Magnesium- the Missing Mineral
By Sarah Axtell, ND • June 8, 2013
We live in a world of tension. Mentally, emotionally we are tense with anxiety, insomnia, depression and stress ever-so-present. And physically we are tense evidenced by muscle aches, restless legs, tremors, back pain, migraines or headaches, high blood pressure, and constipation. These symptoms may be a sign that you have an underlying Magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium is the top nutrient deficiency among Americans. It is a natural muscle relaxant. It relaxes our skeletal muscles, providing relief from pain, cramps and tremors. Magnesium also relaxes our muscles lining our intestines, providing for a nice smooth bowel movement. And it can help with hypertension, or high blood pressure, as it dilates blood vessels. In addition to its role as a muscle relaxant and vaso-dilator, it also maintains heart rhythm, nerve function and builds strong bones (it is NOT all about Calcium!).
Top signs of Magnesium deficiency:
- You crave chocolate. Cocao is the #1 source of Magnesium of any food. Our cravings can reveal a lot about our internal physiology.
- You have restless legs.
- You do not like crowds.
- You have insomnia.
- You are anxious.
- You have muscle cramps or tremors.
- You are constipated.
- You have high blood pressure.
- You are stressed.
Top Food Sources of Magnesium:
Cacao nibs, cocoa, dark chocolate
Green leafy vegetables- swiss chard, kale, beet greens, collard greens
Fish- halibut, mackerel, pollock
Whole grains- quinoa, brown rice, millet, oats
What is a therapeutic dose of supplemental Magnesium?
Everyone has a different threshold for the amount of Magnesium their body can tolerate. A sign that you have exceeded your threshold is loose stools. A typical dosage is 400-800 mg, but it is advised you talk to your naturopathic doctor about the correct dose for you.
When do I take Magnesium?
I recommend patients take Magnesium at night as it can help you wind down from a long, hard day and help promote a deep quality sleep. I can’t tell you how many people say they sleep like a baby after taking Magnesium!
What form is the best, most readily available to the body?
Magnesium citrate and glycinate are the best forms.
Try adding magnesium into your bedtime routine for ultimate relaxation.
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.