Nowadays many people are following plant-forward diets mainly due to their health benefits. For instance, eating more whole foods significantly reduces the risk of developing many lifestyle diseases. This is because of the lower calorie and higher nutritional content of plant-based foods. However, vegans have a higher risk of developing some deficiency diseases because certain nutrients are absent or not easily absorbed from plant-based foods, and this can be avoided by consuming a balanced vegan diet. In this article, we will discuss the importance of magnesium in a vegan diet.
The Role Of Magnesium In Good Health
Vegans must pay special attention to magnesium along with calcium, iron, and vitamin D. This micronutrient is required for the smooth functioning of your body. For example, it is essential for maintaining healthy muscles and bones. Likewise, it is required to produce antioxidants that help to protect against heart and brain diseases. Also, it plays a key role in proper nerve function and energy production. Finally, it may help to keep diseases like insomnia, constipation, diabetes, asthma, etc at bay.
If you are following a vegan diet and suffering from conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure, then you must eat magnesium-rich foods. This will help you to manage blood sugar levels and maintain blood pressure by inducing optimal blood circulation. Its deficiency causes issues like seizures, numbness, muscle cramps, coronary spasms, and arrhythmia. On the contrary, excess intake of magnesium causes nausea and diarrhea because the body is attempting to excrete the excess.
The Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency
Listed below are the main symptoms of magnesium deficiency:
- Muscle cramps
- Irregular heartbeat
Health Benefits Of Magnesium
Regulating Blood Pressure: Studies have shown that people who eat more fruits and vegetables get adequate amounts of magnesium and potassium, and this helps to maintain normal blood pressure.
Reduce The Risk Of Heart Attack And Cardiovascular Diseases: Magnesium helps to maintain normal blood pressure and reduce the risk of diabetes. As a result of this, it lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke.
Reduce The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes: Magnesium plays a key role in the metabolism of carbohydrates and insulin use by the body. Also, studies show that people with type 2 diabetes have lower amounts of magnesium in their blood. This can be corrected by increasing the intake of this micronutrient as it may help to improve insulin sensitivity, as well as prevent type 2 diabetes.
Reduce The Risk Of Osteoporosis: Magnesium plays a crucial role in calcium metabolism and in the production of hormones that regulate calcium levels. So, it may help with protecting against the development of osteoporosis. Furthermore, several studies found that increased magnesium intake can help with improving bone health.
Reduce The Incidence Of Migraine: It has been found from studies that individuals who suffer from migraines have lower levels of magnesium. So, even if it is controversial, it has been advised that increasing the intake of magnesium may lower the frequency of migraines.
Alleviate Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): It has been suggested that increasing the intake of magnesium in conjunction with vitamin B6 can help with mitigating insomnia, bloating, weight gain, leg swelling, breast tenderness, and other symptoms of PMS.
Magnesium Rich Food To Include In Your Vegan Diet
Listed below are the plant-based foods that you must include in your vegan meal to ensure that you get adequate amounts of magnesium:
Legumes: Along with proteins, legumes are a good source of magnesium. For instance, soybeans, black beans, chickpeas, and lentils have considerable amounts of this mineral.
Leafy Greens: Green leafy vegetables like broccoli, kale, and spinach contain good amounts of magnesium. Also, they have enough other nutrients like fiber and iron. You can eat them raw, steamed, or cooked; cooking generally increases the bioavailability of nutrients. Furthermore, eating a salad made of spinach, chickpeas, and tofu with a vinegar dressing ensures that you get adequate amounts of magnesium.
Tofu: Tofu is an excellent source of magnesium because it is made using matured soybeans. Remember that soybean is a legume that has high amounts of magnesium.
Dark Chocolate: Consuming dark chocolate in moderation will ensure that you will get adequate amounts of magnesium. Apart from this, it is also rich in antioxidants that protect cells and tissues from the damages caused by free radicals. Above all, choose dark chocolate that has 70% cocoa solids.
Avocado: Avocados provide 16% RDI of magnesium, i.e. 58 mg per fruit. Apart from this, it is an excellent source of healthy fats that are good for brain and heart health. Furthermore, it has high amounts of vitamin K, B vitamins, and potassium.
Cultured Yogurt: It is a nutrient-dense food that contains 30 mg of magnesium per serving along with protein. Besides, it also contains vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics.