How Important is Magnesium and What Does It Do In Your Body?
Few people are aware of the enormous role magnesium plays in our health: It’s important to nearly every function and tissue in the body, supports a healthy immune system, prevents inflammation associated with certain cancers, boosts heart health and could even cut your risk for a heart attack. Magnesium is necessary for the enzymes that convert Vitamin D to its active form, thus allowing for calcium to be absorbed. Magnesium stimulates the thyroid to help put calcium into our bones, preventing osteoporosis, and helps remove it from our soft tissues eliminating some forms of arthritis. Magnesium is necessary for over 325 enzymes in the body. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture over 68% of all Americans do not get enough magnesium in their diet. A Harvard University study found that high daily magnesium intake reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 33%; still other studies found that the mineral helps ward off depression and migraines. The best way to get magnesium is naturally from your diet. Here are eight foods that can help:
1. Dark Leafy Greens: Dark leafy greens play the role of the ultimate superfood; full of vitamins and minerals. Choose raw or cooked baby spinach, collard greens, kale or Swiss chard and you’ll be stocking your body with magnesium.
2. Nuts And Seeds: Nuts and seeds high in magnesium include pumpkin seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pine nuts, flaxseed and pecans.
3. Fish: Fish like mackerel, wild salmon, halibut and tuna will add more magnesium to your diet.
4. Legumes: Legumes that are rich in magnesium include black beans, kidney beans, white beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas and lentils.
5. Avocado: Add one sliced avocado to your salad or sandwich at lunch, and you’ll easily consume 15 percent of the recommended daily amount of magnesium.
6. Bananas: A medium-sized banana also provides 32 milligrams of magnesium. Other fruits can add magnesium to your diet, including strawberries, blackberries, grapefruit and figs.
7. Dark Chocolate: One square of dark chocolate provides 24 percent of the daily value of magnesium.
8. Greek Yogurt: Roughly 19 mg. of magnesium are found in one small container of plain Greek yogurt.