It also helps lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease.
Magnesium plays a crucial role in several vital processes. It is needed to build strong bones and produce essential amino acids. It also activates some of the enzymes that transfers and releases energy in the muscles.
Other vital functions include the conduction of nerve impulses to the muscles and adjustment to different environmental temperatures, especially cold.
The best way to consume the daily requirement of this dietary mineral is by eating a varied diet that includes green vegetables and whole grains. A balanced diet provides all the magnesium that is normally needed for good health.
SIGNS OF DEFICIENCY:
Magnesium deficiency is very rare in the United States, occurring mostly among people with severe kidney disease or in alcoholics. Use of diuretics also can deplete the body of magnesium.
Signs of deficiency include loss of appetite, leg cramps, muscle tremors and twitches, irregular heartbeat, weakness and lethargy, personality changes, nausea and vomiting, seizures (especially in children) difficulty in adjusting to temperature change (especially when going from warm to cold), and a variety of complex metabolic disturbances.
Excessive consumption of magnesium can lead to a serious condition called hyper-magnesia. It would be difficult if not impossible, to develop this condition from diet alone, but taking high dose magnesium supplements can be dangerous.
Overloading the body with magnesium can effect the way nerve impulses are transmitted to the muscles. This results in an inability to properly contract and relax muscle fibers. In severe cases, low blood pressure and even cardiac arrest may occur.
Kidney patients are at particular risk of serious complications from excessive intake. Supplements should not be taken unless recommended by a doctor. As with any nutritional supplement, magnesium supplements should be used in amounts typically recommended for nutritional purposes only.
MAGNESIUM RICH FOODS:
Apples, apricots, bananas, brown rice, beans, dairy products, dark green vegetables, garlic, fish, nuts, whole grains, wheat bran, meat, fish, scallops and oysters.
Alfalfa, blue cohosh, chamomile, dandelion, gotu kola, hawthorn, horsetail, kelp, licorice, mullein, peppermint, raspberry, skullcap and stinging nettle.