4 Benefits of Magnesium, Signs of Deficiency, and Food Sources

leafy green vegetables
General Health

leafy green vegetablesMagnesium is just one mineral offering numerous health benefits. But the average person likely couldn’t name two, let alone tell you which foods are good sources of the important nutrient. From reducing your risk of stroke to helping fight Type 2 diabetes, magnesium is something we should all know about and be sure we are getting enough. In addition to checking out an earlier post outlining 16 magnesium deficiency symptoms, read below to see what magnesium can do to improve your health.

1. Lower Stroke Risk

An overview of seven previously published studies recently found that for every additional 100 milligrams of magnesium consumed every day, there was a stroke risk reduction of 9 percent. In all, the research followed about 250,000 from across the globe for 11.5 years. About three percent suffered a stroke during the study period.

2. Lowered Risk of Diabetes

Researchers with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill also found a link between magnesium intake and diabetes risk. According to the study, those people who consumed the most magnesium reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes by 47 percent when compared with the lowest-consuming among the study group. In addition, magnesium is known to regulate blood sugar and combat insulin resistance.

3. Heart Health

Magnesium aids in transporting calcium and potassium across cell membranes. These nutrients help promote normal heart rhythm and muscle contraction, according to NaturalNews.

4. Decreased Cancer Risk

For every additional 100 milligrams of magnesium added to your daily diet, you could reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer by 13 percent, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Magnesium delivers additional benefits too—largely due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is blamed for such things as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and even Alzheimer’s.
Some magnesium deficiency symptoms include:

  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Respiratory issues
  • High blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • Potassium and calcium deficiency
  • Poor heart health
  • Type 2 diabetes.

These are general symptoms, however, so it’s important to note that one or two of these doesn’t prove without doubt that you are deficient.

Food Sources of Magnesium

You can reap the benefits of dietary magnesium and combat deficiency and disease with several natural food sources:

  • Dark, leafy greens
  • Fish
  • Beans and lentils
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Avocados
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa