Magnesium is a macro element with the atomic number of 12 and also known as the anti-stress mineral. It is an important nutrient for the brain as it raises the resistance against stress,
depression, tensions and helps against mental tiredness. It also strengthens the memory and concentration. Magnesium is involved in releasing energy from the diet and is involved in a good functioning nervous system and muscles. It is also involved in the formation of strong bones and teeth and is active as an assistant cofactor of the B and C vitamins.
Magnesium is necessary for
many body functions, such as energy production and cell division and is
essential for the transfer of nerve impulses. It protects against heart and
vascular diseases, repairs and maintains the cells and is necessary for hormone
production and can lower blood
pressure. Magnesium is useful in the treatment of fibromyalgia, prostate problems, 'restless
legs' and premenstrual tension.
acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the
body's use of glucose and insulin secretion. All human tissues contain
small amounts of magnesium. The adult human body contains about 25 g of this
mineral. The greater part of this amount is present in bones in combination with
phosphate and carbonate. Bone ashes contain less than one per cent magnesium.
About one-fifty of the total magnesium in the body is present in the soft
tissues, where it is mainly bound to
protein. Next to
magnesium is the predominant metallic action in living cells. The bones seem to
provide a reserve supply of this mineral in case of shortage elsewhere in the
Magnesium is the
mineral that stabilises the heart, calms the nerves and regulates
the heart beat. Biochemists call magnesium the " cool,
alkaline, refreshing, sleep-promoting mineral". Magnesium helps one
keep calm and cool during the sweltering summer months. It aids in
keeping nerves relaxed and normally balanced and is necessary for
all muscular activity.
This mineral is an activator for most of the
enzyme system involving carbohydrate, fat and protein in
energy-producing reactions. It is also involved in the production of
lecithin which prevents the building up of
cholesterol and consequent
atherosclerosis. Magnesium promotes a healthier cardiovascular
system and aids in fighting
depression. It helps prevent calcium deposits in the
kidneys and gallbladder and also brings relief from
indigestion. This mineral together
vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) has also been found effective in the prevention and treatment of
bladder, kidney stones and bile and gall stones.
Magnesium has also
proved useful in other
bladder and urinary problems and in epileptic seizure.
Magnesium is nature's own calcium
channel blocker. When there is enough magnesium around, veins and
arteries breathe a sigh of relief and relax, which lessens
resistance and improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients
throughout the body. Studies show that a deficiency of magnesium is
not only associated with heart attack but that immediately following
a heart attack, lack of sufficient magnesium promotes free radical
injury to the heart.
Magnesium rich foods are commonly
recommended to people who suffer from
asthma issues. It can increase lung capacity and build on the
efficiency of the respiratory process.
estimated that 80% of the population of western countries are
magnesium deficient. Magnesium deficiency was the cause of death
from sudden heart attacks in 8 million people in the USA from
1940-1994. Diabetes can cause magnesium expulsion and lead to heart attacks.
Heavy drinkers and
alcoholics often show a low plasma magnesium concentration and a
high urinary output. They may, therefore, require magnesium therapy
especially in an acute attack of delirium tremens.
Too much phosphorous can cause
diarrhoea and calcification (hardening) of organs and soft tissue and can
interfere with the body's ability to use
and zinc. It
is a matter of getting the balance right which is why supplementation is not
advised. Foods that contain these minerals will never overdose the consumer with
Some bottled mineral waters contain good amounts of magnesium but some do not so it is best to always check labels. The treatments done to some bottled waters and tap water can remove the magnesium content altogether.
The body does not store magnesium like it does calcium. Magnesium is excreted as a result of drinking alcohol or high caffeine drinks such as coffee and fizzy drinks, high stress, diarrhoea, sugar intake or high levels of protein and fruit in the diet.
Magnesium is widely distributed in foods and is a part of the
chlorophyll in green vegetables but it does depend upon where and how the food is grown. Organically grown natural foods contain more magnesium especially if they come from volcanic regions or the sea. The levels of magnesium in land-based crops can be low due to intense farming techniques stripping the soil of its mineral content and not replacing it. Therefore it is best to consume natural marine sourced foods or foods grown organically or those grown in lava-rich soils.
The alternative is to self-grow food crops in a garden or allotment where cover crops are grown and dug back into the soil, such as alfalfa, buckwheat or red clover etc., as these release minerals back into the soil. Adding Epsom salts to the soil where food crops are to be grown can also help. See Grow Your Own Health Garden
intensive farming techniques have stripped the soil of its magnesium content which can cause deficiency in the food crops consumed by humans.
Chill a one litre bottle of plain carbonated water. Shake the bottle of milk of magnesia well, then measure out three tablespoons (45 ml) and have it ready. Then take the carbonated water out of the refrigerator and open carefully to minimize the loss of carbon dioxide. Add the measured milk of magnesia in the bottle and put the cap back on. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Leave it for half hour so that it dissolves and the water clears. When the water is cleared, you’ll notice the un-dissolved magnesium hydroxide settled on the bottom of the bottle. Shake it again for 30 seconds and leave it again until it dissolves. This one litre of concentrated magnesium bicarbonate water will have approximately 1500 mg of magnesium and approximately 7500 mg of bicarbonate. The sides of the bottle will “cave in” slightly when the liquid clears which shows that the reaction is complete. Store this bottle of magnesium bicarbonate water in refrigerator.
Drink half a cup of this water per day. It can be increased to one full cup but do not pass that limit because it can cause loose stools.
Magnesium is poisonous for people with kidney problems or disturbances in the heartbeat. High doses can cause
hot flushes, thirst, low blood pressure and sometimes loss of reflexes and therefore supplements are not advised. Natural foods containing magnesium will not cause severe overdose as they also contain the other minerals required for a natural balance.
NOTE: Athletes and anyone that partakes in intense physical activities are often lacking in magnesium as they perspire profusely but do not replace lost minerals so they should consume plenty of these magnesium-rich foods.
Highest sources of magnesium in milligrams per 100 grams
Rice bran 781 mg
Basil, coriander, dill and sage 694 mg
Hemp seeds 640 mg
Pumpkin and squash seeds 535 mg
Raw cocoa 499 mg
Flaxseeds 392 mg
Brazil nuts 376 mg
Sesame seeds 353 mg
Sunflower seeds 346 mg
Chia seeds 335 mg
Chlorella 315 mg
Wheat germ 313 mg
Cashew nuts 292 mg
Almonds 268 mg
Caraway seeds 258 mg
Black strap molasses and dulse 242 mg
Buckwheat 231 mg
Spirulina 189 mg
Oats 177 mg
Durum wheat 144 mg
Macadamia nuts 130 mg
Adzuki beans 127 mg
Kelp 121 mg
Millet 114 mg
Kale 88 mg
Anchovies 69 mg
Amaranth 65 mg
Globe artichoke 60 mg
Okra and nettles 57 mg
Chestnuts 54 mg
Rocket 47 mg
Dates 43 mg
Plantain 37 mg
Lentils 36 mg
Butternut squash 34 mg
Coconut 32 mg
Potatoes with skin 30 mg
Passion fruit 29 mg
Savoy cabbage, halibut 28 mg
Bananas, rabbit 27 mg
Bread fruit, green beans 25 mg
Peas 24 mg
Raspberries 22 mg
Guava 22 mg
Blackberries 20 mg
Courgettes 18 mg
Kiwi fruit, fennel, figs 17 mg
Endive 15 mg
Cucumber, lettuce 13 mg
Recommended daily requirement
The recommended dietary need for
magnesium is around 420 mg per day for an average build adult man, 320 mg for women and
450 mg during pregnancy and lactation.
Natural sources of magnesium in alphabetical order
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not intended to diagnose medical problems, prescribe remedies for illness, or treat disease. Its intention is solely educational. If you are in any doubt about your health, please consult your medical or health professional. Nature Cures does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of the information provided here or the outcome of using it. Nature Cures is not responsible for, and does not endorse, any content or items purchased from any external websites linked to this website.