Magnesium

Magnesium is a super mineral that is involved in a variety of body functions. It helps build bones, maintain a healthy immune system, as well as heart health. Trouble sleeping? Magnesium. Constipation? Magnesium. Stress and anxiety? Magnesium!

Unfortunately, magnesium deficiency is seldom tested for, so it can be common – in fact, craving dark chocolate could indicate lower than optimal levels. There are several different types, so find the one that is right for you and fill your diet with magnesium rich foods.

Benefits:

Bone health – Magnesium helps regulate vitamin D and calcium levels, which are integral to bone maintenance and formation. Adding magnesium into your diet can help prevent osteoporosis.

Cardiovascular health – Studies have shown that magnesium can help reduce the risk of stroke, as well as reduce the risk of mortality when administered after a heart attack.

Migraines – People who experience migraines may have lower levels of magnesium in their brains and body tissue overall. In fact, one study demonstrated that magnesium citrate could be effectively used to prevent migraines.

Types

Magnesium glycinate – If you are having trouble sleeping, this could be a great option for you. It is easily absorbed and can also help reduce stress and anxiety. 

Magnesium chloride – This form is also easy to absorb and can be used to help with constipation and heartburn. 

Magnesium citrate – This form is one of the most commonly found magnesium supplements and some believe it is the easiest for our bodies to absorb – this is great if you have a magnesium deficiency. Be warned though, it is also highly effective for constipation due to its laxative properties.

Magnesium oxide – This is another popular supplement used to combat constipation and is a main ingredient in “milk of magnesia”. Some studies have shown though that it is not absorbed easily, so check the ingredient list before purchasing your supplements.

Magnesium sulfate – Otherwise known as epsom salts! While you can get food grade magnesium sulfate to treat constipation, it is commonly dissolved in baths for relaxation and to support sore muscles. After a long day at work or a particularly strenuous workout, relax in a hot bath full of epsom salts and add in a few drops of lavender essential oil for maximum relaxation.

Deficiencies

Muscle cramps and twitching – Since magnesium is involved in the regulation of calcium, it is believed a deficiency can result in more calcium being deposited into the nerves, causing twitches and muscle cramps.

Mood disorders – Some scientists believe that magnesium deficiency can lead to anxiety as well as depression.

Osteoporosis – Magnesium plays an important role alongside Vitamin D and calcium to keep our bones healthy and strong. A deficiency can possibly lead to osteoporosis. 

Sources

  • Spinach, kale, collards, avocados, bananas
  • Dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, peanuts, black beans, legumes, whole grains
  • Salmon, mackerel, halibut

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