Stressed? Tired? Can’t sleep?
You might be deficient in magnesium. Often an overlooked mineral, magnesium has a big part to play when it comes to bone health, nerve and muscle function. According to the British nutrition foundation, it is common for sufficient magnesium intakes to be low in the UK. Poor diet and over-consumption of processed foods, high sugar intake and lack of green vegetables all contribute to a diet low in magnesium.
Did you know that certain medications such as antibiotics and diuretics have been shown to deplete magnesium levels too? We also now know that through the development of intensive agriculture the soil is thought to be depleted of nutrients including Magnesium.
Magnesium is needed as a co-factor for over 300 enzymes within the body. This makes it a very important nutrient that contributes to our overall health. It plays an important role in balancing electrolytes, neurotransmitters and even blood sugar balancing.
Health issues associated with low magnesium:
- Asthma – Low magnesium intake has been associated with asthma. Magnesium can act as a bronchial dilator, by reducing inflammation and opening up the airways.
- Energy production – Magnesium is needed for energy metabolism in the body and is needed in the production of an energy molecule called ATP which is important in conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Sleep – Magnesium has been associated with better sleep quality and in some cases has been shown to help with insomnia.
- Stress – Prolonged periods of stress have been associated with an increased urinary excretion of Magnesium.
So how can I get more magnesium through my diet?
Eat your greens! No, but seriously, at the centre of the chlorophyll molecule is magnesium and seeing as chlorophyll is found in anything green, green vegetables are one of the best sources of magnesium. Not only is magnesium found in green foods but also in pulses such as black beans and soybeans especially Tempeh (fermented soybeans). Seeds such as sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds contain high amounts of magnesium. The best way to get your daily intake of magnesium is through your diet with organic food. However, if this is not possible a good quality food supplement with no binders or fillers such as Viridian is a great second option.
Not only can you get Magnesium through food but you can also get it through having a relaxing bath with Epsom salts. The salts contain Magnesium sulphate and research has shown that you can absorb magnesium transdermally (through your skin) by soaking in a bath of Epsom salts for at least 20 minutes. Perfect too for a great night’s sleep!
- British nutrition foundation (2009) “Minerals and trace elements” https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/nutrients-food-and-ingredients/minerals-and-trace-elements.html?start=5
- Barbagallo M, Dominguez LJ (2015)“Magnesium and type 2 diabetes” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4549665/
- Cuciureanu MD, Vink R. (2011) “Magnesium in the Central Nervous System” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507250/
- DiNicolantonio, James J et al (2018)“Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5786912/
- J Britton MD et al (1994) “Dietary magnesium, lung function, wheezing, and airway hyper-reactivity in a random adult population sample” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673694913994
- Ligia J. Dominguez et al (1998) “Bronchial reactivity and intracellular magnesium: a possible mechanism for the bronchodilating effects of magnesium in asthma” http://www.clinsci.org/content/95/2/137
- The worlds healthiest foods (N.D) “Magnesium” http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=75
- Wanli Guo et al (2015) “Magnesium deficiency in plants: An urgent problem” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221451411500121X