The news has been abuzz with magnesium lately…
And for good reason!
According to recent research, magnesium is an essential mineral that plays multiple key roles in our bodies.
Most notably, several of our organs — especially our heart, muscles, and kidneys — require magnesium to function. Magnesium regulates muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, blood pressure, and even calcium levels. It also decreases the risk of developing diabetes, PMS symptoms, and migraines.
But that’s not all! It also helps with depression and anxiety (source), muscle cramps, constipation, kidney stones, osteoporosis, insomnia, fibromyalgia, and asthma.
Finally, magnesium is vitally important for energy production, nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, normal heart rhythm, teeth and bone makeup, enzyme systems and functions — and the utilization of fats and carbohydrates.
Are you impressed yet? 😉
In the words of Dr. Norman Shealy,
“Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency… magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient.”
Study after study after study shows that your health relies significantly on the presence of magnesium in your body.
(Source, source, source, source, source, and source.)
Although our body relies on magnesium so heavily, many things can deplete our magnesium levels. These range from vomiting or diarrhea, to more serious medical conditions like diabetes, pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism, and kidney disease.
Even drinking too much coffee, soda, or alcohol can trigger the downward spiral.
If you lose too many bodily fluids during a heavy menstrual period or through excessive sweating, your magnesium levels are a bit lower than preferable.
Stress is another big way to deplete your magnesium stores. According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle:
The scenario that I like to talk about is very basic. You’re under massive stress. Massive stress means you’re losing magnesium. You’re burning magnesium out of your body, because it helps support your adrenal glands. It helps keep you away from anxiety and depression. It helps relax your muscles.
If you’re all tight and stressed, your magnesium is being lost, [which makes] the muscles of your blood vessels tighten. That tightness is going to cause increased blood pressure…
Signs Of Magnesium Deficiency
Now for the big question…
How do you know you suffer from magnesium deficiency?
Well, here are some of the signs of magnesium deficiency:
- muscle twitches, muscle spasm and weakness, restless leg syndrome (RLS)
- tension in upper back, neck pain
- headaches, tension headaches, blurred vision
- sleep disorders, insomnia
- agitation, anxiety, irritability, depression
- jitteriness, hyperactivity, panic attacks, hyperventilation
- sensitivity to noise
- loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting
- abnormal heart rhythms, heart palpitations, feeling that you can’t take a deep breath, coronary spasms, low blood pressure
- craving for salt, carbohydrates, chocolate
- drinking a lot of water but still feeling thirsty
- confusion, disorientation
- poor nail growth
- numbness, tingling, seizures
- constipation, urinary spasms, menstrual cramps
Restoring Magnesium Levels
Once you’ve identified a magnesium deficiency, how do you go about restoring your magnesium levels?
First, heal your gut. Gut health affects the absorption of minerals, including magnesium.
Second, eat magnesium-rich supplemental foods. Let me introduce you to…
Supplement #1 — Maca
This superfood is rich in magnesium, and incredibly essential for your hormonal balance.
Learn all about maca here, and then get busy adding it to your no-bake treats or yummy mochas!
Supplement #2 — Cacao
Cacao provides the highest source of magnesium found in any food. Booyah! 😉
This Raw Cacao Mint Shake is a delicious and nutritious treat any day.
Supplement #3 — Schisandra
This herb boosts mental clarity in addition to providing magnesium. If you’re interested in adding it to your diet, check out this chai latte, which not only boasts schisandra in its ingredient list, but maca too!
Supplement #4 — Chia Seeds
These little guys contain 15% more magnesium than broccoli, and even regulate insulin levels!
Chia seeds also happen to be very easy to add to almost anything in the kitchen. Sprinkle them on your yogurt parfait for a bit of crunch, add them to a smoothie, make Paleo sourdough bread with them, or use them in your carrot cake. The sky’s the limit!
Supplement #5 — Acerola Cherry
With twice as much magnesium than oranges, acerola cherry also enhances memory and regulates blood sugar. Vitamin C gummies are a fun and cute way to add this supplemental food to your diet.
Supplement #6 — Goji Berries
Goji berries are loaded with magnesium. They also normalize blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
And if you haven’t tried goji berry cranberry truffles yet, you definitely should!
Supplement #7 — Barley Grass
Barley grass contains 4 times more magnesium than spinach, and significantly improves ulcerative colitis.
Supplement #8 — Moringa
Have you heard of this one before? It boosts energy levels in addition to being magnesium-rich!
Grow it yourself easily and then throw it in your morning smoothie for wonderful benefits all day long.
Supplement #9 — Spirulina
Spirulina reduces blood pressure and cholesterol while providing magnesium.
Make it into capsules, or drink it in a smoothie.
Supplement #10 — Tulsi
This magnesium-abundant herb (also known as holy basil) effectively supports the heart as well.
Bonus! Supplement #11 — Homemade Lotion
Although not a food supplement, magnesium can be absorbed through the skin, too. Make your own lotion, or buy magnesium as a topical spray, or take a bath in Epsom salts. However you do it, increasing your magnesium is essential for good health!
Finally, be sure to check out more information about magnesium in this post, 5 Supplements To Consider Taking This Year.
Do you have any of the signs of magnesium deficiency? What are your favorite food sources of magnesium?
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Don’t forget about cell salt mag phos – magnesium, for quick relief when having an acute symptom present!
Can you explain this a little more? I’m def. interested.
Paula Miller says
You can purchase, or make, a magnesium spray that you can spray onto your skin (your largest organ). This is also a good way to get magnesium.
We purchased Dr. Barbara Hendel’s Magnesium Oil From the Ancient Zechstein Sea via Amazon, but plan to make our own when that bottle is gone.
Here’s a good recipe to try if you’re interested in going that route: http://wellnessmama.com/5804/make-your-own-magnesium-oil/
I’ve used barley grass in the past and had great success with it. I have also taken shizandra root tea and I’m assuming that even though the spelling is different it is probably referring to the same thing??
Paula Miller says
Yep, shizandra and schisandra are the same thing. 🙂
How do you use the tincture?
Paula Miller says
I believe Jenny was taking it as tea, not a tincture.
I’ve never heard of people taking schisandra root before, what do you use it for? I’ve always used the berries!
I thought that Acerola Cherry has twice as much Vitamin C than oranges? or does it have both? would love to try this.
Paula Miller says
Acerola cherry has both benefits. It has 65 times more Vitamin C than oranges as well as well as twice the amount of magnesium that oranges have. Very beneficial either way. 🙂
Most foods have high nutrient profiles that are very diverse and widespread!
Christine Greig says
What can I take thats easier than all these seeds or adding to foods for magnesium levels…x
Paula Miller says
I love to drink Chocolate Shakeology – the nutritional drink I mentioned at the bottom of the article. All the foods/seeds I mentioned are contained in that one shake. 🙂
Methinks it’d be a nice change up for the body to take them all in cycles! When you get your hands on chia seeds, use them until they’re gone. Then try some goji berry tea until it’s gone, etc. The body loves to get some one on one action with these valuable plants!
Megan Stevens says
I love to use magnesium oil spray. I get leg switches/spasms without it. But never a twitch when I remember, which is very motivating!
Wow! I’ve recently had the exact experience with magnesium spray!
Got rid of my leg spasms altogether. Mangnesium-rich food helped, but not as effective as spraying magnesium chloride solution directly on legs.
I’ve recently published an article about getting rid from leg cramps with magnesium spray: http://sleepremedies.org/best-natural-sleep-remedies/best-form-of-magnesium-for-muscle-cramp/