Magnesium is a highly important mineral as it contributes to fortifying human health, especially bones and muscles. It is known to be the fourth and most abundant mineral found in the human body, and is often referred to as the ‘master mineral’ as it is crucial to the heart, musculo-skeletal system, and brain for producing antioxidants that combat multiple diseases.
Furthermore, as one of the six essential macro-minerals that comprise 99% of the body’s mineral content, it enables the smooth functioning of thousands of enzymes that aid in the regulation of one’s system, and is considered extremely essential to the production of energy from food.
As a vital component of the immune system, magnesium aids in keeping a number of illnesses at bay such as asthma, diabetes, insomnia, high blood pressure, constipation, depression, migraines and more. Other important areas where magnesium helps are in regulating calcium from bones and cardiac and skeletal muscles, cleaning the bowel, balancing blood sugar levels, inducing optimal blood circulation and maintaining blood pressure, calming the nervous system, making joints and ligaments flexible, regulating the sleep pattern, combating depression, and improving PMS symptoms.
However, despite following an adequate diet, a large number of people across the globe tend to be magnesium deficient. This can be corrected by consuming magnesium-rich foods such as dark chocolate, legumes (black beans, chickpeas, peas, and soybeans), nuts (almonds, cashews, and Brazil nuts), seeds (flax, pumpkin, sunflower, and chia seeds), grains (wheat, oats, and barley), bananas, leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli and mustard greens), fatty fish (salmon and mackerel) and skim milk.
(The author is head, advance physiotherapy department, Saifee Hospital)