Magnesium: How It Helps Diabetes, How To Get Enough

It’s estimated that more than half of Americans are deficient in the body’s fourth most abundant mineral, magnesium.

Among its many duties, magnesium is involved in the regulation of blood sugar levels, and people with elevated insulin are likely not getting enough of this nutrient.

Why the Deficit

Having insufficient magnesium is owed to several factors:

  • Nutrient-poor food crops because of the increasing depletion of nutrients from our soil.
  • Eating too many processed foods.
  • Consuming too few fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Magnesium loss through alcohol consumption, stress, poor sleep, and by taking certain prescription medications, including statins, diuretics, and fluoride containing drugs.

Various hormones, such as estrogen, may effect magnesium levels as well.

Some early signs of magnesium deficiency are a lack of appetite, headaches, fatigue, weakness, muscle spasms (Charlie horses), nausea, and vomiting.

Magnesium and Diabetes

Having adequate magnesium may lessen type 2 diabetes symptoms, and it helps prevent insulin resistance, and the onset of diabetes—especially for those at high risk. Research revealed that:

  • High magnesium intake can lower the risk of blood glucose and metabolic problems up to 71 percent in those with pre-diabetes.
  • Boosting magnesium levels inhibits the progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes.
  • Magnesium activates the enzyme tyrosine, necessary for the proper functioning or our cell’s insulin receptors.

Sufficient magnesium levels are also essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart health. This is an important consideration for those with diabetes since they are at increased risk for cardiovascular problems.

Getting More Magnesium

Magnesium expert Dr. Carolyn Dean who wrote the book The Magnesium Miracle, believes that nearly everyone would be better off taking a magnesium supplement, because our soil is so depleted of nutrients.

However, by eating a varied diet that includes regular helpings of dark-green leafy vegetables, you can theoretically get a healthy supply of magnesium from your food. Organic foods grown in nutrient-rich soil might be higher in magnesium than traditionally grown crops, but that is difficult to determine.

To boost your body’s store of magnesium, eat plenty of the following:

  • Nuts: Brazil, cashews, almonds, and almond butter.
  • Beans: black, navy, pinto, lima, kidney.
  • Seeds: pumpkin, flax, sesame, sunflower.
  • Leafy greens: spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens, beet greens, collard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, romaine lettuce.
  • Fruits: papaya, raspberries, tomato, cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon.
  • Rice/Whole Grains: quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, millet, oats, rye, wheat.
  • Herbs/Spices: basil, coriander, chives, cumin seed, parsley, mustard seeds, fennel.

Other good magnesium sources are unsweetened cocoa powder, and both summer and winter squash.

Supplements and Soaks

If you decide to use a supplement, you’ll find there are several types of magnesium available. Consider doing a bit of research - or consult a doctor or pharmacist - since some of forms of magnesium have stool softening or laxative properties that you may want—or not.

Magnesium glycinate is a generally good choice for those attempting to correct a deficiency because of its high absorption and bio-availability levels. Avoid supplements containing magnesium stearate, a potentially harmful additive. If you are on any medications, check with your doctor before adding a new supplement to your diet.

If you’d rather forego supplementation but enjoy tub soaks or soothing foot baths, you can boost your body’s magnesium by adding epsom salt, which is a magnesium sulfate, to the water.

Source: Mercola
Photo credit: Timothy Krause

More Articles

Diabetic shoes are important as a common side effect of diabetes is "peripheral neuropathy," which causes loss of sensation in the extremities....

There’s something inherently playful about bouncing, which is why so many people enjoy rebounding. Rebounding, or exercising on a mini-trampoline...

Do not let pictures of yoga experts with their bodies twisted into bizarre, compact shapes fool you. Even people with stiff muscles, creaky joints...

One of the hardest parts about adopting a low-carb diet is giving up traditional baked goods and sweets. The good news, however, is that low-carb...

Insulin injections are a way of life for many people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but for some people, they can be a little intimidating at...

More Articles

One of the hardest parts about adopting a low-carb diet is giving up traditional baked goods and sweets. The good news, however, is that low-carb...

Anyone can develop a fungal skin infection, but people with diabetes are more prone to them. A common cause of fungal infections in those with...

Many diabetics struggle to control the sudden blood sugar spikes that can occur after meals. Knowing why blood sugar spikes happen and making...

Do not let pictures of yoga experts with their bodies twisted into bizarre, compact shapes fool you. Even people with stiff muscles, creaky joints...

People often get diabetes and hypoglycemia confused with one another, believing that they are two different names for the same condition. In...

Diabetes is a health condition that disrupts the body’s normal production of insulin. Currently, more than one million Americans are diagnosed...

Insulin injections are a way of life for many people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but for some people, they can be a little intimidating at...

With diabetes, it all used to be really simple: Type 1 diabetes was known as “childhood-onset,” and type 2 was “adult-onset” diabetes. The cause...

There’s something inherently playful about bouncing, which is why so many people enjoy rebounding. Rebounding, or exercising on a mini-trampoline...

Everyone from grandmothers to physicians tout oatmeal's wholesome goodness and health benefits. But, is oatmeal good for diabetics? Limited...

A common complication associated with diabetes is swollen feet. The swelling can...

Stomach aches and other gastrointestinal pains can be signs of a bigger problem. One such problem for diabetics is gastroparesis, or delayed...

Improving your A1C reading requires you to maintain consistently healthy blood...

The medical community relies heavily on the goodwill of its citizens, as giving blood and organ donations help save thousands of lives every year...

There are several misconceptions about Diabetes. Learn more about the top misconceptions vs. facts surrounding Type 2 Diabetes below.

86...