Magnesium: The Miracle Mineral

by Susan Schachter, MSRDN September 10, 2021 2 min read

Magnesium: The Miracle Mineral

There’s a naturally occurring mineral that is so important to our good health and is so often overlooked: magnesium. Magnesium serves numerous vital functions in our bodies.

One of the most important of these functions is the fact that it’s a smooth muscle relaxer. Almost all of the organ systems in our body contain smooth muscle. Let’s take a look at a few of them and how magnesium can impact them:

  • Smooth muscle makes up most of the walls of our blood vessels. When that smooth muscle is relaxed, our blood pressure has greater opportunity to lower.
  • Our digestive tract too, contains smooth muscle. Adequate magnesium intake can be helpful in the regulation of our bowels.
  • The bronchioles in our lungs contain smooth muscle. Because of its ability to relax the bronchioles, magnesium can be helpful for those living with asthma.
  • In terms of its impact on smooth muscle, an inadequate magnesium intake can predispose us to having muscle cramps.

Magnesium has other benefits for our bodies, as well:

  • It’s a natural version of a natural calcium channel blocker, which is a class of medication often prescribed for high BP. Calcium channel blockers relax and widen blood vessels, and can also help with chest pain and heartbeat regulation.
  • There is some evidence that magnesium may increase nitric oxide (NO) production. Nitric oxide helps to relax (dilate) our blood vessels, which can both decrease our blood pressure and allow more oxygen into our bloodstream for delivery to our tissues and organs (including our lung tissue). You can read more about it here.
  • Magnesium has also been shown to decrease sodium concentrations in red blood cells without changing potassium concentration, which is what a potassium-sparing diuretic (another popular class of high blood pressure medication) does.

As you can see, adequate magnesium intake (400–420 mg/day for men, 310–320 mg/day for women) is of extreme importance to so many aspects of our good health, especially our heart health. But how do we get more of it in our system?

The best way is to work it into your diet naturally (if your diet allows for that), with magnesium-rich foods like bananas, potatoes, roasted almonds and cashews, etc. Luckily, the Cleveland Clinic has put together a highly comprehensive list of magnesium-rich foods, including nifty tidbits like how large the serving sizes are and how much magnesium is contained in a single serving size. We'd highly recommend you check it out!

We should also mention that 120/Life is very rich in magnesium as well, since it's both naturally-occurring and super helpful for normalizing blood pressure. :)

Here’s to your health!


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.