The Importance of Magnesium cannot be stressed enough for optimal health and wellbeing. This article tells you why and how to maximize magnesium absorption.
What is Magnesium
Magnesium is one of the essential minerals your body needs to maintain its health. It stabilizes blood pressure, strengthens bones and allows your nerves to function properly.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body and is responsible for the function of over 350 enzymes in your body.
About 60-70% of people in the Western world are said to be magnesium deficient. If you suffer from headaches, muscle cramps, low levels of energy or hypertension, then you may not be getting enough of this essential magnesium.
The benefits of magnesium are quite important:
- Magnesium is essential for energy production as it partakes in over 350 of the body’s biochemical reactions
- Both magnesium and vitamin B6 are needed for energy production. Symptoms of deficiencies in both of these minerals are very similar, so they’re closely linked with each other
- Glutathione synthesis requires magnesium, which is needed for reducing inflammation and the use of antioxidants
- Muscle contraction and nerve firing is supplied by magnesium
- Magnesium reduces the negative effects of too much cortisol as it has great anti-stress properties
- Magnesium helps you to sleep better and promotes recovery from physical as well as mental stress
- It will reduce anxiety and headaches
How Much Magnesium a Day
Most people don’t get enough magnesium from their food because of several reasons – poor nutritional profile, not enough variety, inability to absorb the goddam thing, and the degradation of the mineral content of our soils overall.
The recommended daily intake of magnesium is around 350-450 mg/day for adults.
If you consume a whole foods based diet that consists of a ton of fresh organic green leafy vegetables and cruciferous then you may be getting enough.
Magnesium rich foods include:
- #1 Dark Leafy Greens like Spinach, Swiss Chard or Kale – 100g = 79mg
- #2 Pumpkin Seeds – 100g = 534mg
- #3 Sesame Seeds – 100g = 351mg
- #4 Brazil Nuts – 100g = 376mg
- #5 Dark Chocolate – 100g = 327mg
- #6 Almonds – 100g = 268mg
- #7 Mackerel – 100g = 97mg
- #8 Black Beans – 100g = 160mg
- #9 White Beans – 100g = 53mg
- #10 Bananas – 100g = 27mg
Funny enough, bananas, which are most commonly refered to as a magnesium rich food are actually quite low in magnesium.
If you’re not getting enough magnesium, then you may even consider supplementing it.
- Magnesium Citrate is the most popular magnesium supplement. It’s inexpensive and quite easily absorbed.
- Magnesium Taurate is good for people with cardiovascular disease.
- Magnesium Malate works best against chronic fatigue syndrome
- Magnesium Chloride improves detoxification of the cells and tissues
- Magnesium Carbonate benefits indigestion and acid reflux
However, excessive use of magnesium supplements can be slightly toxic and cause diarrhea, nausea, cramps and low blood pressure.
The worst magnesium supplements are magnesium oxide, magnesium sulfate, magnesium glutamate and aspartate.
Before supplementing magnesium, you should get a blood test to see if you’re indeed deficient.
You may be eating a lot of foods high in magnesium, but absorbing them is a whole nother story. Inflammation in the gut, the use of antibiotics and poor health of the microbiome can damage your digestive tract, which prevents the absorption of magnesium.
Are You Absorbing Your Magnesium
There are other nutrients that influence the absorption rate of magnesium, such as calcium, vitamin K, and vitamin D.
- High intakes of calcium, vitamin D, and alcohol increases the need for magnesium
- Caffeine, sugar, phosphorus, and sodium can lead to a loss of magnesium through urine
- Inflammation in the gut will by default hinder your ability to absorb any nutrients from food
- Lack of digestive enzymes prevents you from breaking down food entirely, making you excrete a lot of the nutrients without absorbing the micros completely.
- Stress of any kind lowers magnesium levels and low magnesium levels increase stress – low magnesium and stress reinforce each other in a vicious feedback cycle.