Magnesium is an essential nutrient which everyone of us requires. The quantity varies from person to person depending on our absorption rate, the stress we are under or even our age. It has been positively linked to symptoms like restless leg syndrome, cramping, tight muscles, reducing blood pressure and increasing heart function. Magnesium is ultimately involved in over 600 reactions in the body that include metabolism of food, the transmission of nerve impulses, synthesis of fatty acids and proteins, muscle movements, gene maintenance, and protein formation.
It is part of the seven essential macro minerals that must be consumed daily in large amounts otherwise symptoms of decline start to happen. Unfortunately, studies have noted that approximately 50 percent of people in the western world get far less than the recommended amount of magnesium needed. To top it off the amount of magnesium that is found in soil to help us get it from natural sources has been steadily declining for the past 50 years since industrialization.
There is also the use of chemicals in our water supply of chlorine and fluoride that makes magnesium less bioavailable for us. Living in today’s society of the twenty first century adds an increased need for magnesium due to high level of stress and use of cortisol. Magnesium deficiency can lead to a range of symptoms ie disturbed sleep, calcium deficiency, therefore weakened bone structure and osteopenia, poor heart health, weakness throughout the body, anxiety and high blood sugar. Also, type 2 diabetes, respiratory issues, fatigue, memory decline and confusion.
Here is some of the amazing benefits of magnesium:
- Blood Sugar Balance
Magnesium helps to manage the insulin levels in the body and helps to prevent spikes and crashes occurring in the body.
Magnesium is essential for proper brain function and mood regulation. Low levels of magnesium have been shown to prone the individual to depression. In one study from 2015, researchers found that those 65 years old and under with the lowest intake of magnesium had a 22 percent increased risk of developing depression.
Anxiousness is on the rise. Lifestyles and increased stress levels contribute to this. But this demand also requires more magnesium in the body in these certain times. Research from 2015 showed that a low-level diet in magnesium changes the type of bacteria present in the gut and alters anxiety based behavior.
- Heart Heath
Low levels of magnesium have been shown to cause severe changes in the how the heart, blood vessels, blood cells, other tissues function. Magnesium is critical for electrical and mechanical functioning of the heart and nerves.
Increasing magnesium might be all it takes to help those dreaded migraines. Studies have found that taking 500mg of magnesium on a daily basis can help reduce the frequency of migraine attacks by over 41 percent. Other studies suggest that daily magnesium supplementation can help prevent the menstrual-related migraines.
Daily consumption of magnesium can be the answer to many of the symptoms that are associated with being premenstrual. These symptoms can include mood swings, fluid retention, depression, breast tenderness, headaches, poor sleep and sugar cravings.
- Brain Power
A study from January 2010 in Neuron concluded that having extra magnesium in your body leads to a better working memory, a sustained long-term memory and a greater ability to learn. The head researcher Dr. Liu stated ‘magnesium is essential for the proper functioning of many tissues in the body, including the brain and, in an earlier study, we demonstrated that magnesium promoted synaptic plasticity in cultured brain cells.
SIGNS OF MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY
Magnesium impacts on us as individuals in many ways. It is essential mineral so deficiency signs can be mild at first. Detecting these early signs can help prevent more serious problems from happening later on.
- Muscle Cramps
- High blood pressure
- Hormone imbalance
- Poor sleep
- Low energy
- Low vitamin D
- Low vitamin K
GOOD SOURCES OF MAGNESIUM
Now being able to source magnesium from natural sources is fantastic. However, as stated above the levels of magnesium in foods is declining. To have an increase in magnesium rich foods is never going to hurt. Here is a list of magnesium rich foods:
- Spinach – raw spinach provides 78 milligrams of magnesium per cup whereas, cooked spinach provides 760 milligrams;
- Seeds – main seeds here are pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, chia, hemp and flax seeds. They are rich in anti-inflammatory fats and protein as well. This can be had by sprinkling a handful onto a breakfast or green smoothie in the morning.;
- Cocoa and Cacao – cacao powder and raw nibs are great sources of magnesium. Therefore having a square of dark or raw chocolate per day can be beneficial in boosting your magnesium stores and whilst enjoying the great taste;
- Almonds – these are high in protein, vitamin E and of all the nuts are the highest source of magnesium. They roughly contain 76 milligrams per ounce (approximately 23 nuts) which equates to approximately 15 percent of your daily needs. Best almonds are raw or activated almonds or raw almond butter;
- Bananas – this is the best fruit if you are looking to get some magnesium into your diet by eating food. They contain 32 milligrams of magnesium for a medium sized banana.
- Coffee – has the title of highest liquid magnesium content. It can have about 1000 milligrams per cup. But it does dehydrate the body and is usually consumed with milk and refined sugar which isn’t great. So at least have a black coffee from organic sources and keep it to 1 per day as it can have other negative effects on the body and cause addiction and dependency.
Not all magnesium supplements are the same
Now when looking at magnesium’s it is important to read the label. Some magnesium’s might seem great when looking at the front of the bottle and be a great price but when looking at the ingredients on the back of the bottle and the type of magnesium used can dictate how they work. In general, we are looking for magnesium’s that absorb into the body through the intestines at the greatest levels, intestinal permeability which increases the blood plasma magnesium.
- Magnesium Oxide – this type of magnesium is a very cheap form and is most commonly used on the market. It is poorly absorbed into the body and hence causes a laxative effect at lower does;
- Magnesium Citrate – this absorbs at a far greater rate than oxide and has a slight laxative effect. This is a good choice for those trying to increase general magnesium levels in the body and it also helps to prevent kidney stones. This magnesium has a bioavailability of 90 percent compared to oxide which is at 4 percent;
- Magnesium Glycinate – this is a magnesium paired with the amino acid glycine and is the best source if we are addressing anxiety, restless legs, insomnia or pain. Glycine has a general calming effect on the nervous system and is great supplement for conditions that involve over stimulation. This magnesium has a high bioavailability as well;
- Magnesium Malate – this form of magnesium is fantastic for sore, aching muscles or in some cases Fibromyalgia Syndrome. Malic acid is crucial make energy to drive the kerb’s cycle (system in the body that produces energy in the body);
- Magnesium Orotate – orotate acid is beneficial to help maintain a heathy heart. It helps increasing the RNA and DNA replication repair in the heart cells. IT is also known to enhance stamina and athletic performance;
- Magnesium L-threonate – now this magnesium is the type you might take if you are looking to improve cognitive function and organisational skills. It has high bioavailability and is superior to the other magnesium in the sense that it can cross the blood-brain barrier and bring magnesium to the central nervous system;
- Magnesium Sulfate – this commonly known as epson salts. This magnesium you typically wouldn’t consume orally in large quantities. This magnesium can be absorbed through the skin