Now this one really surprised me, I knew magnesium was an essential mineral but I didn’t realise how vital it really is! It’s one of the most important if not the most important minerals required as it is needed for so many processes in the body; to develop strong bones, regulate body temperature and blood sugar levels and ensure muscles function properly . It can also be linked to deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals, as magnesium is required for some vitamins to be distributed round the body such as Calcium.
One of the main processes it’s used for is providing your cells with energy. If you aren’t getting enough that’s when you will start to feel tired and lethargic as your body doesn’t have enough energy to get through daily tasks. Creating energy alone is needed for pretty much everything in the body so this is definitely one to watch out for! Due to this, the first signs of this type of deficiency are usually extreme fatigue both emotionally and physically and this can lead on to insomnia and anxiety.
It also has strong links to fibromyalgia which is a condition whereby muscles all over the body are in constant spasm which feels painful, achy and stiff all the time. Unfortunately Magnesium deficiencies are regularly misdiagnosed as only 1% of it is stored in the blood, and so it’s very difficult to get a clear picture of this vitamin when a traditional blood test is done. Most of the magnesium is stored in the cells all around the body, particularly within the heart muscles and when this is restricted it can lead to heart palpitations, even heart attacks and angina.
Other common symptoms include:
- muscle spasms – magnesium is needed for muscles to relax
- poor sleep
- poor immune system
How to treat naturally…
The good news is that the most common reasons people develop this deficiency is because they simply aren’t getting enough in their diet. The more processed your food is, the lower it will be in essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium. Thats why eating whole, natural foods that are as close to their original state as possible is key to having a healthy diet and living a happier, healthier life.
So how to increase your intake? Eat plenty of these magnesium rich foods – again most of these aren’t difficult to find or expensive.
- Leafy greens – spinach (this is one of my favourite foods and is one of the highest in magnesium too!) kale, chard
- Avocado -goes well in smoothies, chopped up in salads or smashed into guacamole!
- Cacao/dark chocolate – good news for all of you chocolate lovers!
- Beans and pulses – lentils, white beans, French beans, black eyes peas, kidney beans, chickpeas
- Nuts – almonds, cashews
- Seeds – pumpkin, sunflower, sesame
- Oily fish – mackerel, salmon, herring, tuna
- Whole grains – brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, wholewheat pasta, oats, bulgur wheat
- Dried fruit – prunes, dates, raisins, apricots
Much like vitamin B12, the acid in your stomach is needed to break down what you eat to enable your body to absorb the magnesium within these foods – check out my last post for a tip on how you can absorb the most out of your food.
If you suffer from fibromyalgia/sore achy muscles/pins and needles/muscle spasms then adding a cup or two of Epsom salts to your bath will help as they contain magnesium sulphate which can be absorbed easily through the skin. Magnesium has many healing and detoxifying properties so adding Epsom salts to your bath will not only help you on the inside, it will draw out toxins and make your skin glow on the outside too!
Speaking of skin, next week I’ll be looking into Zinc which is known for it’s skin and immune boosting properties, keep a look out on my instagram & twitter, links are top right of the page 😊