3 Surprising Benefits of Magnesium and How to Increase Your Intake

by Melissa Chichester

Magnesium is an essential major mineral that is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body.

It plays an essential role in bone mineralization and is essential for calcium metabolism.** It is also needed for the production of enzymes and proteins and the use of fats and carbohydrates.

According to the National Institutes of Health, magnesium intake by most American adults is lower than recommended. This can cause issues due to some of the surprising benefits of magnesium.

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Magnesium and nerve health 

Magnesium plays a key role in healthy nerve impulses and nerve function.** Its presence in adequate amounts in the synaptic gap between neurons controls the rate at which nerves fire.

Magnesium and anxiety 

There’s no doubt about it: sometimes daily life is stressful. Work causes stress, family causes stress, health issues, and other events cause stress. We all experience stress sometimes. The key is to not let stress take over your life and cause more problems. Many people suffer from poor quality of sleep due to stress. 

Stress can also interfere with your ability to eat a nutritious diet. If you don’t have time to spare, you might find yourself increasingly relying on fast meals that aren’t vitamin- and mineral-rich. This can lead to getting less magnesium than you need daily. 

Magnesium citrate (at least 300 mg per day) supports a calm, relaxed mood and helps with occasional anxiety relief.** In addition, magnesium citrate helps with occasional stress (also at least 300 mg per day).**

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Magnesium and leg cramps 

Mineral depletion and electrolyte imbalance can cause leg cramps. Adequate magnesium intake is needed to support the contraction and relaxation of muscles and help with leg cramps. ** Leg cramps can occur occasionally among adults with inadequate intake.**

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How to increase your magnesium intake

The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for magnesium for adults over age 30 is 420 mg daily for males and 320 mg per day for females. Magnesium is abundant in many foods, such as leafy greens such as Swiss chard and spinach, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and whole grains. Some foods are fortified with magnesium. You can also choose a magnesium supplement to increase your intake when the diet is not enough.