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Show Love to Your Heart by Consuming More of This

3 benefits magnesium can offer in improving heart health.

Key points

  • Magnesium helps in maintaining a healthy heartbeat.
  • Magnesium helps in lowering blood pressure.
  • Magnesium decreases the risk of heart disease.
 Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
Having an irrecgular heart beat can affect physical activity, energy level and breathing patterns
Source: Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Magnesium is just one of the many minerals that our body uses to carry out its functions. It plays a crucial role in supporting the activities of the nervous and muscular systems, in addition to helping our cells produce the energy our body needs.

Although having low magnesium levels from time to time does not cause symptoms (frequently, low magnesium levels can cause a variety of problems, particularly in the circulatory system) it increases the chances of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, among others.

So how does magnesium exactly help in managing heart health? Here are three of them:

  1. Magnesium helps in maintaining a healthy heartbeat.

    The heart is technically a muscle that contracts and relaxes, much like the arm muscles. Unlike arm muscles, though, we cannot control our heartbeats. The heart continues to do its job even without our explicit help.

    How? By the constant exchange of the magnesium and calcium ions within the muscle cells. Calcium ions are the ones that cause the heart to contract, and magnesium ions are the ones that help it relax.

    This constant contraction and relaxation is the cause of the “dug-dug” sound we hear whenever we huddle close to our chest. Imagine losing that sound because of low magnesium levels in the blood. Contraction without relaxation can lead to palpitations, cardiac arrhythmia (irregular beating of the heart), or worse, a heart attack.

  2. Magnesium helps in lowering blood pressure.

    High blood pressure is one of the many causes of heart disease. A constantly high blood pressure stresses your heart to work double-time to keep it normal, taxing the heart.

    Numerous studies have shown that increasing the amount of magnesium in the body helps high blood pressure patients decrease their systolic (upper) and diastolic (lower) levels by 20.4 and 8.7 percent. These are significant numbers, especially for hypertensive patients!

  3. Magnesium decreases the risk of heart disease.

    All this time, research has shown that high cholesterol levels and the consumption of saturated fats are largely the culprits in increased heart disease in patients.

    However, a study by Andrea Rosanoff, Ph.D., and colleagues revealed that low magnesium levels can also contribute to the numbers.

    As mentioned above, magnesium regulates the heartbeat and overall health of the heart. Without magnesium, calcium ions, the substances that regulate the contraction of the heart, will not have a counterpart to make the pumping happen.

With all these in mind, how can you increase your magnesium intake without having to rely on supplements? Here are a few tips:

  • Eat chocolate. Nothing makes a human happier than a box of chocolates. It will not only make you smile, it will also keep your heart healthy—especially if you like dark chocolate. So don’t feel guilty, and grab a square portion after dinner! It won’t hurt.
  • Unleash your inner monkey. Bananas are not just rich in potassium. They have significant levels of magnesium, too. It’s not apples that keep the doctor away, it’s bananas!
  • Don’t forget your fats. Although fats are considered an evil nutrient, a healthy level of the “good” fats, particularly the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated ones, can actually help keep your heart healthy. Feel free to eat that avocado toast and add the almonds in your granola—in moderation, of course.
  • Be like Popeye. No wonder he has big muscles and a big heart for Olive. Spinach is the reason. A cup of cooked spinach can already give you 39 percent of your recommended daily intake of magnesium. Add it to your smoothie. I promise you won’t taste the difference.

In the end, though, a healthy, balanced diet can ensure that you get all the nutrients you need. Start making smarter food choices and keep your heart pumping great.

References

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22087052/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19020533/

https://www.todaysgeriatricmedicine.com/archive/050613p30.shtml

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