Say hello to your new mineral bff, Magnesium. Magnesium is the seventh most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, yet the British Medical Journal (BMJ) estimates that “over 80% of Americans consume less than the requirement.”

While magnesium is required for the functioning of over 300 essential metabolic reactions, including energy production, blood pressure regulation, nerve signal transmission, and muscle contraction, it remains one of the most ignored causes of various ailments. The magnesium benefits for women have recently become a talking point in the women’s health conversation, as the mighty mineral may be a key factor in preventing certain conditions frequently experienced by females.

Featured Image by Michelle Nash.

Magnesium, in the form of a supplement, can be taken OTC by women to boost many areas of health and wellness. It can also be found in many of the everyday foods that you eat! If you (like most people) find that you need a boost, read on for the different ways magnesium can be a game-changer in women.

(As always, be sure to consult with your primary care physician before changing up your supplements! You can overdo it with magnesium. Read here and here for more info on how to keep your minerals balanced.)

Magnesium Benefits for Women

Magnesium is a diverse element that has demonstrated positive changes in women that consume the proper amount, which the National Institutes of Health says is 310 mg for women ages 19-30, and 320 mg for women ages 31-50. Some of the most tricky, yet important areas of women’s health that magnesium can help balance hormones, sleep, mood, digestion, and PMS symptoms.

Hormones

Sleep

Speaking of sleep, if your anxious thoughts are keeping you up at night, magnesium can help with that too. Magnesium has a calming effect and naturally supports muscle relaxation while having a calming impact on the mind and body. Nutritionist Mia Rigden says although it has numerous benefits, magnesium is primarily known for helping us relax. If your muscles are tense, your digestion is not moving, or your thoughts are overwhelming, magnesium could bring relief.

Mood Booster

Magnesium plays a huge role in your brain function and mood and has long been used to treat depression. A higher intake of magnesium is linked to decreased symptoms of depression and improved mental health. It also helps support adrenal health, lowering your risk of burnout.

Digestion Aid

Struggling to be *ahem* regular? Magnesium can also be used to help promote regular bowel movements. It acts as a laxative, drawing water into your intestines and stimulating the movement of food through your digestive tract. My favorite mag supplement for digestion is Natural Calm.

image: hannahzahner

PMS Relief

There’s a good reason you crave chocolate when you’re on your period. High in magnesium, chocolate is your body asking for a boost in balancing your mood, supporting restful sleep and reducing aches and pain. Studies have shown that increasing magnesium intake a week before your period can drastically reduce PMS symptoms. And I can attest to that! Magnesium is one of my favorite natural ways to keep cramps at bay.

Magnesium Food Sources

Rigden says that Magnesium can be found in the foods we consume daily, but levels have decreased as a result of modern farming practices, an overall decline in soil health, and processed food intake, which makes it hard to completely meet the recommended intake through food alone. However, if you’re looking for ways to boost magnesium through food, here are a few of her suggestions:

greens

seaweed

nuts

seeds

legumes

whole grains

The Best Magnesium Supplements for Women

  • How often should women take magnesium?

Mia’s Favorite magnesium supplements:

Moon Juice Magnesium-om

Innate Response Formulas Magnesium 300

Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Liquid

This post was originally published on January 13, 2020, and has since been updated.

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