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Magnesium is an essential mineral found in every organ in your body. You can especially find it in your heart, kidneys and muscles, but it’s also used in the makeup of your teeth and bones. The Natural Library of Medicine says that it helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps your heartbeat steady and your bones staying strong. One of the most important functions that magnesium is in charge of is activating enzymes, which contributes to energy productions and regulates the levels of calcium, copper, zinc and other nutrients’ levels in your body.

>> Read more: 9 Essential Nutrients for Fit Mamas

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Your body can naturally get magnesium from a variety of foods. Most foods that have high levels of magnesium also have high amounts of fiber in them. If you need more magnesium in your body, try eating more fruits and veggies like bananas or avocados. You can also add nuts, peas, beans, seeds, soy products or more whole grains to your diet too. Some people can’t always come by this necessary mineral the natural way, though, and they may have a magnesium deficiency. If you experience hyper-excitability, muscle weakness or sleepiness you may not be getting enough magnesium. There can be a variety of reasons for a magnesium deficiency, like taking certain medications, low blood levels of calcium, malabsorption or even having burns.

Doctors use magnesium to treat many diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. It can also be used as a laxative for constipation, heartburn and asthma in children. Doctors often use magnesium for preparation of the bowel for surgical or diagnostic procedures.

Want to find other supplements? To see the rest of our Glossary of Supplements, click here!