Did you know that Magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral in our bodies? Or that more than 400 bio-chemical reactions in our body will either not take place or not happen fully, if we have a magnesium deficiency? We are talking about simple things like contracting your muscles - to complex workings of your DNA.
Every cell of our body needs Magnesium and the abundance of magnesium in the body signifies the important role it plays for our health and well-being. This is especially true for our cardiac health.
Magnesium is a part of many processes related to the heart but there are three main tasks:
1. Calcium Blocker: Magnesium keeps a check on the amount of calcium that is allowed in the heart muscle cells. Without it, calcium can flood the heart cells and lead to hyper contraction of the muscle cells, which can cause angina or a sudden heart attack.
2. Regulate Heart Rhythm: Since magnesium also functions as an electrolyte, it is crucial for all electrical activity in your body. Without adequate quantities of electrolytes, electrical signals cannot be sent or received and without these signals, the heart cannot pump blood.
3. Control High Blood Pressure: High BP is an important factor for heart attack risk and stable levels of magnesium means your blood flows more freely.
Magnesium deficiency (Hypomagnesaemia) can go unnoticed because low magnesium levels are generally not tested for. Therefore you should be mindful of its symptoms like acid reflux, high blood pressure, fatigue, migraines, muscle cramps, irregular heartbeat, anxiety, constipation and kidney stones.
According to India’s apex body for medical research, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the recommended daily allowance of magnesium is 340 mg for men and 310 mg for women. This is easily achievable with a simple healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and nuts.
Yet many people are magnesium-deficit and if you are found to be so, ask your doctor for magnesium supplements to tide over the deficit. After a few months, you might not need the supplements, if you have a healthy diet.
Natural sources of magnesium are unsalted nuts, all green leafy vegetable, seeds, tuna fish, dark chocolate, bananas, berries, tofu and whole grains. These are all flavorful foods and easy to incorporate in daily meals.