be sure of the safety of increasing our intake, as there is little risk of magnesium toxicity.
The roles of Magnesium:
· required in the formation of ATP, the universal energy currency for metabolism
· synthesis of DNA, RNA and proteins
· transports ions across cell membranes
· synthesises glutathione, needed for proper immune function
· ensures proper vitamin D function
Magnesium is vital for mental and emotional health, optimising cell function, enhancing bone health and in the reduction of inflammation. Deficiency in the mineral can present acutely as muscle cramps, heart arrhythmias, tremor, headaches, acid reflux, insulin resistance and constipation.
Chronic deficiency has been linked to cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, elevated blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, migraine, hypothyroidism, dysmenorrhea, asthma and fibromyalgia.
We find high levels of magnesium in plant foods, especially leafy greens. Kale, bok choy, mustard greens, chard, lettuce, spinach, and beet greens are all excellent sources of the mineral. It is also found in seaweed, nuts, nut butters, coffee, tea and chocolate.
Daily supplementation is another good idea if you are aiming to reach the peak health range of magnesium. This is an effective way to improve intake levels in addition to the dietary changes we can make.
Talk to your chiropractor about the various options available.
You can learn more about the importance of magnesium at: