Do you take magnesium? If not, you may want to consider supplementing with it. While only about 2% of people in the U.S are actually deficient, studies say that as many as 50-75% of us are not getting the recommended daily amount.
Since magnesium helps with around 600 functions in the body, it’s important to include magnesium containing foods in our diets, or supplement as needed. If you’re taking any medication, check with your doctor first.
Why is Magnesium Important?
Magnesium helps muscles contract and relax and those who are deficient may experience muscle spasms. The mineral also helps transport calcium into your bones for that critical bone mineral density as we age.
Magnesium is essential for the brains’ GABA receptors which are said to help with relaxation, stress, anxiety and even sleep. It also plays a role in heart health, blood sugar and glucose metabolism, inflammation and thyroid hormone production.
Even if we are eating a healthy diet, why are some of us still short on magnesium? First of all, most of us eat more processed foods than we even realize and these foods are devoid of nutrients. Many people also take medications that can interfere with mineral absorption.
Not as common knowledge, but soil depletion plays a large role in our lack of magnesium as soil has been stripped of many nutrients in modern farming.
How Do We Get More Magnesium in Our System?
The best way is to add magnesium-rich foods to our diets:
- Spinach and Swiss chard
- Dark Chocolate
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Cashews and Almonds
- Black Beans
- Figs and Bananas
- Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts
However even eating those foods, many people can still fall short so a supplement may be helpful. Supplements come in tablets, powders, and even topical sprays. Taking too much can cause diarrhea, so follow directions and start with a small dose. I even give my kids magnesium a few times a week. With their typical tween/teen diet, I know they are not getting enough.
Spraying the topical magnesium oil on your skin bypasses the gut, which is helpful for people with any sort of stomach or intestinal dysfunction that could inhibit absorption. You could alternate a spray with a tablet or powder so you get magnesium both topically and by ingestion.
Another great way to supplement AND relax is to take a bath and soak in either magnesium flakes or Epsom salts. After a long strenuous work out, this is known to be extremely relaxing for muscles. It can restore not just our bodies but relax our minds after a stressful day too!