Magnesium is a bit of a powerhouse of an essential mineral. Found at the earth’s core as well as in our bodies it has sleep-promoting, stress-reducing, disease-protecting prowess. The antidote to our modern stress filled living perhaps? Given that our magnesium levels are depleted by gut issues, medications and stress …. which can impact our sleep …. that can impact our ability to handle stress …. you get the picture. Should we all be making sure we are getting enough magnesium?
What is magnesium?
Magnesium is involved in well over 300 biochemical reactions carried out within the body and it is essential for regulating more bodily reactions than any other mineral. This multi-tasking mineral is included in the production of many brain chemicals such as sleep aiding melatonin, found in our teeth, bones, soft tissue and red blood cells. Magnesium also helps with cognitive function, supporting the immune system, providing energy, controlling blood pressure, blood sugar levels, healthy muscles, supporting nerves and keeping our heart strong. To be fair it doesn’t stop there.
Simply put, you need magnesium to survive and although it can be sourced from food, there is still about 80% of the population who are magnesium deficient. Sadly our clever bodies do not make magnesium, but needs to source fairly large quantities of this essential mineral from our diet.
Foods that are magnesium rich include
- Spinach, kale, broccoli, sweet potato, avocado vegetables and dark leafy greens
- Seeds and nuts
- Dairy products
- Legumes and whole grains
- Meat and fish
- Chocolate, especially raw cacao
However, you would have to eat an enormous amount of spinach for example, to try to counteract any deficiency. This is where supplements comes in.
How to supplement with magnesium?
Supplementing your magnesium can help with your ability to fall asleep and the quality of that sleep too. Sounds great…. huzzah. However with 5 main types of magnesium, which magnesium should you be taking?
- Magnesium citrate :- helps improve digestion. Easily absorbed and with a mild laxative effect.
- Magnesium glycinate :- the great sleep aider and stress reliever.
- Magnesium oxide :- think of Milk of Magnesia and you will understand that this type of magnesium is great for the treatment of heartburn or constipation.
- Magnesium chloride :- brilliant for skin concerns or muscle cramps, this is absorbed through to skin. Found in flake, oil or lotion form.
- Magnesium sulphate :- good old epsom salts are not just something your Gran would talk about. They are ideal for relaxing muscles and a bath time add-on in my house.
In some people magnesium supplements can cause upset stomach and stomach knots. I recommend a long hot bath with magnesium rich epsom salts to help get you ready for a good nights sleep, but if you don’t have time for one of those every day why not consider a magnesium oil or body lotion. Below are some of the magnesium products my family like to use.
Please note you should always check with your health practitioner first if you are have concerns about your magnesium levels
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