Magnesium and Zinc Health Benefits

Find Out Magnesium and Zinc Health Benefits

Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral required by the body for maintaining normal muscle and nerve function, keeping a healthy immune system, maintaining heart rhythm, and building strong bones. Magnesium is also involved in at least 300 biochemical reactions in the body. A deficiency in magnesium can lead to muscle spasms, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety disorders, migraines, osteoporosis, and cerebral infarction.


Conversely, consuming too much magnesium typically causes diarrhea as the body attempts to excrete the excess. High magnesium foods include dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, yogurt, bananas, dried fruit, dark chocolate, and more. The current daily value (DV) for magnesium is 400mg

Magnesium is an essential mineral required by the body for maintaining normal muscle and nerve function

Magnesium is an essential mineral required by the body for maintaining normal muscle and nerve function

Magnesium helps your heart, muscles, and immune system function properly—and studies suggest that nearly half of Americans aren’t consuming enough of the mineral. But before you start popping supplements, you should know there’s a difference between inadequate intake and a true deficiency. Signs of deficiency include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and loss of appetite, and are quite rare. However, people with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or digestive ailments like Crohn’s and celiac disease, as well as those taking medications for heartburn or osteoporosis are at higher risk of magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium’s benefits can include reduced symptoms from conditions such as chronic pain, fatigue and insomnia. Magnesium may also provide protection from a number of chronic diseases, especially those associated with aging and stress. Recently re-discovered as an overlooked key to good health, a number of medical researchers are recommending increases to the RDA for magnesium — sometimes suggesting as much as double the current recommendations — to ensure protection from diseases such as osteoporosis and hypertension. Essential to life, necessary for good health, and a vital component within our cells, magnesium’s benefits help our bodies maintain balance, avoid illness, perform well under stress, and maintain a general state of good health.

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Health benefits of magnesium include the maintenance of bodily nerves, muscles and bones. It also helps in protein synthesis and cellular metabolism. It is vital for sustaining a normal heart beat and is used by doctors to treat irregularities in heart rhythm. Other health benefits include positive impact on reducing osteoporosis, eclamptic seizures, and maintenance of sugar level, as well as its favourable effects on asthma, diabetes, constipation, back pain and various psychiatric disorders. Medical and health specialists often highlight the importance of including adequate vitamin and mineral intake to our daily diet. Magnesium is one of those essential minerals that aids the human body in absorbing calcium and plays an important role in the formation and strengthening of teeth and bones.

Sources of Magnesium

Natural sources of magnesium include sea vegetables, leafy vegetables such as spinach, and whole grains that are usually major components of a person’s regular diet. Some other vegetables that can be classified as rich magnesium sources include tomatoes, beet greens, broad beans, lima beans, artichokes, sweet potatoes, buckwheat flour, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, wheat flour, oat bran, barley, cornmeal and chocolate. Also, you can consume dairy products such as milk and yoghurts, as well as non-vegetarian products like fish. Whole wheat bread containing bran and germ has twice the magnesium content compared to white bread. Water also has a high magnesium content; hard water has more magnesium than soft water, although hard water is not good for the body, especially the kidneys.


Zinc

Zinc is an important mineral for the body, and a Zinc deficiency can result in hair loss and diarrhea. The National Institute of Health says that adult males should be getting 11 milligrams of Zinc each day, and adult females need 8 milligrams. It’s important to keep in mind that this is cumulative throughout the day, so you shouldn’t try to meet that requirement in one sitting, or with one food.

Zinc is an essential trace mineral that plays a role in over a hundred enzymatic reactions in the body. It functions to protect against oxidative damage, helps with wound healing, makes DNA and helps with the formation of hemoglobin. Zinc deficiency symptoms include frequent colds, leaky gut, consistent diarrhea, poor vision, infertility, thinning hair, stunted growth in children and slow healing wounds.

If you are a vegetarian, there are still high zinc foods that can fit into your diet. Foods like chickpeas and pumpkin seeds provide zinc for the body even though they are not animal byproducts.
Like sodium and potassium, or calcium and magnesium, zinc and copper have overlaps in transport and metabolism. For this reason, balancing dietary zinc and copper sources may help prevent deficiency or excess of either mineral.

Top Health Benefits of Zinc

Eye Health: Zinc is needed to covert vitamin A into its active form in order for vision to occur. Adequate intake of zinc rich foods can help improve night vision. People treated with supplemental zinc, are 80% less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.

Zinc For Colds and Immune Function: The body needs zinc to activate T-cells, which are critical for proper immune function. The role that zinc plays in DNA replication also helps the immune system make new cells when they are needed. People who are deficient in zinc tend to be more susceptible to a variety of illnesses.

Zinc is found in grains and legumes, plus it’s usually added to processed, packaged grain products like cereals. However, this type of zinc isn’t as absorbable or useful by the body since it’s bound to “antinutrients” like phytates that actually prevent zinc absorption. For this reason, even zinc found in whole foods like legumes and whole grains aren’t as good of a source as animal foods due to naturally occurring antinutrients that block zinc absorption. Research even points to the fact that high intake of carbohydrate foods (especially processed, packaged kinds) in the U.S and other western nations may be one reason why zinc deficiency is on the rise.

Zinc is found in grains and legumes, plus it’s usually added to processed, packaged grain products like cereals

Zinc is found in grains and legumes, plus it’s usually added to processed, packaged grain products like cereals

In part, zinc deficiency is caused because carbohydrates are replacing high-quality protein sources, but also because people’s impaired digestive systems make it difficult to absorb enough zinc.

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May Help Fight Cancer. Zinc is an effective anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent, helping fight oxidative stress and decrease the chance for disease development, including as a natural cancer treatment. Especially in elderly patients, zinc benefits include its ability to support support healthy cell division, preventing cancerous cell mutation and stunting tumor growth.

Zinc benefits hormonal health and fertility because it plays an important role in hormone production, including increasing testosterone naturally, which has very widespread roles in both men and women. Zinc also impacts female sex hormones and is even involved in the creation and release of eggs within and from the ovaries.

Zinc is needed for the production of estrogen and progesterone in women, which both support reproductive health. Either too high or too low levels of estrogens can cause problems with menstruation, mood swings, early menopause, infertility and possibly even increase the risk for certain cancers.

Heart Health: Zinc is needed to maintain the health of cells within the cardiovascular system, while also lowering inflammation and oxidative stress. The endothelium, the thin layer of cells that lines the blood vessels, partially relies on adequate levels of zinc. Zinc benefits heart health by supporting healthy circulation, since it helps as a natural remedy for high blood pressure and cholesterol levels from clogged or damaged arteries.

Zinc is needed to maintain the health of cells within the cardiovascular system, while also lowering inflammation and oxidative stress

Zinc is needed to maintain the health of cells within the cardiovascular system, while also lowering inflammation and oxidative stress

Supplementing with zinc is shown to reduce the incidence of infection and correlated with lower levels of liver damage. Zinc can help with a liver cleanse to reduce inflammation in the liver, reduces free radical damage, helps with nutrient absorption and allows for proper waste elimination.

Sources of Zinc, ranked by quality