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Our body needs magnesium to perform even its basic functions and housekeeping. That's a big deal!

Did you know more than 300 biochemical reactions in your body are managed by magnesium?

Magnesium is one of the unseen heroes behind the rhythm of your heartbeat, the strength in your bones, the shine in your hair, the spring in your step, the flex in your muscle and the calm you feel in deep sleep. 

Every cell containing DNA in our body needs magnesium. Here are the proven health benefits of magnesium that’ll tell you why.

7 Science-backed Health Benefits of Magnesium

1. Helps Regulate Sleep, Stress Levels

Magnesium may work as a natural sleep aid. It is proven to assist neurological pathways that control your sleep and wake cycle (circadian rhythms). 

A study reported that magnesium supplements help in falling asleep faster but may not affect the quality and length of sleep. What’s proven is that magnesium has relaxing effects on your body and may calm anxiety.

2. May Relieve Migraines, Headaches

You read that right!

Magnesium may help reduce the frequency of debilitating migraine episodes and chronic headaches. Clinical studies explain that considerably low levels of magnesium were common in men and women experiencing migraines and headaches. Taking 300 mg magnesium orally, twice a day may significantly improve the chronic headache situation, according to the National Institutes of Health.

3. Promotes Bone-building

About 60% of the total magnesium in your body is stored in the bone. This vital mineral is directly involved in bone building and maintenance of the skeletal system. 

Men and women consuming magnesium-rich diets have a significantly lower risk of fractures, osteoporosis and other age-related bone diseases. They may also have a higher bone density when compared to those on a magnesium-deficit diet.

4. Supports Skin and Hair Health

Magnesium is one of those minerals that are effectively absorbed through the skin (thanks to those pores and hair follicles!). Topically applying magnesium-rich ointments, gels and other supplements improves skin hydration and redness due to inflammation. In fact, bathing with magnesium-rich Dead Sea water has been shown to soothe skin allergies and dryness. 

Magnesium supplementation may also directly or indirectly support hair growth — especially in post-menopausal women.

5. May Benefit Pregnant Women

Maintaining adequate levels of magnesium is crucial during pregnancy. Magnesium deficiency is linked to complications during pregnancy, like preeclampsia, hypertension and gestational diabetes. Providing magnesium via diet and supplements may reduce risks involved with stillbirths and preterm births, and growth defects in newborns.

However, due to insufficient supporting evidence, magnesium supplementation in pregnant women remains a debatable topic.

6. May Prevent Cardiovascular (Heart) Diseases

Magnesium helps regulate blood pressure, and directly impacts heart health. Studies have shown a correlation between low levels of magnesium, hypertension and heart diseases. It also plays a crucial role in heart muscle contraction and relaxation. It’s, therefore, vital to keep a tab on the levels of magnesium — along with potassium, sodium and calcium — in our body.

7. Supports Energy Production and Muscle Health

This mineral is central to the complex processes of DNA synthesis and energy production in our body. When magnesium is deficient in your blood, you feel fatigued and tired. A significant amount of energy production and consumption happens in the muscle cells — when you train/exercise and when you perform your regular activities. 

Eating magnesium-rich foods may help relieve muscle cramps, strain and injury. In fact, you take much less energy and oxygen to perform set tasks when there’s enough magnesium in your body. Meaning, you don’t feel tired easily and tend to recover from injuries/trauma quickly.

The easiest way to obtain this mineral naturally is via diet. Here are a few foods that are rich in magnesium:

10 Foods Rich in Magnesium

Legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains are good sources of magnesium. It is particularly abundant in

Check out our recipes section to whip up delicious treats and meals with these foods.

If you’re not a fan of any of these foods, why don’t you give magnesium supplements a shot! You can choose from several forms available in the markets today, namely

We recommend that you consult your healthcare provider to know the best-suited and safest dosage of magnesium supplements. 

Incorporate a healthy portion of magnesium-rich foods in your daily meals to meet the body’s requirements. Enjoy an Epsom salt bath soak or a magnesium salt scrub every once in a while. 

Take small steps to maintain optimal magnesium levels and see its magic unfold!

References

  1. Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals, Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health
  2. Magnesium The Nutrition Source, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health 
  3. The connection between magnesium and sleep Health in a Heartbeat, UFHealth Podcasts
  4. Magnesium in headache Magnesium in the Central Nervous System, Adelaide (AU): University of Adelaide Press; 2011.
  5. Magnesium and Osteoporosis: Current State of Knowledge and Future Research Directions Nutrients. 2013 Aug; 5(8): 3022–3033.
  6. An update on magnesium and bone health Biometals. 2021 Aug;34(4):715-736.
  7. Myth or Reality—Transdermal Magnesium? Nutrients. 2017 Aug; 9(8): 813.
  8. Bathing in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution improves skin barrier function, enhances skin hydration, and reduces inflammation in atopic dry skin Int J Dermatol. 2005 Feb;44(2):151-7.
  9. Magnesium Micronutrient Information Center, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University 
  10. Nutrition of women with hair loss problem during the period of menopause Prz Menopauzalny. 2016 Mar; 15(1): 56–61.
  11. Effect of Magnesium Supplement on Pregnancy Outcomes: A Randomized Control Trial Adv Biomed Res. 2017; 6: 109.
  12. Magnesium supplementation in pregnancy Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Apr; 2014(4): CD000937.
  13. Dietary Magnesium and Cardiovascular Disease: A Review with Emphasis in Epidemiological Studies Nutrients. 2018 Feb; 10(2): 168.
  14. Magnesium and Cardiovascular Disease Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2018 May;25(3):251-260.
  15. Lack Energy? Maybe It’s Your Magnesium Level AgResearch Magazine, United States Department of Agriculture
  16. Magnesium for skeletal muscle cramps Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Sep; 2012(9): CD009402.