Sore, tight muscles? Reach for the magnesium. Magnesium is the most important mineral when it comes muscle relaxation. When used in conjunction with calcium your muscles get a balanced dose of the “good stuff,” aiding all your muscles (including the heart and your blood vessels) in functioning at optimum levels.
And yet, the National Institutes of Health found that 68% of Americans are magnesium deficient. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to:
- Muscle contractions or cramping (like the kind that wake you in your legs at night)
- Heart palpitations, angina and heart attack
- Type 2 diabetes (magnesium helps the body’s production of insulin, opening cells to insulin, and allowing in glucose)
- Bone health
- Poor response to stress
So what does all this mean to you?
It means that the key to good muscle health is right in your hands. You can start today to treat your body better with the addition of one simple mineral to your diet — magnesium. You can do this by adding magnesium rich foods (one of the best sources!) and/or by complementing your diet with a good quality magnesium supplement. If you supplement, be sure and get your hands on a highly absorbable form like magnesium citrate.
Foods naturally high in magnesium:
Kelp and dulse
Pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews and Brazil nuts
- Wheat germ and bran
- Grains: millet, rye, buckwheat, and brown rice
- Pumpkin and squash seeds
Halibut, rockfish, tuna, oysters and scallops
- Tofu, soybeans
- Figs and dates
Broccoli, artichokes, avocado
Greens: collard, parsley, dandelion and spinach
Legumes (like beans, peas and lentils)
Check with your physician if you have kidney disease or take medications for heart disease before supplementing with magnesium.