It would be an even lovelier world if we could just order takeout every night and still manage to stay healthy, right? But sadly, that’s not the reality of life—we most definitely have to eat right to stay healthy. In fact, lately, magnesium supplementation has become quite popular in complementing what we eat.
For instance, several of us do not get enough magnesium in our diets. More so, as there is an increasing indulgence in sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, and foods high in phytic acid. These unhealthy habits, sweating from exercises, birth control pills, insulin, hypertension drugs, diuretics, and some antibiotics may likely reduce magnesium levels.
Now, in case you’re wondering, magnesium is one vital mineral needed by every organ in the body. Yes, every single organ! The body uses it in the formation of protein, bone, and fatty acids. It is also essential for vitamins B and D activation, insulin secretion, muscles relaxation, and in the increase of calcium levels. Magnesium is contained in pumpkins, potatoes, sunflower seeds, dark green vegetable, nuts, bran, fish, meat, baked beans and whole grains.
What Does Magnesium Do?
Magnesium performs numerous functions within the body. But it is particularly essential for treating or managing fibromyalgia, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart palpitations, restless leg syndrome, asthma, migraines, pre-eclampsia, osteoporosis, and premenstrual tension.
More specifically, magnesium:
- Makes the bones either frigid or flexible
- Enhances quality of sleep
- Normalizes blood pressure
- Relieves muscles cramps
- Prevents insulin resistance
- Lowers the risk of congestive heart failure
- Prevents stroke
- Induces the production of proteins
- Encourages the absorption of Vitamin D
- Supports weight loss
- Protects from radiation
- Prevents many types of cancers
How to Tell If You are Low on Magnesium
Unfortunately, if you live today’s world, you most likely do not get enough magnesium in your body. The symptoms below can point to low magnesium levels and if so, it is highly likely that you could benefit from magnesium supplementation:
- Muscle Spasms
This is the most obvious of all magnesium deficiency symptoms. It leads to a stiffening of muscle tissues, spasms and cramps. Magnesium supplements can easily tackle these issues.
It is simple: If you’re one of those who get migraines, supplementing with magnesium can prove quite helpful. Though, magnesium’s role in treating migraines is yet to be substantiated, it’s still a promising treatment option.
In fact, a study published in the European Journal for Neutraceutical Research suggests that using topical Magnesium Oil Spray from for a period of three months reduces the severity and frequency of migraine symptoms. This is probably due to magnesium’s role in regulating and relaxing muscles.
- Chocolate Cravings
Did you know that cravings for particular foods may be an indication of a deficiency in a nutrient? Now, if you unusually crave for chocolates, your magnesium level is probably low. Here’s why that could happen: Magnesium levels in women are low during and before menstruation. So when they reach for chocolates, what they are actually craving is magnesium. Interestingly, dark chocolates contain the highest levels of magnesium.
Have you been working for hours? In a perfect world, you’d get some time off to rest, but we both know how almost impossible that is. However, because magnesium is needed in the reactions that create energy in the body, it is a good source of energy. In other words, magnesium supplements can help combat fatigue, lack of drive, and low-energy.
- Sleep Deprivation
According to several studies, when magnesium levels are too low, sleeping becomes a lot harder. This is because magnesium helps to normalize the function of the nervous system. It does this by supporting the nervous system to increase a chemical neurotransmitter in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA helps the body to relax and induces sleep. So you see, low levels of GABA can make it almost impossible for the body to unwind.
Therefore, what magnesium does is to encourage quality sleep by helping us relax. In fact, results from a 2012 study indicate that 500mg magnesium consumed for eight weeks before bedtime saw a significant improvement on insomnia levels.
You’d agree with me that there are few things less fun than being bloated for no apparent reason. But no worries—magnesium can help clear up digestive issues and reduce the feelings of being bloated, fast.
Here’s what happens: when you don’t get enough magnesium, your intestines contract, making elimination of waste difficult. But magnesium relaxes the intestines and pulls water into it to soften stool.
Evidently, low levels of magnesium can lead to depression and anxiety. In regulating hormones and blood sugar levels, magnesium plays an essential role. By doing this, it helps to manage issues like depression and anxiety. In one published study, adults who consumed 248mg of magnesium a day for six weeks had some good improvement in their depression and anxiety levels.
- High Blood Pressure
It’s no secret that a magnesium deficiency can lead to high blood pressure by increasing the constriction of blood vessels. It does not matter how seemingly balanced your diet is, if it does not include enough amounts of magnesium, it may lead to high blood pressure.
We know that genetics do play a role, but cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure can be managed by incorporating simple lifestyle tweaks. One of such tweaks is supplementation with magnesium because it helps in the dilation and relaxation of blood vessels.
The other symptoms of low levels of magnesium are high stress levels, infertility, mental issues, heart palpitations, loss of appetite, sensitivities, back pain, low energy levels, poor coordination, body odor, memory loss, a lack of concentration, constipation, allergies and kidney stones.
How to Get Enough Magnesium
Sadly, the gut does not absorb magnesium very well. Absorption is even more difficult when the body is low on Vitamin D, thereby leading to various medical conditions.
Of course, like I stated earlier, certain foods contain magnesium but they are few. Diet alone may not give you enough of the nutrient–this is why supplementation with magnesium is advised. In fact, it is even more effective when you supplement with a combination of more than one type of magnesium supplementation. Note that if you take high doses at first, they may not be well-absorbed. So the trick is to start slow and work your way up.
The Bottom Line
Magnesium is contained in vegetables such as collard greens, mustard greens, chard, spinach, chard, turnip greens, and spinach. It is one mineral that plays a key in maintaining a healthy body function, especially in energy formation, blood sugar control and a reduction in inflammation. It also helps in upping energy levels and alleviating period pains.
It’s also worthy to note that consuming a magnesium-rich diet or supplement does not guarantee instant replenishment of the mineral—it takes time. The time it takes to completely depends on the level of a magnesium deficiency.
Though most people do not get enough magnesium, it is advisable to discuss magnesium supplementation with your doctor. But if you’re looking for a natural way to remedy a magnesium deficiency problem, supplementation is worth a try. With the prevalence of low magnesium intake, the use of magnesium supplements may be the only viable solution to this deficiency.