by in Health 22/06/2020

Do you 

  • Often get muscle cramps
  • Do you sometimes get a twitchy eye?
  • Do you suffer with a lot of headaches
  • Do you crave chocolate?

If you answered yes – to just one of these questions you may be deficient in magnesium.

What are the symptoms of Magnesium deficiency?

Here’s several signs you may be lacking in magnesium:

1. Unexplained Tiredness

2. Twitching eyes, muscle spasms, restless feet and leg cramps (including at night)

3. Sugar or chocolate cravings (cacao beans are high in magnesium)

4. Constipation

5. Pre-Menstrual Tension (PMT) and spasmodic period pain

6. Recurring headaches or migraines

7. Depression or low mood

8. Feeling edgy, tense or anxious

9. Difficulty falling asleep

10. High blood pressure ( may be due in part to magnesium deficiency)

What does Magnesium do in your body?

Magnesium is needed for a multitude of body functions, from making cellular energy and transmitting nerve impulses to keeping your immune system healthy.

Here are the main benefits of taking magnesium:

  • Improves your energy levels. Magnesium, along with B vitamins and fires up your cells so they can produce energy.
  • Reduces stress and lifts your mood. Low magnesium levels are linked to low serotonin levels. This is the feel-good hormone which makes you relaxed and happy.
  • Relaxes your muscles and stops cramping by counteracting the contracting effects of calcium.
  • Prevents sugar cravings and diabetes by balancing your blood sugar levels and improving insulin sensitivity. Magnesium is needed to get sugar into your cells quickly so your body can do what it needs to do.
  • Makes your bones strong and healthy. Magnesium activates calcium and Vitamin D, collectively working with these nutrients to grow and repair bones.
  • Alkalises your body and maintains PH levels so you don’t get too acidic.
  • Helps you sleep and feel less anxious by producing a neurotransmitter called GABA which helps you switch off by calming your mind and relaxing your body.
  • Helps youe to stay hydrated. Along with sodium, potassium and calcium, magnesium is an important electrolyte needed for water balance in the body.
  • Helps to prevent headaches.- People who suffer with headaches and  migraines tend to have low intracellular magnesium levels. When magnesium levels are low, arteries to the brain contract and chemicals are released into the blood, causing a sensitivity to pain.

What can reduce or even prevent Magnesium absorption?

  • Pour dietary choices ie Drinking coffee and alcohol
  • eating junk foods which  rob your body of essential nutrients, especially magnesium.
  • Vitamin D deficiency as vitamin D is a co-factor nutrient and is needed for the intestinal absorption of magnesium. If your vitamin D levels are low then your ability to absorb magnesium will be reduced.
  • Cooking vegetables can reduce the mineral content of foods especially when boiled, fried or heated at a high temperature.

What foods are HIGH in Magnesium?

Magnesium is found naturally in many foods. However, due mineral-depleted soils – and food processing, some foods are devoid of magnesium.

This is why it’s important that you eat foods in their natural state and buy organic where possible.

Here’s a list of magnesium-rich foods:

  • Leafy green vegetables (spinach, broccoli, kale, chard, green peas)
  • Bananas and raspberries
  • Avocado
  • Almonds, cashews
  • Chickpeas, lentils and beans (kidney beans, black beans)
  • Quinoa and wholegrains (buckwheat, millet, bran, brown rice)
  • Chia seeds, pumpkins seeds and sunflower seeds

Do I need a Magnesium Supplement?

We can help you determine if you may need a magnesium supplement.

There are several forms of magnesium available and some are more absorbable them others.

A citrate is usually very well absorbed. Avoid magnesium oxide as it is poorly absorbed (yet frequently used in many cheap supplements).

Before supplementing with any mineral, we suggest consulting with a qualified nutritionist or naturopath so they can advise you on the correct dose.

Doses can vary, dependent on the individual’s needs.