Parents are bombarded with tons of information when it comes to finding the right kind of nutrition for their young children. We already know some of the basics- calcium for healthy bones, protein for their cells, iron for their blood, carbohydrates, and fat for energy. However, one of the essential nutrients are often left behind, or simply not given adequate attention to- magnesium.
When it comes to magnesium, it often does not get all the attention that it deserves. Magnesium is the second most abundant electrolyte which is found in the cells. It is required for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. You can easily add an appropriate amount of magnesium into a growing student’s diet with the help of some amazing and healthy foods.
- Green vegetables
- Whole grains
- Fruits (bananas, avocados, dried apricots)
- Soy products
Although you will also find magnesium supplements readily available in the market, it is not advisable to give these to students. Instead of relying on medicines, it is much better to try and eat the right kinds of food which are high in magnesium.
It is essential to know that the amount of magnesium that your body absorbs varies from individual to individual.
There are certain factors which make this absorption rate vary, such as:
- high sugar diet reduces magnesium absorption
- low protein diet
- a high intake of saturated fats
- other nutritional deficiencies
- vitamin D deficiency
The Importance of Magnesium in Diet
Magnesium is a mineral that is abundantly found on earth. It is located in the seas, in animals, humans, in bones, and plants. Most of the magnesium, which is found in our bodies (about 60%) is found in our bones. The rest of it is found in our muscles, tissues, and even in our blood. The fact is that each and every cell requires magnesium in our bodies to function correctly.
Some of the most essential jobs of magnesium in our bodies are:
Magnesium Helps in Chemical Reactions in the Body
This mineral helps several chemical reactions in our bodies, such as the conversion of food into energy, creation of new proteins from the amino acids in our body, regulation of neurotransmitters (which send and receive messages from your brain and nervous system), helping the contraction and relaxation of muscles, and even helps to repair and create DNA and RNA.
Almost all of the most essential functions of our body needs the help of this super mineral- magnesium.
Magnesium Helps Fight Depression
Student life is tough. It comes with a lot of challenges, struggles, and immensely hard work. One of the most common things to happen to young students is suffering from anxiety or depression.
Having adequate magnesium in your diet can help your brain function and moods, thus helping you alleviate depression. There might even be a direct link between magnesium deficiency and depression. Taking the right kind of foods and ensuring that your body is rightly absorbing the magnesium in your diet can help you fight with signs and symptoms of depression.
Magnesium Can Help Lower High Blood Pressure Levels
Stress and high levels of anxiety that come with student life can often cause students to have high blood pressure. It has been noted that magnesium can help reduce this level of high blood pressure. However, if your blood pressure levels are already healthy, then magnesium will not have any effect, or lower your blood pressure levels any further, which is excellent!
Magnesium Improves PMS Symptoms
PMS refers to Pre Menstrual Syndrome. It is, in fact, one of the most common disorders which women (near the childbearing age) experience. PMS includes varying symptoms such as bloating, mood swings and depression, irritability, nausea, and a hoard of other symptoms that come and go with every menstrual cycle.
A piece of great news is that proper intake of magnesium has been seen to reduce PMS, which a massive boon is for women all over! It not only helps to improve mood and reduce irritability, but it also helps to reduce water retention and a host of other symptoms.
It is quite easy to spot the signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency in students. If you can see any of these symptoms, you can increase their intake of certain foods that are high in magnesium to balance this out. Some of the signs of low magnesium include:
- weakness and lethargy
- teeth grinding
- sensitivity to sounds and noise
- restlessness, difficulty sleeping, and insomnia
- muscle tensions, twitching muscle, spasms, leg cramps or continuous growing pains
- hyperactivity, hyperexcitability
Side Effects of Excess Magnesium
Although there is a certain appropriate amount of magnesium that is required by the body, unlike other supplements, there is not any considerable health risk of having excessive magnesium. The only adverse side effect of excessive magnesium is diarrhea.
The right amount of magnesium per day is 350 mg.
However, it should be noted that this figure can slightly vary for men and women.
Men- 400 to 420 mg per day
Women- 310 to 320 mg per day
Getting enough magnesium in the body is extremely important for students. It not only helps them with their physical but also their mental faculties. There are many forms of magnesium supplements found in the market, but it is always advisable to stick to natural sources such as food, instead of opting for supplements. In case you think that you are not getting enough magnesium in your diet, you can consult a doctor to find out.
Increasing the intake of certain kinds of food can help you bring back the balance of magnesium, which your body requires to function at its optimal. Nuts, seeds, legumes, greens, avocado, beans, and even dark chocolate are excellent sources of magnesium. Without enough of this vital mineral in the body, your body will not be able to function properly, affecting your sleep, studies, concentration, and typical day to day activities.