Why Magnesium is Vital for Older Adults
Magnesium is a mineral that plays a crucial role in maintaining optimal health, especially as we age. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), magnesium is essential for regulating muscles and nerves, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure, and making protein, bone, and DNA. However, many older adults do not consume enough magnesium in their diet. In fact, more than 70% of people aged 70 and older are magnesium deficient.
Magnesium deficiency can lead to several health problems in older adults. One of the most significant risks is osteoporosis. The NIH reports that people with higher intakes of magnesium have a higher bone mineral density, which is important for reducing the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis. Magnesium also plays a role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease by regulating blood pressure levels. Studies have shown that low levels of magnesium can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Magnesium deficiency has also been linked to migraines. Some studies have shown that people with migraine headaches have lower levels of magnesium in their tissues and blood. Additionally, magnesium plays a role in maintaining healthy muscle function. Low levels of magnesium can cause muscle cramps and weakness.
To ensure adequate intake of magnesium, older adults should aim to consume 400-420 milligrams per day for men and 310-320 milligrams per day for women according to the NIH. Foods rich in magnesium include:
- leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale
- nuts like almonds and cashews
- whole grains like brown rice and quinoa
- legumes like black beans and lentils
- seafood like salmon and halibut
In conclusion, adequate intake of magnesium is essential for optimal health as we age. Magnesium plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy bones, muscles, nerves as well as regulating blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Older adults should aim to consume enough magnesium through their diet or supplements if necessary to reduce the risk of various health problems associated with its deficiency.
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