9 Signs You Need To Make Magnesium Your Friend

I love magnesium.

Without a doubt it is my favourite, most cherished essential mineral.  Coincidentally, it also happens to be the mineral that I find the majority of people who walk through my clinic door are in need of  More often than not magnesium is one of the first things I prescribe when I am looking to help somebody feel better quickly, simply because it plays such a key role in so many aspects of health.

You may be surprised to learn that magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body (that’s quite a lot!).   It assists with blood sugar balance, builds strong healthy bones, helps to balance hormones, supports the burning of fat for energy, as well as playing a role a healthy heart and blood pressure, just to name a few.

The bad news is that despite how important it is for our health, magnesium deficiency is actually really common – in fact, almost half of of us don’t take in anywhere near enough magnesium in our diets. And if you are drinking a bit too much alcohol, overdoing the soft drinks or coffee, dealing with chronic stress, taking certain medications that deplete levels, suffer from heavy periods, or experience frequent digestive upsets like diarrhoea - then these can all affect how well you absorb, and/or hold on to, the magnesium your body so desperately needs.

Here are just a few ways in which a magnesium deficiency can reveal itself:

So it goes without saying that one of the easiest ways to reduce these kinds of symptoms is to increase the quantity of magnesium you take in through your diet.   The following foods are all rich in magnesium:

  • Nuts, especially cashews, but also almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and Brazil nuts
  • Cocoa, raw cacao and dark chocolate
  • Eggs
  • Seeds such as sesame, sunflower
  • Wholegrain cereals, particularly barley
  • Green vegetables and herbs such as spinach and parsley
  • Animal proteins – beef, chicken, turkey
  • Fruits – bananas, passionfruit and raspberries
  • Legumes (beans, peas and lentils)

Now, about magnesium supplements...

Whilst I always believe that obtaining nutrients from food sources should be our primary focus, sometimes there are situations where supplementation may be helpful.  

However, it pays to be aware that not all supplements are created equal.  

Here's why.  Magnesium in supplements is often in the form ‘magnesium oxide’ (if you have a magnesium supplement at home, take a peek at the label).  Supplement manufacturers tend to use this form of magnesium because it is cheap and they can therefore maximize their profit margin.  And they only need to justify that the supplement ‘contains magnesium’ – it is irrelevant to the manufacturer whether you, the consumer, receive a benefit from it or not.  However, magnesium oxide is a very large molecule, and because of this your body is less able to absorb and utilize it than other forms of magnesium.  This can then mean that your chosen supplement is less likely to provide the expected benefits, and effectively will be a waste of money.

Luckily, there are far better options available, through a qualified natural healthcare practitioner, that are easier to digest and absorb.   I always ensure that only the best quality supplements make it through my door, and are the only things that are good enough for my patients (and myself for that matter!).


Linda

REFERENCES
Osiecki, H. (2010).  The nutrient bible.  Eagle Farm: BioConcepts Publishing

Tags

diabetes, hormones, insomnia, magnesium, stress


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