Calcium, sodium or iron might be the more famous of the body's essential minerals, but magnesium also plays a large part in your health and wellbeing.
Healthy levels of magnesium fuel your cells and boost energy levels, helping to keep your immune system healthy.
Your bones are made up of a variety of minerals, not just calcium. Magnesium is one of the key ingredients of strong, healthy bones and along with vitamin D, helps your bones absorb calcium.
Magnesium regulates muscle contractions and helps your muscles to relax. If you don't have enough, your muscles may contract excessively, causing cramps or spasms.
Magnesium can help regulate your waking and sleeping cycle. A study found that increasing magnesium intake helped subjects fall asleep faster and improved the quality of their sleep.
Magnesium helps to regulate your brain function and mood, in particular your stress response through your adrenal glands. Reduced levels of magnesium have been linked to increased anxiety and depression, with some studies suggesting that increasing magnesium levels is as effective as using antidepressants.
Did you know?
You need to eat magnesium every day, as any excess will be lost in your urine.
Good sources of magnesium include:
- Sunflower seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Green leafy vegetables like boiled spinach
- Brown rice
- Cashew nuts
- Dark chocolate
If you're considering taking a magnesium supplement, have a chat with your GP first, to make sure it's suitable for you.
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