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Benefits of magnesium and its food sources

Benefits of magnesium and its food sources Importance of balanced magnesium intake for overall health (Photo: Collage RBC-Ukraine)

Magnesium is a mineral that is crucial for the functioning of the body. Magnesium helps maintain normal blood pressure, strong bones, and a steady heart rhythm.

Why the human body needs magnesium and in which foods to find it, according to WebMD.

The benefits of magnesium

Adults who receive less magnesium than recommended are more likely to have elevated markers of inflammation. Inflammation, in turn, is associated with serious diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Additionally, low magnesium levels are a risk factor for osteoporosis.

There is some evidence that consuming high-magnesium foods and other minerals may help prevent high blood pressure in people with prehypertension.

Intravenous or injectable magnesium is used to treat other conditions, such as eclampsia during pregnancy and severe asthma. Magnesium is also a major ingredient in many antacids and laxatives.

Severe magnesium deficiency is rare. They are most likely in people who:

Have kidney disease

  • Have Crohn's disease or other conditions affecting digestion.
  • Have problems with the parathyroid gland
  • Take certain diabetes and cancer medications.
  • Elderly people
  • Alcohol abuse

How much magnesium is needed per day

The recommended dietary allowance includes magnesium obtained from food as well as any supplements you take.

Children

  • 1-3 years old - 80 mg/day
  • 4-8 years old - 130 mg/day
  • 9-13 years old - 240 mg/day

Women

  • 14-18 years old - 360 mg/day
  • 19-30 years old - 310 mg/day
  • 31 and older - 320 mg/day
  • Pregnant - 350-400 mg/day
  • Breastfeeding - 310-350 mg/day

Men

  • 14-18 years old - 410 mg/day
  • 19-30 years old - 400 mg/day
  • 31 years old and older - 420 mg/day

Most people get more than enough magnesium from the foods they eat, and they do not need to take magnesium supplements. Excessive intake of magnesium supplements can be toxic. In addition to what you get from food, the maximum dose of magnesium you should take is:

  • 65 mg/day for children aged 1-3 years.
  • 110 mg/day for children aged 4-8 years.
  • 350 mg/day for adults and children aged 9 years and older.

These doses are the highest that anyone can add to their diet. Many people get a significant amount of magnesium through the food they eat. Obtaining a high magnesium level naturally from food is safe, but adding many supplements to your diet can be dangerous. Do not exceed these maximum levels.

Where magnesium is found

  • Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach.
  • Nuts
  • Beans, peas, and soybeans
  • Whole grain cereals

It is always better to eat whole foods. Magnesium can be lost during refining and processing.

Side effects

Side effects. Magnesium supplements can cause nausea, seizures, and diarrhea. Magnesium supplements often cause softening of stools.

Interaction. Magnesium supplements may interact with some medications, including diuretics, heart medications, or antibiotics. Before taking magnesium, consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Risks. People with diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases, heart or kidney diseases should not take magnesium without consulting their doctor.

Overdose. Signs of magnesium overdose may include nausea, diarrhea, low blood pressure, muscle weakness, and fatigue. In very high doses, magnesium can be fatal.

Earlier, we wrote about why a person needs potassium.