Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in your body, and about half of it is found in your bones, while the other half lies in your organs and cells. Magnesium is essential for your health, as it promotes hundreds of reactions in your body. Additionally, magnesium may help you lose weight, although you need to burn more calories than you eat to lose weight no matter what nutrients you supplement.
Your entire body needs magnesium, from your teeth and bones to your heart and kidneys. Magnesium helps your body produce energy, activates enzymes and helps maintain levels of other essential nutrients, such as zinc, vitamin D and potassium, throughout your body. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that magnesium is essential for a proper heart rhythm, and a deficiency can lead to arrhythmia and eventually congestive heart failure.
Magnesium and Weight Loss
Magnesium does not directly enhance weight and fat loss, but it may help in some way. According to research published in the February 2009 edition of "Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis," increased intake of magnesium can promote enhanced levels of free testosterone in your body. Testosterone can reduce your levels of body fat and can increase your lean muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so this can be beneficial for weight loss.
You can find magnesium in many foods, particularly green vegetables. As the National Institutes of Health explains, chlorophyll, which gives green vegetables their color, contains magnesium, so spinach and soybeans are high in magnesium. Additionally, nuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, oatmeal, potatoes, beans, halibut and lentils are rich in magnesium. Baked potatoes are also a good source of magnesium, but you need to eat them with the skin on.
Consuming magnesium alone will not be enough to lose weight; you need to be in a caloric deficit to shed pounds. Thus, choosing low-calorie magnesium-rich foods can be helpful. Spinach, halibut and yogurt can be particularly helpful because of their low calorie content. Additionally, halibut and yogurt are rich in protein, a nutrient that can facilitate weight loss because it is more filling than other nutrients and promotes an increase in your daily calorie burning.
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Magnesium
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Magnesium
- Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis: Magnesium Effect on Testosterone-SHBG Association Studied by a Novel Molecular Chromatography Approach
- Better Health Channel: Metabolism
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Protein, Weight Management and Satiety