Magnesium - The one nutrient we can't do without?
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 | Editor
The importance of magnesium in your diet
(Original article care of BioCare)
If there’s one nutrient we should all consider supplementing, it’s magnesium. Magnesium is one of the most important elements in our body, being involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions.1 Up to 60% of it is stored in our skeleton. Therefore, just like calcium, it is important for healthy bones and prevention of conditions such as osteoporosis. Apart from musculoskeletal health, it is also involved in making protein, helping muscle and nerve function, controlling our blood glucose levels, supporting our blood pressure regulation and energy production.2 In fact magnesium is so essential to so many biological functions, that it’s possibly the one nutrient we can’t do without.
Where is magnesium found
Magnesium is predominantly found in green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes. Unfortunately, many of us don’t consume enough of those foods. Also modern lifestyle can create a big drain on magnesium reserves. Because magnesium is used for so many processes, it can get easily depleted, especially by stress, erratic eating patterns, high sugar diets or overtraining. In addition, some common medications, such as acid blockers used for reflux for example, can reduce absorption of magnesium.
Do you need more magnesium
So, how would you know if you need more magnesium? If you suffer from headaches, PMS, muscle cramps, high blood pressure, anxiety, constipation, fatigue, memory problems, hyperactivity, you could be deficient. In fact, a study done in America showed that 48% of the population have inadequate intake of this vital mineral.3
How can you increase you magnesium level
You can naturally increase your magnesium levels by increasing your intake of magnesium-rich foods such as vegetables, including leafy greens and squash, nuts and seeds, like pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, almonds and cashews, or healthy grains and beans such as quinoa and black beans. Also try magnesium baths, using Epsom salts or magnesium flakes. They can be great to relieve muscle pain or help you to relax in the evening. Make sure you change your lifestyle to reduce magnesium depletion, eating nutritious foods at regular times, avoiding processed foods and refined carbohydrates, reducing stress and allowing time for your body to recover form exertion. Ensure your digestion is working properly to enhance magnesium absorption. If you suffer with any digestive complaints, consider using probiotics or digestive enzymes to help.
So.. what’s the right magnesium for you?
Increasing food sources of magnesium should be a priority but, if your requirements are high, or if you already have symptoms of deficiency, food alone may not be enough. In fact, there’s growing evidence that supplementing magnesium, especially specific types, can help with supporting certain aspects of health and in relieving certain medical conditions. You see, not all magnesium is equal. Choosing the right type is critical to successful health support.
Just as any other mineral, magnesium has to be bound to a ‘carrier’ molecule, when it is consumed in a supplement form. The type of this carrier will determine its use and absorption rate, so it is important to choose the one that suits you best. For example, magnesium citrate was shown to be much more bioavailable (better absorbed and used by the body) than oxide 4. You can also benefit from the other molecule that the magnesium is bound to, as they all have their own unique functions in the body. Some of the most commonly used ones include:
Many of us may need additional magnesium support, but it is important to remember that not all magnesium is equal. Choose the best form for your specific needs. See all magnesium supplements