Focus on: magnesium
WHAT IT IS:
Magnesium is an essential mineral and an enzymatic cofactor, meaning it is involved in vital processes in the body like nerve function and protein synthesis. This mineral traverses and boosts your body in many different ways, making it an important addition to your diet or supplement routine.
With all that magnesium has to offer, it should probably have “the magnificent” tacked on to its name. Studies have linked high levels of magnesium with decreased risk of stroke, along with lowered risk of cardiovascular disease. Magnesium clearly helps keep your heart happy, but what about the rest of your body? It turns out magnesium may also aid in staving off migraines and building strong bones, so this mineral offers head-to-toe benefits. Research linked magnesium deficiency to factors that cause headaches, indicating that those who suffer from migraines may have lower levels of the mineral. Magnesium is also involved in the formation of bones, and has been found to help promote bone health throughout life.
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Magnesium-rich foods abound, so it’s easy to add this mineral to your diet. Foods that contain high amounts of magnesium also boast many other nutrients your body will thank you for. Include more spinach, almonds, peanuts, cashews, and potatoes, as well as sunflower, pumpkin, and flax seeds in your diet to reap all the benefits magnesium has to offer.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend a daily allowance (RDA) of dietary magnesium depending on age and gender. For males aged 19 to 30, the RDA is 400 mg, and 420 mg for those aged 31 and older. For women aged 19 to 30, NIH recommends 310 mg of magnesium daily and 320 mg for those aged 31 and older.
If you have healthy kidneys, dietary magnesium is not likely to pose a risk to you as the kidneys flush out excessive amounts. However, if you’re supplementing with magnesium, be careful not to go overboard. Excess magnesium can cause nausea, diarrhea, and cramps. According to the NIH, the tolerable upper intake level of supplemental magnesium for anyone older than 9 years is 350 mg, so be sure to get plenty of magnesium in your diet and don’t overuse supplements.