A Mineral I Can’t Go Without – Magnesium (+ Why You Need It)
Are you anxious, constipated, crampy, or having trouble sleeping? Yes these are common symptoms (ones I see often in the clinic), but they all have something in common, it could be your body giving you a signal that it’s low in magnesium.
Magnesium is one of my favourite minerals. It’s involved in over 300 different bio-chemical processes throughout the body. Magnesium helps to regulate muscle and nerve contraction, synthesizes protein, stabilizes blood pressure levels and blood sugar levels just to name a few.
There are many ways in which magnesium is lost from the body, poor dietary habits (too much-processed foods), regular coffee consumption, alcohol, being under stress, pharmaceutical drugs, depleted soils. It’s a very common mineral to be deficient in, yet most people have no idea about this magnificent and vital mineral. Some signs which can indicate magnesium deficiency include:
- Chocolate cravings
- Muscle cramps, twitching, soreness
- Sleep troubles
- Fatigue and weakness
- PMS symptoms
- Constant headaches
- Irregular heartbeat
Here are a few ways this magnificent mineral can help you:
Anxious? It relaxes the nervous system – Serotonin, which relaxes the nervous system and elevates mood is dependent on magnesium. It also brings back into balance your stress hormones.
Promotes better sleep –The sleep-regulating hormone (melatonin) is disrupted when magnesium is deficient. Magnesium levels also drop in your body at night, many people have difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep.
Relieves constipation – by helping to relax the bowels. It’s a great way to flush your system!
Increases energy – by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the cell’s energy store.
Relives headaches – A great trick to ease tension-induced headaches (and even migraines).
Better flexibility – It helps loosen tight muscles. Without magnesium, muscles cannot relax properly and cramping can occur.
Balances electrolytes – it alkalizes the body by returning the body’s pH back into balance, which is essential for hydration and beautiful skin.
Balances hormones: Helps to ease PMS symptoms.
Do you now see why I adore this mineral? It’s essential that we have enough of this miracle mineral in our lives. Diet and lifestyle play a key role in your magnesium uptake. Foods which are high in magnesium include:
- Dark leafy greens,
- Pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds
- Beans and legumes
- Whole grains
- Raw cacao powder (my personal fav!!)
Supplementing with magnesium is another way. Even if you eat a healthy diet, many people will likely still need to supplement with magnesium. It could be to help increase your energy levels, promote better sleep, increase bowel habits, reduce anxiety, reduce headaches or migraines. I personally take a magnesium supplement every night before bed. There are many different types of magnesium, some are a lot more bioavailable than others, so it is best to speak to a nutritionist or naturopath first to find out the best kind of magnesium for you and your symptoms. One form which can benefit most people is called magnesium bisglycinate. Most people need about 350-400mg per day. It’s best to take magnesium before bed when you are in a relaxed state, it will help to provide a deep, rejuvenating sleep!
Hi I’m Natalie, a Registered Clinical Nutritionist, health influencer, blog writer & recipe creator. My own health complications prompted me to make positive diet & lifestyle changes, revitalize my health leading to a career change from the corporate world to nutritional medicine. I believe in a wholefoods approach to good health, focusing on simple strategies for modern, busy people.