High magnesium low-carb foods
Why is magnesium important?
In our body, a good 95% of magnesium is found within the cells, of which 50 to 70% is found in the bones, the rest in muscles and soft tissues. Magnesium is absorbed through the small intestine and any excess is excreted again mainly through the kidneys (urination). Our magnesium balance is kept constant by a complicated hormonal control system: If the magnesium level in blood serum falls below a critical limit, parathyroid hormone and vitamin D are released, among other things, which stimulate magnesium absorption in the intestine and at the same time inhibit excretion via the kidneys.
Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymes and co-enzymes, either in their formation or in their function. Just like calcium, it acts as a so-called “second messenger” for the transfer of information between and within cells, especially in the immune system and in nerve and muscle cells, by stabilizing the cells’ resting potential. So if we suspect a magnesium deficiency in muscle cramps and restlessness, we are usually right.
Magnesium in the body
Our cardiovascular system also needs magnesium: it relaxes the vascular muscles so that they can expand and lower blood pressure. With the help of magnesium, carbohydrate utilization is boosted and our intestines get going – so be careful not to overdose, as this can cause nasty diarrhoea!
Magnesium as a nutritional ingredient
Magnesium is found in almost all foods, in green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, mineral water, fish and meat.
Functions of magnesium
- Carbohydrate metabolism
- Protein metabolism
- information transfer in nerves, muscles and immune system
- Bone formation and bone strength
- Synthesis of nucleic acids and DNA
- Support of the cardiovascular system
- Support of the intestinal peristalsis
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency
An average person with a “normal” lifestyle and a balanced diet rarely suffers from a magnesium deficiency. In times of particular strain (stress, pregnancy, competitive sports), however, our magnesium requirements increase. Alcohol, caffeine, diuretic drugs, antibiotics, laxatives, contraceptives and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, inflammation of the pancreas, burns and chronic kidney diseases also have a negative effect on the magnesium balance. This can manifest itself with the following symptoms:
- Muscle cramps (calves, chewing muscles)
- Nervousness, restlessness
- Depressive moods
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Tachycardia, palpitations
- digestive disorders (diarrhoea/constipation)
- Loss of appetite
- Circulatory disorders
- Numbness in feet and hands
- Tummy ache
Symptoms of excess
Since the body usually keeps the magnesium level constant through hormonal regulation, an excess of magnesium is usually caused by certain diseases: a weakening of the kidneys and/or adrenal glands, hypothyroidism, weakening of the parathyroid glands, certain forms of cardiac arrhythmia.
Taking magnesium as a dietary supplement is usually problem-free – since the first symptom is usually diarrhoea, it is advisable to stop taking it for a few days. However, if one of the above-mentioned diseases is present, an excess is to a certain extent pre-programmed and serious consequences are imminent due to the reduced contractility of the muscles and the reduced excitability of the nervous system: long-term constipation or even life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia and paralysis of the respiratory muscles.
- Nausea, vomiting
- Symptoms of paralysis
- Blood pressure drop
- Pulse deceleration
- Shallow breathing
- Reduced excitability of the nervous system and muscles
- Diminishment/lack of muscle reflexes
- Bladder dysfunction