Does Magnesium Make You Gain Weight?
Does Magnesium make you gain weight? Magnesium is closely related to weight management but not in a way we usually think. It certainly does not make you gain weight; rather, indirectly helps you in weight loss. Countless researchers provide evidence that magnesium is such an essential mineral that our body requires on a daily basis to function optimally. The deficiency of magnesium in the body is shown to have adverse effects on a number of basic functions that are crucial to a healthy body.
In the current article, we explore magnesium as an essential mineral, its sources, the health benefits it provides, how it is linked to weight loss rather than weight gain, the daily recommended dosage of magnesium and the health issues that may arise as a result of the deficiency of magnesium.
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals that our body needs on a daily basis to perform its basic functions. The importance of magnesium can be realized through the fact that it is involved in so many different reactions in the body that help you stabilize your mood, helps kidneys work properly, regulate blood sugar levels, keep the bones and heart strong.
Sources of Magnesium
The human body is not capable of producing magnesium naturally. We get it from food sources that come from plants and animals. Apart from that, the mineral can also be taken in the form of dietary supplements and multivitamins. Some of the rich sources of magnesium include:
- Fish (salmon, mackerel, halibut, and pollock)
- Potato with skin
- Whole grains (bran cereals, quinoa, toasted wheat germ)
- Dairy products (cheese, soy, and yogurt)
- Legumes and nuts
- Black beans
- Tofu, almonds, and flax seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
These are some of the food sources that are rich in magnesium. In addition to the above-mentioned foods, you can also get magnesium from dark chocolate (more than 70% cocoa) and also water. The sources are plenty and provide ample amounts of magnesium for your body’s daily requirement. The best part is that you can use supplements to enrich your intake if the need occurs.
Health Benefits of Magnesium
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), magnesium is responsible for carrying out more than 300 functions in our body, including chemical and enzyme reactions. Considering its importance for the sustainability of human health and the number of functions that it performs; we have accumulated several health benefits that studies prove to come from magnesium:
One of the basic yet important health benefits that magnesium provides is relief from constipation. Constipation is extremely uncomfortable as well as painful condition to live with. Studies show that a medically recommended daily dose of magnesium or magnesium supplement helps in softening the stool; thus, promoting bowel movements and relief in constipation.
Magnesium is physically present in our bones as one of their components. It is directly linked to diseases that are experienced as a result of a malfunction in the bones. Our health care providers worldwide recommended increased magnesium intake for those who suffer from bone diseases such as osteoporosis, osteopenia, arthritis, etc., as it plays a significant role in bone health and makes them stronger.
Apart from bones, magnesium is also great for muscles, and the heart is the most vital muscle in our body, the life of our body, in fact. Magnesium proves elasticity to the vessels of the heart, protects our heart's pump, reduces the excess buildup of calcium in the heart, and as a result, prevents heart attacks. Not only that, but magnesium is also responsible for carrying out heart functions that keep the blood going, provide it with sufficient energy to work at its best, and prevent the heart from any possible disease.
Lack of good sleep or insomnia is one of the widely experienced yet invisible health conditions that youngsters and adults face alike. It is mainly due to the deficiency of basic nutrients in the body, and magnesium is one of the most significant minerals that help with better sleep. It works to provide better sleep and relieve insomnia by relaxing the muscles, calming our nerves, and improving overall sleep efficiency. Magnesium helps to regulate our neurotransmitters and acts as a natural or biological clock for our body, helping us with a balanced sleep cycle and prevention of sleep disorders.
There are several causes of high blood pressure, and not getting enough magnesium is one of them. We have already discussed how magnesium helps with the relaxation of muscles. By doing that, it also provides an ease to veins and arteries that are responsible for blood flow, causing naturally balanced blood pressure. By taking enough magnesium, you allow your body to improve its blood flow process without any constriction; thus, the risk of high blood pressure is decreased significantly.
- Protection Against Diabetes
If you pre-diabetic and wish to overcome the issue naturally, magnesium is your best remedy to combat diabetes. A sufficient intake of magnesium-rich foods from animals and plants or even supplements are shown to have advantageous effects on people with diabetes. Isn't it amazing how a mere mineral can be of such significance?
Risks Associated with Magnesium
Despite the usefulness rather the necessity of magnesium for optimum functioning of the human body, there are certain risks involved with the intake of magnesium, dependent on a number of factors:
- People who are on medication for existing health conditions such as medicines for heart, antibiotics, diuretics are strongly advised to consult their health care professional before using magnesium as it may interact with their medicines and cause harm.
- Magnesium intake can be risky for people with heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, or intestinal disease; therefore, they need to check with their doctor and consume the mineral only if recommended.
- An overdose of magnesium supplements may lead to low blood pressure, muscle weakness, nausea, fatigue, and diarrhea. The mineral itself is essential and crucial for good health, but the dosage must be monitored carefully in order to avoid any unpleasant side effects.
Magnesium as a Tool for Weight Loss
Magnesium is not directly responsible for weight loss; however, studies show that it is involved in certain bodily functions that help us lose weight. For example, magnesium improves digestion, which is one of the key factors to a healthy weight loss. It also regulates blood sugar levels and insulin levels, two major components that are involved in the process of weight loss. In a nutshell, magnesium is not a direct tool for weight loss; rather, it helps to carry out the processes involved in weight loss effectively.
Magnesium Deficiency and its Consequences
Just as magnesium is packed with health benefits, its deficiency is sure to lead to a number of problems too. And quite surprisingly, a large number of the population today is magnesium deficient. One of the main causes is said to be industrialization due to which agricultural land has decreased in its availability or has become futile for crops of many kinds. As a result, people get to have a lesser number of natural sources of magnesium, which has led to an overall deficiency of the mineral. The deficiency of magnesium is commonly related to the following health conditions/symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle cramps
- Anxiety and depression
- Muscle cramps
- Extreme menstrual cramps etc.
How Much Magnesium in a Day?
According to the recommended dietary allowance (RDA), an average female body requires around 300 mg magnesium per day, whereas an average male needs about 400 mg on a daily basis. As for children leading up to teenagers, the daily requirement is between 80 mg to 240 mg. The daily recommended allowance slightly increases in pregnant women and nursing mothers.
The above-mentioned daily recommended intake of magnesium can be consumed through natural sources from food or in the form of supplements. It is always ideal for getting your minerals and vitamins from food; however, in case of lack of food sources or deficiency in the body, you can always resort to supplements as an alternative.
A key mineral essential for our body's optimal functioning, magnesium, comes with numerous health benefits and is required by the body on a daily basis. It is involved in more than three hundred functions of the body, so the significance of magnesium is quite obvious when it comes to our daily balanced diet.
The human body does not produce magnesium on its own and takes it from food sources or supplements. A deficiency of the said mineral can lead to various health issues that can be resolved through a recommended dietary intake of magnesium. As for its relevance to weight gain, there is no evidence that magnesium contributes to weight gain. In fact, it is indirectly involved in processes that help the body lose weight.