magnesium 101

Magnesium 101: What You Really Need to Know

Magnesium, seems like its getting more and more popular these days even though it is one of those nutrients we don’t hear about too much.

It is in fact one of the most abundant minerals in our bodies.

Moreover, it’s the fourth most abundant mineral that we have!

What does magnesium do for us?

Do we really need to be consuming magnesium or taking supplements?

Let’s find out…

  • Magnesium helps lower our stress levels. In fact, magnesium is often referred to as the “relaxation mineral.” Serotonin, which is a natural mood stabilizer found mostly in our digestive system, requires magnesium for its production. Therefore, it has been recommended that we take magnesium to help manage our stress, anxiety, and mood disorders. In turn, a magnesium deficiency can affect our stress levels and emotional state.
  • Magnesium is used in hospitals and given to patients intravenously who are having heart palpitations – the magnesium helps slow down their heart rate.
  • Magnesium is necessary for NUMEROUS chemical reactions in our body, including making DNA.
  • Magnesium helps maintain our brain function by relaying signals between our body and our brain. It prevents overstimulation of nerve cells, which could result in brain damage.
  • Magnesium helps regulate muscle contractions – it opposite to calcium to help our muscles relax. Magnesium is commonly recommended for treating muscle cramps.
  • Magnesium has also been linked to helping reduce the risk of many diseases, including arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. Several studies have shown that migraine headaches are associated with low levels of magnesium.

Despite magnesium being so abundant in our body, many people don’t get enough of it.

Some studies say that up to 68% of adults don’t get enough magnesium in accordance with the recommended daily intake (RDI).

So how much magnesium should we be consuming on a daily basis to keep our body functioning as it should?

Adult men are recommended to consume 420 mg/day, while adult women, 320 mg/day.

Be careful though! Like almost everything, there could be consequences from consuming too much magnesium or not enough magnesium:

  • Too much magnesium can cause various symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, and irregular heartbeat.Therefore, you might not want to take a supplement that contains magnesium if you are already getting enough magnesium through your food and other sources.
  • A magnesium deficiency (called hypomagnesemia) could lead to various health conditions, including muscle twitches and cramps, osteoporosis, fatigue, high blood pressure, asthma, heart disease, and diabetes.

Now that we know the importance of magnesium, where do we find it?

Luckily, there are plenty of magnesium-rich natural food sources.

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Raw almonds and cashews (raw nuts are better than roasted nuts – roasted nuts lose magnesium during the roasting process)
  • Dark chocolate (WHAAAT!!! One of my faves)
  • Black beans, peas, and soybeans
  • Green leafy vegetables (spinach, what doesn’t spinach have for us, really!!)
  • Whole grains (oat bran)
  • Herbs (coriander, chives, dill, sage)

Magnesium can also be absorbed through the skin, so consider using a magnesium oil or lotion.

But, clearly the easiest (and yummiest) way of getting in your daily magnesium – is to include plenty of food sources high in this multi-tasking mineral.


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