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.
Low levels of magnesium have been linked to mood disorders, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, migraines autoimmune flares, asthma and colon cancer. Not pretty stuff.
Some of the best food sources of magnesium are avocados, black beans, pumpkin seeds, fish, leafy greens and chocolate (good news!) While eating a balanced diet full of foods that provide great sources of magnesium is one of the most effective ways to up your magnesium, it’s not always possible to fully make up the deficit.
That’s where some supplementation can come into play. If you (like most people) find that you need a boost, read on for a breakdown of five different ways magnesium can be a game-changer in your overall wellness.
(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.)
featured image: dagny
Studies have shown that magnesium is effective in decreasing tenderness in joints and muscles. The experts recommend trying magnesium malate or magnesium citrate. Or, try my favorite way to increase magnesium levels – a soak in an epsom salt bath! Epsom salts (which are made up of magnesium sulfate) not just great for sore muscles, but also help with stress relief and supporting restful sleep.
image: house of dharma
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.
image hedvig jenning
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.
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.
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.