Magnesium is an essential mineral for human health that provides major health benefits.
The benefits of ensuring adequate magnesium intake are numerous and include:
- Proper formation of bones and teeth
- Energy – assists in the body’s energy creation process
- Detox process – an important co-factor
- Relaxes muscles (may help with IBS and gut malabsorption issues i.e. Crohn’s, Colitis)
- Studies have linked increased magnesium consumption to some forms of cancer prevention
- Inflammation in the digestive system may be reduced
- Helps avoid spasms and regulate bowel movements
- Headaches & migraines reduction – blood vessels in the head & neck restricted from low magnesium
- Osteoporosis benefits – magnesium needed to assist with optimum calcium placement
- Improves calcium absorption
- Assists with gallstone prevention and general gallbladder health
- Brain – helps protect against damage by pesticides in food, food additives, heavy metals, etc
- Can help reduce depression, anxiety, panic attacks, palpitations
- Improves insulin response and glucose tolerance to help stabilise blood sugar balance
- May help reduce symptoms from PMS and the menopause (muscle relaxant properties)
- Pregnancy – increased need for magnesium
- Nutrient absorption from food increased
Signs of a magnesium deficiency include:
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent headaches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue and persistent weakness
If left unchecked, magnesium deficiency could lead to more serious symptoms including seizures, abnormal heart rhythms, personality changes, numbness or tingling, coronary spasms and muscle cramping.
My recommended magnesium food sources are:
|pumpkin seeds||sunflower seeds||shellfish|
|brazil nuts||cashew nuts||almonds|
|cauliflower||avocado||dark leafy green veg|
To help the body fully make use of magnesium I recommend you:
- Keep well hydrated – 1.5 to 2 litres of hydrating fluids a day (water, fruit teas, herb teas, decaf drinks, diluted fruit juice, etc)
- Limit stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine
- Limit salt intake
- Avoid excessive protein consumption
- Aim to eat around 5 portions of vegetables and 1-2 portions of fruit each day
If you are not eating a selection of the foods listed, or any of the limiting factors above apply, you may wish to consider a magnesium supplement.
Although side effects are very rare, gradually building up supplementation levels will help ensure your body is comfortable with higher levels of magnesium.
Magnesium’s effectiveness may be reduced if you are supplementing with very high doses of iron, zinc, calcium, phosphorus or potassium. Other limiting factors include the contraceptive pill, excess lactose, diuretics, insulin, fizzy drinks and some antibiotics.