Magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral in the human body. It is found in every cell in the body and is an essential component in regulating over 600 different biochemical reactions and bodily functions. It helps convert food into energy, to build new proteins, to repair DNA/RNA, regulate muscle relaxation, and balance neurotransmitters in the brain, nervous system, and gut. It has direct impacts on heart health, blood pressure, immune response, metabolic rates, and more.
Unfortunately, magnesium deficiency is on the rise, with an estimated 50% of the population in the US and Europe getting less than their daily requirement of magnesium (1). Historically, magnesium was abundant in the foods we ate and the water we drank. However, today, most soil grown produce has been shown to be more magnesium depleted than ever, and even the grass and grains livestock eats lacks magnesium content. For those of us that live in the city, our water is treated with chlorine and fluoride to remove bacteria and minerals, like magnesium. Furthermore, consumption of caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and medications like birth control pills, antihypertensives, insulin, and certain antibiotics all deplete magnesium further.
One particularly important mechanism magnesium regulates is our balance and utilization of calcium. Every cell has a regulatory switch that controls the balance between calcium and magnesium, and when there is a deficiency in magnesium, the switch will allow excess calcium into the cells. This can ultimately lead to cellular calcification, amongst a number of other concerns, including:
With the proper magnesium levels in the body, risks for heart disease, heart attack, kidney stones, calcification in the arteries, and osteoporosis are reduced. To ensure proper magnesium levels, expose yourself to these magnesium-rich foods:
If you have experienced any of the signs discussed, and want to find out more about the benefits of magnesium, please feel free to contact Toronto Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Courtney Holmberg at 647-351-7282 to schedule a consultation today!
Join us for the next 6 weeks as we challenge each other to incorporate healthy habits into our lifestyles. Share with a friend to challenge them with you!
Health Habits Challenge: No Electronics 1 hour before bed
Our bodies are made up of millions of electrons that are constantly subjected to stimulation: more specifically, light stimulation.
The reception of light into our optic nerve emits a signal to the brain to indicate daytime, and therefore mounts a release of our wake/stress hormones, cortisol, dopamine and noradrenalin.
This tells our brain that we should be awake and active, not restful and sleepy.
Furthermore, research out of Thomas Jefferson University shows that the light emitted from our devices is “short-wavelength-enriched,” meaning it has a higher concentration of blue light than natural light. Blue light has been shown to affect levels of melatonin (our sleep-inducing hormone) more than any other wavelength.
Instead, dim the lights, power down all the electronics, and relax in bed by listening to a podcast, chatting with your partner, or reading a good ol' fashion paperback novel. Choose relaxing reading materials that have nothing to do with work! Stop all your work-related activities at least 2 hours before bed!
And no, night mode doesn't count.