Magnesium and the Body

In pregnancy healthy and well balanced diet is very important. 
Magnesium is one vital element helping for the proper functioning of our bodies, our metabolism and brain function.
It is a fact that Magnesium and its importance to the human health are slightly overlooked and people in general do not know much about it. Calcium, Iron, Iodine are more well known and mentioned more often. I have the impression that regarding Magnesium.people are far less knowledgeable
Magnesium is a mineral. It is often included in multivitamin formulas, but it is not a vitamin itself.
Magnesium is taking part in:
– Proper formation of bones and teeth – Action of heart muscle
– Relaxation of blood vessels – Promotion of proper bowel function
– Regulation of blood sugar levels – Creation of ATP (adenosine triphospate), the energy molecules of your body
Magnesium is important to health because it is used in the production of energy for the cells, in the production of proteins and in the function of body’s enzymes. It is present in more than 300 emzymes in our bodies.50% of the magnesium is contained in the bones, remaining part is distributed in the muscles and the tissues and a minimal part in the blood.In the muscles magnesium works together with calcium – magnesium relaxes the muscles while calcium causes them to contract.
A normal daily intake for women 20 years and older is between 250 – 310gr ( in pregnancy the amount is increased to 360gr)
For men in the same age group it is 400 to 420gr per day.
Deficiency in magnesium would cause:
– Muscle contractions and cramps – Abnormal heart rhythms
– Numbness and tingling – Coronary spasms
– Personality changes – Chronic Fatigue and Weakness
– Loss of appetite – Headache
– Nausea and vomiting feeling
Severe Magnesium deficiency in the body is not so common and easily done to the body, however certain medical conditions and lifestyle habits can decrease its levels. For example intestinal virus that causes vomiting or diarrhea can cause temporary magnesium deficiencies. Some gastrointestinal diseases (such as irritable bowel syndrome or IBS and ulcerative colitis), diabetes, pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism (high thyroid hormone levels), kidney disease, and taking diuretics can lead to deficiencies.
Too much coffee, soda, salt, or alcohol, as well as heavy menstrual periods, excessive sweating, and prolonged stress can also lower magnesium levels. *(Source: University of Maryland Medical Center)
In pregnancy the body needs increased amount of Magnesium to build and repair body tissues. A severe deficiency during pregnancy may lead to preeclampsia – a serious condition where the mother will often have high blood pressure and high protein count in the urine. The symptoms include sudden and sever swelling in the face, feet and hands, headache and even in rare cases blurred vision. Other complications of lack of sufficient magnesium amount in pregnancy lead to poor fetal growth, and even infant mortality.
Whole food rich in magnesium are not difficult to find. They need to be incorporated in the dietary habits in order to maintain its level suffcient . However if you doubt that you intake enough amount of Magnesium, supplements ca be taken as well. Choose a magnesium supplement that contains magnesium citrate. This form of magnesium provides a better absorption rate.
The intake amount of the Magnesium supplement however should be monitored carefully. Not exceeding the daily required levels of Magnesium is important when taking supplements. However eating magnesium rich food while taking the supplements will not result in overdose intake of Magnesium.
Rich sources of magnesium include tofu, legumes, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, wheat bran, Brazil nuts, soybean flour, almonds, cashews, blackstrap molasses, pumpkin and squash seeds, pine nuts, and black walnuts.
Other good dietary sources of this mineral include peanuts, whole wheat flour, oat flour, spinach, pistachio nuts, shredded wheat, bran cereals, oatmeal, bananas, and baked potatoes (with skin). A pleasing discovery is that the chocolate, and the cocoa powder are also sourse of magnesium.
Many herbs, spices, and seaweeds supply magnesium, such as agar seaweed, coriander, dill weed, celery seed, sage, dried mustard, basil, cocoa powder, fennel seed, cumin seed, poppy seed.*Source: University of Maryland Medical Center