Fat Loss Nutrition

Everything You Need to Know About Magnesium

We hear most often about the importance of vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3s, but have you heard much about magnesium?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. That’s a shame because magnesium is a “miracle mineral,” if you will, and I am here to single out all the benefits of magnesium!

I’ll tell you about magnesium and weight loss, show you how to fit more of it into your life,  and go over everything else you need to know about this miracle mineral!

What Is It?

A spread of magnesium foods accompanied by the word Magnesium spelled out with scrabble letters

Magnesium is an important mineral in our bodies that helps them function. It helps produce energy, regulate blood sugar, conducts nerve impulses, muscle contractions, as well as normal heart rhythms. Overall, it is pretty essential to our existence.

Magnesium Benefits: A-Z

Okay, I really won’t list 26 benefits of magnesium, but there really are a lot:

A) It has the ability to relax muscles.

B) Magnesium keeps you calm.

C) It promotes a peaceful sleep.

D) It can reduce the risk of colon cancer.

E) It aids in the treatment of PMS, migraines, and depression.

F) It is important for bone formation.

G) It maintains bone health which prevents osteoporosis.

H) Magnesium can help relieve anxiety or a person’s reaction to stress.

I) Magnesium can lower blood pressure.

J) It has anti-inflammatory benefits.

K) It may boost exercise performance.

L) Magnesium is safe and widely available in food and dietary supplements.

M) It aids in weight loss and body shaping.

N) While all of these are stellar health benefits, let’s discuss the specific details of magnesium and weight loss.

Experience the Magic Behind Magnesium and Weight Loss

A woman doing lunges in a gym

You guessed it: taking magnesium alone will not be effective for weight loss. But if paired with a colorful diet, regular exercise, and an appropriate number of daily calories, magnesium has been found to reduce abdominal fat!

This occurs because magnesium is associated with lower levels of fasting glucose and insulin (indicators related to fat and weight gain), which helps those who are overweight. Over half of the insulin in our bloodstream is sent to the abdomen, so the more sugar we consume, the more insulin we produce. This extra insulin is ultimately sent to our abdomen for processing, resulting in extra fat.

So, getting enough magnesium will lower insulin levels to keep your midsection nice and trim!

Magnesium also helps with bloating and water retention, which most of us experience, especially women during their period. Magnesium functions as a diuretic so it eases the pressure caused by fluid retention.

Magnesium can also act as a laxative that cleanses out your colon to reduce body weight. It is gentle on the stomach so you don’t have to worry about emergency bathroom breaks!

How Much Magnesium Should You Get?

The recommended daily allowance for magnesium depends on age and gender, but here is a rough estimate for the average individual:

Males:

  • 14 to 18 years of age: 410 mg a day

  • 19 years and older: 400 to 420 mg a day

Females:

  • 14 to 18 years of age: 360 mg a day

  • 19 years and older: 310 to 320 mg a day

  • During pregnancy: 360 to 400 mg a day

Foods High in Magnesium

A bowl of almonds, which contain magnesium

There are many sources of magnesium that are readily available to us, but unfortunately, many of us don’t get enough of it in our diets. The good news is, most magnesium-rich foods are as delicious as they are healthy!

Some of my favorites include:

Almonds

Avocado

Broccoli

Brown rice

Cashews

Shelled edamame

Shrimp

Spinach

Peanut butter

Whole wheat bread

You see, you can certainly enjoy a high-variety diet while consuming all of your essential nutrients at the same time.

However, despite having a healthy diet, sometimes you can still be lacking in magnesium.

Signs of Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium deficiency, or “hypomagnesemia”, is rare, but 75% of Americans aren’t meeting their recommended intake. While it may affect older individuals more and those with alcoholism are at an increased risk, the deficiency can go underdiagnosed because obvious signs usually don’t appear until your levels are extremely low. Some short-term symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:

  1. Loss of appetite
  2. Nausea and vomiting
  3. Fatigue and weakness

More severe symptoms include:

  1. Numbness and tingling
  2. Muscle cramps
  3. Seizures
  4. Personality changes
  5. Heart spasms

On the other hand, a high intake of magnesium from food or supplements can also lead to problems such as diarrhea, cramping, kidney problems, low blood pressure, and cardiac arrest. Such an overdose of magnesium is unlikely, but possible, and can be reversed through an IV of calcium gluconate.

Don’t be alarmed though. The risk of ever experiencing a magnesium overdose is extremely low for a typically healthy person, but it occurs mostly for people with impaired kidney function. With this in mind, it seems best to monitor what you eat, and speak with your doctor if you are wondering if you can benefit from taking a magnesium supplement.

Takeaway

Every part of your body needs magnesium! This includes your heart, liver, kidney, and bones. Getting enough magnesium is essential for maintaining good health, so be sure to eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods, or take a supplement if you’re unable to get enough from your diet alone.

Without enough of this important mineral, your body simply can’t function optimally. By regulating your blood sugar and insulin levels, magnesium is great for managing body weight. Keep this in mind for the next time you need a mid-afternoon snack: reach for something magnesium-rich because it will give you plenty of health-related benefits as well as give you some boost to your weight loss efforts!

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