Magnesium is supposedly the fourth most-commonly found mineral in the human body, yet studies show most people are deficient in it. The mystery culprit? The same phenomenon behind anxiety, depression, and lack of sleep: stress. Stress causes all kinds of negative effects on the body, and your brain compensates for it by using up all of the magnesium naturally found in cells, responsible for regulating hundreds of bodily chemical reactions. Magnesium supports the transformation of food into energy, formulating new proteins, repairing DNA, supporting muscle movement, and regulating the nervous system among many other critical functions. Magnesium also helps protect the body from minor health complications like migraines and insomnia to major health issues like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
“If there’s one supplement that is absolutely essential, it’s magnesium,” Dr. Dennis Goodman, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at New York University, Board Certified Cardiologist, and the Director of Integrative Medicine at New York Medical Associates, told Observer. “In my practice, 80 percent of people are deficient in it.”
In his book, Magnificent Magnesium: Your Essential Key to a Healthy Heart and More, Dr. Goodman explores magnesium’s ability to remedy many cardiovascular conditions, arguing the case for the naturally-occurring mineral over pharmaceutical drugs to lower blood pressure and even prevent heart attacks. He also highly recommends supplementing your diet with magnesium, an easy way to avoid fatigue, insomnia, migraines, anxiety, muscle cramps, and even depression. Dr. Goodman is consistently named one of New York’s top doctors by The New York Times and New York Magazine, thanks to his integrative approach to overall optimal health; rather than resorting immediately to pharmaceuticals, he addresses his patients with a combined approach that is equal parts mind and body.
Dr. Goodman cites an unbalanced diet as one of the main causes of magnesium deficiency; most Americans aren’t consuming the right foods critical to a magnesium-rich diet such as green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, avocados, and halibut to name a few. To fill your diet with natural sources of magnesium, he recommends visiting farmer’s market for fresh, organic produce, explaining that much of the soil used to grow America’s produce is magnesium deficient in itself.
Popping a daily dose of magnesium has also been proven to boost your workout. Magnesium supports the dispersion of blood sugar to the muscles, aiding the overproduction of lactic acid and preventing joint pain. This means, you can go harder in the gym, knowing you won’t be as sore the next day. A German study at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry found that athletes training for a triathlon while supplementing with magnesium experienced improved cycling, swimming, and running times with an easier recovery afterward.
“Preventative and Integrative Medicine should be in forefront of Health Care,” Dr. Goodman stated on his Twitter. Magnesium has been scientifically proven to be more than just a “quick fix” or latest fad-supplement on the market. It’s a means of preventative health and an easy investment in strong cardiovascular, physical, and mental health.
Of course, as with any supplement, it is always advisable to check with your doctor first.