Magnesium is an incredible mineral with a very long list of benefits to the human body. It is needed by every cell of your body. About half of your body’s magnesium stores are found inside cells of body tissues and organs, and half are combined with calcium and phosphorus in bone. Magnesium is needed for more than 300 chemical reactions in the body. It is needed for muscle and nerve function, it keeps your heart rate steady and bones strong, it helps strengthen bones and teeth, helps muscles to relax, helps with energy production and relieves PMS symptoms. It is an antidote for stress and a powerful mineral that helps with relaxation and sleep.
This mineral works alongside calcium to contract and relax muscles. It works to decrease the release of cortisol (our stress hormone), when cortisol levels become too high it can cause insomnia and anxiety. When magnesium levels are low, your muscles can feel tight and twitch and your nervous system will feel out of balance. Some other deficiency symptoms of magnesium include a shaking tongue when you poke it out, low energy, craving for chocolate, PMS, muscles cramps, adrenal fatigue, anxiety, headaches and insomnia.
Some of the reasons why our magnesium levels could be low are due to stress, exercise, coffee, alcohol, a diet high in sugar and or processed foods and not eating enough foods that contain this mineral.
Foods that are rich in magnesium include green vegetables such as spinach and kale, avocado, legumes, dates, dark chocolate, nut, seeds such as pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, almonds, cashew nuts, and whole grains such as quinoa, oats, wheat and barley.
Taking a magnesium supplement also works well to help restore the levels in our body. The RDA (the minimum amount needed) for magnesium is around 300 mg a day. Some people do need a lot more depending on how bad their deficiency is or other factors such as excessive exercise. One way to get magnesium into our body quickly is with Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate). I love to have a hot bath using Epsom salts if I feel stressed, have muscle cramps or trouble sleeping.
If you feel like you could be lacking in this miracle mineral, try eating foods that are rich in magnesium, try out a magnesium supplement or treat yourself to a relaxing bath with some Epsom salts.