Are You Giving Your Child Magnesium?

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What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential mineral for the human body. Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle functions, supports the immune system, keeps the heartbeat steady, and helps the bones to remain strong. It also helps regulate blood glucose levels and aid in the production of energy and protein.

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There are ongoing researches into the role of Magnesium in preventing and managing disorders such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. The mineral, magnesium, may be just as important as calcium for the health of children’s bones as well.

It has been found that magnesium helps support the immune system in children, and plays a role in improving the function of muscles and nerves.

Magnesium Deficiencies

If children’s body does not get adequate amounts of magnesium, then they might face many bodily disorders. These are the common health issues in children, who are suffering from magnesium deficiencies:

  • Increased sensitivity to noise
  • Irritability
  • Inability to sleep
  • Headache
  • Muscle soreness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Back pain
  • Concentration problems
  • Allergies
  • Poor dental health
  • Constipation
  • Carbohydrate cravings
  • Body odour
  • Decreased appetite

If you see the following symptoms in your children, then consider the possibility of magnesium deficiency and consult your doctor.

How Much To Consume?

Magnesium is crucial for children’s health and development. But there is a certain amount limit that a child’s body should consume. Taking too much magnesium may cause diarrhoea and stomach cramps.

Children below 3 years of age need around 80 mg of magnesium daily, whereas those between 4-8 years need 130 mg daily.

Adequate amount of magnesium heals children’s body in several ways. It helps the sleep regulating hormones to work properly. Serotonin, which relaxes the nervous system and elevates mood, is dependent on magnesium as well. Magnesium allows the body to produce more Insulin-like Growth Factor, which is a major contributor to the growth and strength of muscles.

Magnesium Rich Food

Children do not love to eat vegetables naturally, but it is important for their good health. Here are some foods that are rich sources of magnesium.

  1. Dark green leafy vegetables:
    • Spinach (having spinach in every meal provides the body 75 mg magnesium)
    • Collard greens
    • Peas and tomatoes are also good sources of magnesium.
  2. Magnesium is also found in foods made with whole grains
    • Bread (one slice of bread contains 23 mg magnesium)
    • Crackers
    • Pasta
    • Cereals
  3. Milk
    • 1 cup of milk contains 35 mg magnesium
  4. Fruits has high amount of magnesium:
    • Banana (banana may provide a child 20 percent of the magnesium needed for the body every day)
    • Watermelon.
  5. Nuts
    • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter has 25 mg magnesium
  6. Seafood is also a good source of magnesium. Adding shrimp in the child’s meal will provide him as much magnesium he needs to stay active.

If your child is too young, avoid giving him nuts and seeds, since they may get stuck in your child’s throat.