Magnesium (Mg) is one of my favorite nutrients...maybe because it’s known as the “relaxation” mineral! Magnesium is one of the five major minerals and is one of the most predominant minerals in our bodies. It is involved in more than 300 body processes...including energy production, enzyme activation, and protein formation.
Are We Getting Enough?
Unfortunately, at least 65-70% of us are deficient in magnesium! Even if we are able to get enough from food, there are several things that can deplete magnesium levels, including:
stress… which creates an increase need for magnesium
caffeine, refined sugars, and/or alcohol… these cause the kidneys to excrete extra minerals (including magnesium)
excess calcium supplementation... calcium and magnesium work together and should be consumed in roughly a 1:1 ratio (and excess of one can cause an imbalance in the other)
Signs of a potential magnesium deficiency include:
- Muscle spasms/cramps
- Poor sleep
- High blood pressure
- Low energy
- Calcification of the arteries
- Poor bone health
So How Much Do We Need?
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium is ~400mg/day for adults, but many experts suggest that 400-1,000mg/day can be beneficial.
Magnesium is found in many plant foods... especially nuts/seeds, leafy greens, whole grains, beans, sea vegetables, and even cacao! Although getting nutrients from foods is always best, you could also consider a high-quality supplement. Some people find that taking a magnesium supplement in the evenings can help improve sleep quality.
There are many forms of supplemental magnesium out there, but not all of them are created equal. For best absorption, look for chelated forms (those that end in “-ate”) made by reputable brands. There's been alot of buzz lately around magnesium oils, but there's not much evidence that shows that it can be absorbed through the skin effectively (so I would suggest skipping those).
There are many ways to get more magnesium in your diet….here are some ideas:
- add nut butter and/or nut milk to smoothies, oatmeal, etc
- incorporate grains such as quinoa and brown rice into salads
- add some greens into your scrambled eggs
- sprinkle cacao as a yogurt topping or into smoothies
- add extra leafy greens to dips such as pesto, hummus and guacamole
- make your own trail mix or granola and include nuts, seeds, and cacao nibs
- make beans in a crockpot and use them in various dishes throughout the week
- try using seaweed varieties like dulse or kelp flakes as a seasoning in salad dressings, soups, or even sprinkled over popcorn!
If you think you could benefit from more magnesium but aren’t sure where to start, contact me and I'm happy to help!