Magnesium is vital for a healthy diet, especially for pregnant women. Magnesium ions are a component of every cell in the body and, by mass, the eleventh most common element in the body.
Pregnant women are interested in being as healthy as possible. Magnesium is an important mineral to understand. It’s part of more than 350 biochemical reactions that keep the body functioning properly, including the efficient absorption of potassium, nerve and muscle function, control of blood glucose and blood pressure and protein synthesis. The mineral interacts with enzymes involved in regulating the storage and use of energy. It’s essential in controlling the electric current that traverses the body’s nervous system and maintaining a normal heart rhythm.
Sources of This Important Mineral
While supplements are an option, many common foods are a good source of the mineral. Some of the most popular include dark chocolate, avocados, nuts like cashews and almonds, seeds like pumpkin and sunflower, whole grains like wheat and oat, fatty fish like tuna and salmon, tofu, legumes like peas and lentils, bananas, leafy greens like spinach and cabbage, yogurt and kefir, chard, figs and dates, soybeans, wild rice, dried coriander, flaxseed oil and oatmeal. Just one ounce of roasted pumpkin seeds provides 37 percent of the daily value recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The mineral is also added to processed foods like breakfast cereal. These foods are a delicious part of a well-balanced diet for pregnant women.
Better Bathing With Magnesium Oil and Gel
Bathing in a bath with about two ounces of magnesium oil can relieve the aches and pains often associated with pregnancy. Soaking the feet in a mixture of 50 percent water and 50 percent oil can provide relief for aching feet. This mixture can also be used as a refreshing spray. The gel can be used in place of toothpaste as well.
Pregnant women want the best for their babies. Preparing for a new infant can be hectic. While it’s not difficult to eat the foods necessary to get all the required nutrients, some women may prefer to add a nutritional supplement. Some over-the-counter medicines are rich in magnesium. Many remedies for constipation, heartburn, acid indigestion and stomach aches rely on this mineral for relief.
What Depletes Magnesium
Mental and physical stress, like chronic pain, can contribute to many problems, including a loss of magnesium. Excess perspiration, diuretics, low thyroid and many medications can cause problems. Diets high in sodium, calcium and carbohydrates can result in a loss of this important mineral. It is beneficial to limit coffee, alcohol, colas and tobacco while pregnant and nursing.
Problems Associated With Low Magnesium
There are several symptoms that indicate there is a problem. Muscle spasms and cramps, as well as an irregular heartbeat, are two of the more unusual conditions that point to a deficiency. Chocolate cravings, anxiety, constipation, nausea, insomnia, high blood pressure, acid reflux, fatigue and weakness, poor memory, osteoporosis, headaches and migraines can also be the result of a lack of the mineral. Pregnant women shouldn’t assume these symptoms are attributable to the pregnancy. Tests can be done to make sure there isn’t a magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium During Pregnancy and Its Effect on the Fetus
While maintaining a proper magnesium level is always important, it’s critical during pregnancy. The daily requirement varies by age, but a woman who is actively trying to get pregnant or is pregnant should consume 350 to 400 milligrams a day. It’s vital to the health of the developing fetus.
Maintaining a healthy level of magnesium can help avoid complications with the pregnancy and the possibility of premature labor. Low birth weight and other developmental issues are a risk. Medical conditions like insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and renal and cardiovascular disease can affect the baby later in life.
The care a fetus receives in the womb will have a profound effect on the future life of the child. A lack of magnesium during fetal development can threaten a child’s health. A well-balanced diet can give a child the best chance for a healthy life.