Many parents are keen about ensuring their children have enough nutrients in the foods they consume. While most parents are keen about ensuring their children are consuming enough calcium and vitamin C, many do not know how important magnesium is to the health of their young ones.
Importance of magnesium to children
- It is a key indicator of the bone mineral content and density
In a study carried out to look at the contribution of both calcium and magnesium in a group of children, Magnesium was found to contribute to the total mineral content and density of the bones. The magnesium absorbed by children is a key indicator of how much bone the children had. While many believe that calcium is an indicator, this study found that it is not as significantly connected as magnesium is.
- Magnesium relaxes the mind and body
Magnesium is responsible for facilitating the sending of messages throughout the nervous system. It is used to calm the nerves. This function is critical for children that have hyperactivity disorders. When children have the right amount of magnesium in their bodies, they are able to think clearly. Their ability to concentrate is also increased. Magnesium triggers the production of serotonin in the body. Serotonin is a happy hormone that reduces stress and gives a feeling of well- being and calmness. When serotonin is not produced adequately in the body, a child is moody, depressed and irritable.
The muscle fibers in the body of an individual require magnesium to relax. When magnesium is not adequate in the body, twitches and spams are a common problem. Enough magnesium allows the child’s body to function properly without disturbances and to be relaxed.
- It is essential in regulating blood sugars
Sometimes hyperactive children act that way because of excess sugar in their blood. Enough magnesium in the body prevents high and low sugars in the body. This ensures that the child is calm but not lethargic.
- Helps in the absorption of other minerals
Magnesium is important to help in the absorption of other minerals including calcium and vitamin D. Magnesium deficiency causes the body to have deficiency of other minerals even when they are constantly consumed.
- Helps in hormone production
Lack of magnesium in the body may cause low maturity and stagnant growth in a child. Magnesium helps the body produce the necessary hormones that allow a child to go into puberty without any problems.
Conditions linked to lack of magnesium
Lack of magnesium has been linked to conditions like ADD and ADHD. There are many other conditions that children suffering from magnesium deficiency may face:
- Impaired cognitive functions and memory impairment
- Vomiting and nausea
- Anxiety and irritability
- Behavioral distabunces
A child may also face problems physically like:
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle cramps
- General body weakness
- Problem swallowing food
- Vertigo and involuntary eye movements
- Hyperactive reflexes
- Lack of muscle coordination
- Coronary spasms
- Irregular heartbeat
- Retarded growth or a lack of thriving
- Deficiencies in both calcium and potassium
A child may also suffer from:
- Type II diabetes
- Chest pains
- Parkinson’s disease