Of the 16 essential minerals that we must intake through our diet, magnesium is one of the most important ones to pay attention to during weight loss. Although each mineral plays a crucial part, magnesium is responsible for hundreds of enzyme interactions, is a major electrolyte, is critical in energy production, helps to balance blood sugar, is necessary for proper nervous system functioning, and is deemed “the relaxation mineral” for its ability to alleviate stress and relax bodily systems so that they are not overtaxed. These roles not only make magnesium important for overall health, but necessary when someone is looking to lose weight.
How Magnesium Can Help You Lose Weight:
- Magnesium helps regulate blood sugar. Magnesium has been shown to help stabilize glucose levels in those with insulin resistance, increase sensitivity to insulin, and reduce bloating and water retention.
- Magnesium can help reduce inflammation within the body. As one of the leading causes of weight gain, chronic inflammation inhibits metabolism-regulating hormones, leads to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, and it can cause water retention.
- Magnesium helps relieve stress and improve sleep. Stress and the lack of sleep increases cortisol release, which is a stress hormone that also causes the body to store excess fat. As the relaxation mineral, magnesium can reduce stress and anxiety, in turn reducing cortisol levels.
- Magnesium improves mood. Since magnesium reduces the release of the stress hormone cortisol, it can help reduce anxiety and alleviate depression. This helps one stay focused and on-track to reaching weight goals by elevating mood and creating positivity around goals.
- Magnesium helps heart health. It is responsible for the relaxation of the heart muscle, prevents arrhythmias, palpitations and spasms, can reduce arterial plaque buildup as a result of proper contraction and relaxation of the heart muscle, and helps balance blood pressure. Heart health is crucial for overall health, body maintenance, and the ability to exercise.
- Magnesium helps boost energy. Magnesium is a necessary co-factor in the production of ATP, our bodies’ main energy carrier molecule. Therefore, magnesium is crucial in energy creation, and enables energetic workouts and activities that help create weight loss
Unfortunately, it is estimated that roughly half of the population is deficient in magnesium. Not only are people’s diets often magnesium-deficient, but due to over-farming, magnesium has become somewhat depleted in our soil, meaning that we have more difficulty receiving this nutrient from our foods. Thus, we have to take extra care to get enough.
Magnesium deficiency can create many serious health issues. Deficiency in magnesium increases susceptibility to heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney stones, insomnia, PMS, menstrual cramps, and cancer. Magnesium is especially important for the heart due to its role in energy production and muscle contraction (helping the heart maintain a stable rhythm), and deficiency can cause a heart attack (by producing a spasm in the coronary arteries, reducing blood flow and oxygen to the heart). Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include mental confusion, irritability, weakness, heart disturbances, problems with nerve conduction and muscle contraction, which are similar to symptoms of potassium deficiency. Additional magnesium deficiency symptoms include muscle cramps, headaches, loss of appetite, insomnia, and less resistance to stress.
The best dietary sources of magnesium are kelp and other seaweeds, nuts, whole grains, tofu, with smaller quantities in green plants (since magnesium is present in chlorophyll). Since many of these major magnesium food sources are not present in a ketogenic diet, Symmetry’s weight loss plan incorporates a magnesium supplement. To learn more about following a safe and healthy weight loss plan as well as appropriate supplementation, reach out to our front desk at Symmetry Health Center for more information: (510) 769-0125 and [email protected] to reach our Alameda office; (510) 654-2207 and [email protected] to reach our Oakland office.