Many of us are deficient in magnesium. It is a macro-mineral and very important for a number of bodily functions. There are two major reasons why a huge percentage of us may be lacking in this important “calming” mineral:
- Modern Agriculture takes many of the important minerals, including magnesium, out of our soil. Therefore our food sources of magnesium are not as mineral rich they used to be. As a Holistic Nutritionist, I like to try to get as many minerals as I can from a food source, but in the case of magnesium, I have found that I have to supplement. This is even the case with a primarily organic diet. That being said, a major plus with organic produce is that all your veggies are likely to contain more vitamins and minerals.
- Poor Diet leads to a major mineral deficiency. Processed foods are a huge culprit because the processing almost always removes the vitamins and minerals that are supposed to be there. Also, consumption of alcohol, sugar, caffeine, and anything that is a diuretic, increases your body’s need for magnesium
Suffice to say that it’s very challenging for the average person to get the minerals they need from diet alone.
Good food sources include: green leafy veggies, brown rice, blackstrap molasses, brown rice, figs, garlic, grapefruit, kelp, millet, nuts, tofu, soybeans, sesame seeds, watercress, wheat and whole grains.
Many herbs and spices also contain magnesium, including: parsley, peppermint, sage, chamomile, paprika, and cayenne.
Try to eat as many of these foods as you can. It’s interesting that whole grains contain many minerals, and this is one of the reasons why I really don’t think the trendy grain-free diet is necessarily a good thing for everyone. If you can easily tolerate gluten/wheat, don’t feel that these nutritious grains are going to make you sick or fat – they are not! This is also the reason why many people who are on gluten-free diets have to take supplements big time! Many gluten-free products are highly processed, and devoid of minerals and vitamins.
How do you know if you are deficient? Pay attention to your symptoms. The following may be a clue:
- Muscle weakness/twitching
- Intense PMS
- Rapid Heartbeat
8 Reasons you might need more magnesium:
- If you have heart disease of any kind. Deficient magnesium levels have been found in the blood and hearts of cardiac victims. But always check with your doctor first, especially if you are on meds
- If you a diabetic, you may need to supplement because deficiency is common with this disease.
- If you suffer from incapacitating PMS, and severe menstrual symptoms (cramps etc), magnesium supplementation may help you significantly.
- If you are always tired, and/or suffer from anxiety, magnesium may help a lot.
- If you are pregnant and have prepeclampsia, magnesium sulfate has been used to lower blood pressure, which is characterized by edema, hypertension , and hyperreflexia.
- If you are hyperactive (like me), you may find the magnesium really helps to calm you down.
- If you drink a lot of coffee and tea, you may need to add a little supplemental magnesium into your diet. Both beverages are diuretics, and so you’ll lose a lot of magnesium in this way.
- If you are over the age of forty, you might want to supplement to prevent Osteoporosis. Magnesium plays an important role in calcium uptake and absorption. If you are taking calcium supplements, you need to take at least half the amount (of calcium you are taking) of magnesium.
There are many different kinds of magnesium supplements. Research shows that the most absorptive forms of magnesium are the chelated forms (magnesium glycinate and magnesium gluconate), and the organic acid chelates (magnesium citrate, magnesium lactate, and magnesium carbonate). These are absorbed in the 75% to 98% range. Food sources are usually absorbed in the 30 – 60% range.
I really like Natural Vitality Calm, which is the citrate form. I love that it is a fine white powder, which fizzes up when hot water it added. It’s the perfect before-bed cocktail for a sound night’s sleep.
Also Natural Calm now have a Natual Calm Plus Calcium, which takes the guess-work out of finding the right balance of these important minerals. Remember that calcium needs it’s BFF magnesium to be utilized by the body.
There are many other good supplements that you can find at the Health Food store. You just need to find your preference: pills, capsules, liquids etc. I prefer the Natural Calm powder because it doesn’t feel like I’m downing another pill!