Magnesium is one of the most overlooked natural minerals that we have, and the effects of magnesium in the human body include over 300 different functions. It is available in foods, supplements, powders, and added to many processed foods for this reason. Magnesium is responsible for muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, blood pressure regulation energy production, and required for the synthesis of RNA, DNA, and the antioxidant glutathione. That’s just the beginning of the story though. When it comes to weight loss, magnesium is essential to include in your diet. To be sure you get enough, and to learn why you should, check out the effects of magnesium below. Some of the most imporant functions in your body are controlled by this one powerful mineral.
1. It Regulates Your Blood Sugar
If you want to lose weight then you’re in luck, because one of the best effects of magnesium is the effect it has on blood sugar regulation. You know that antsy, anxious feeling you get when your blood sugar drops? You’re probably low in magnesium, especially if you just ate. Even if you eat magnesium rich foods, you could still be short. Why? Magnesium is depleted in the body quickly, and during times of stress, it is null and void. Most people are short and don’t understand why they’re so anxious and why their blood sugar is all over the place. Eat a magnesium rich diet, and take a 400 mg supplement daily. It helps control blood sugar, which lowers insulin, and fat storage. You’ll notice you’re not really hungry, but your blood sugar has just dropped because you’re stressed. Just be sure you do eat after all!
2. It Calms Your Nerves
Due to magnesium’s effect on the nervous system, it is a powerful aid in reducing stress that might cause weight gain. Stress from a wrecked nervous system leads to increased cortisol production in the body. Cortisol is the stress hormone that tells your body to store fat. To fight this negative issue, be sure to get enough magnesium in your diet. It lowers your stress levels, regulates the nervous system, and can even help you sleep. I drink a glass of unsweetened Silk almond milk at night with cocoa powder stirred in, to get a huge supply of magnesium and calcium in one small dose. You can take a supplement of 400 mg before bed as well.
3. Protein Synthesis
Magnesium also contributes to protein synthesis in the body, so if you’re short in magnesium, your muscles can’t build and recover as needed. It is smart to take a supplement of up to 400 mg after exercise to restore magnesium levels, which are depleted through stressful exercise. It is usually fine to take two supplements a day if you’re active, or check with your doctor. Eating magnesium rich foods is also a good idea after a workout. Sources include oats and other whole grains, nuts and seeds, cacao, leafy greens, organic dairy, chia seeds, fish, bananas, fortified nut milk, and hummus.
4. Blood Pressure Control
Due to the effects of magnesium on your nervous system, it helps fight high blood pressure from stress or strenuous activity. Anytime your blood pressure is high, your body is under stressed and storing fat. High blood pressure is also terrible for your heart and heart disease related illness. To fight this, supplementation and a magnesium rich diet can help. My perfect snack is an organic Greek yogurt with one square of dark chocolate. Both are rich in magnesium, and immediately lower my stress and my blood pressure.
5. Healthy Digestive Function
Most people who are constipated are short in magnesium, not fiber. It’s not hard to get enough fiber in your diet if you eat a healthy diet, but magnesium is the most overlooked mineral that promotes healthy digestion. It aids in relaxing the gut to combat constipation. Two thirds of your nerves that connect to the brain are located in your digestive tract. When you’re stressed, your stomach essentially stops digestion and elimination to fight stress in the body. You can’t be stressed and digest food properly at the same time. It’s why so many people tell you not to eat when you’re stressed. Taking magnesium can help with constipation and a nervous stomach. I find 400 mg a day sufficient, but check with your doctor to see what works best for you. A magnesium rich diet is also smart and I recommend this above all other actions. Sources include leafy greens, yogurt, chia seeds, nuts, cacao, fish, whole grains, quinoa, hemp seeds, and many fruits and vegetables.
6. Low Energy
This one needs no explanation! If you're low in energy, it is quite possibly due to a magnesium shortage. Since magnesium is needed for over 300 functions in the body, you can see why a shortage would cause a lag in your energy levels. If your body isn't supplied with the right fuel, including vitamins and minerals, your energy will lag.
7. Bone Maintenance
To support a strong metabolism, you need to have a strong skeletal system. Magnesium helps protect your bones and ensure they are strong. Since magnesium levels are often depleted during the day, it is essential to eat a magnesium rich diet and take a supplement if needed.
These are only a handful of ways magnesium is important in the diet and for weight loss, yet there are many more. Always check with your doctor before adding supplementation. This advice is in no way intended to be taken as medical advice, so always check with your doctor first. Do you eat magnesium rich foods? What’s your favorite one?