Your body needs six essential minerals, Calcium, Potassium, Sodium, Phosphorous, Chloride and Magnesium which comprise 99% of the total minerals in your body. Magnesium helps build bones, enables your nerves to function and is essential in the production of energy from food.

A lack of magnesium has been linked to conditions such as headaches, chronic pain, asthma and sleep disorders. It has also been linked to serious ailments such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, and diabetes. Finally, a lack of magnesium has also been linked to depression. In a study conducted in a cohort of 475 chronically depressed people, 100% of the group was found to be deficient in magnesium. Magnesium seems to have a calming effect on your brain thereby reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

In another study, a group of Doctors found a link between migraine attacks and the consumption of magnesium. Consuming oral magnesium reduced the likelihood of you getting headaches. Women, in particular, seemed to respond better to this form of treatment.

Many foods contain magnesium. Spinach of Popeye fame, pumpkin seeds, yogurt or kefir, almonds, black beans, dark chocolate and avocado are some of them. Magnesium is also available as a supplement and can be ingested with water. Apparently, this also improves the bioavailability.

The amount of magnesium in your body can be affected by other factors. These include regular consumption of alcohol, taking prescription medicines, a diet high in sugar or phytic acids and also if you have a weak digestive system.

It is easy to lose sight of minerals as they are found and required in trace amounts. Most of our active time thinking about food ends up being spent on “how not to eat fat.” Instead, spare a moment for the humble mineral. It may even end up lifting your mood.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.

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