This week we are looking at the role of Magnesium in our general health and well-being, what symptoms you may be experiencing if you are not getting enough and what you can do to boost your magnesium levels to bring things back in to balance.
You are probably wondering why I am devoting a whole newsletter to Magnesium! Well it’s the fourth most abundant mineral in your entire body. If your magnesium is lacking, so are you! Magnesium is responsible for over 350 life providing biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium deficiency is said to be growing into one of the largest health problems in the world today, yet it is the single MOST IMPORTANT MINERAL for maintaining electrical balance and metabolism in our cells.
Every single cell in the human body demands adequate magnesium to function, or it will perish. Strong bones and teeth, balanced hormones, a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system, well-functioning detoxification pathways and much more depend upon cellular magnesium sufficiency. Soft tissue containing the highest concentrations of magnesium in the body include the brain and the heart—two organs that produce a large amount of electrical activity, and which can be especially vulnerable to magnesium insufficiency (Wellness Mama – Magnesium the Master Mineral).
Magnesium was once abundantly available in our food, produce and water, but today it is significantly reduced. Why??
If some of the things on that list sound familiar to you – please don’t be daunted, the good news is that magnesium deficiency is relatively simple to resolve:
There are a few things that you may be doing on a daily basis that are affecting your magnesium levels:
Many carbonated beverages contain phosphates which bind with magnesium inside the digestive tract rendering it unavailable to the body and flushing it out of the system. If you are a bit of a “pop” junky, have a think about swopping in some healthier alternatives.
CAFFEINE AND ALCOHOL
Magnesium levels are largely controlled by the kidneys, which filter and excrete excess magnesium and other minerals. Excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption will cause the kidneys to release extra magnesium regardless of the body status. So this is not about cutting things out completely, but trying to modify if you feel you need to.
Refined sugar contains zero magnesium but it also causes the body to excrete magnesium through the kidneys.
In addition – if your diet is loaded with processed food it is unlikely that you will be eating the healthier options loaded with macro and micro nutrients.
Try and crowd the more processed foods out of your diet, and add in the healthier options, remembering that good gut health is also crucial to the utilisation of the nutrients that you are taking in.
If you are supplementing with calcium – make sure that you are also taking sufficient Magnesium. Calcium supplementation on its own can lead to a reduction in magnesium absorption and retention. If you are not sure about this consult a qualified nutritionist or your GP.
Stress can cause a magnesium deficiency AND low magnesium can magnify the effects of stress – a double edge sword. Remember to take care of you and learn to use that ever so small but HUGELY important word “NO”. Self-care must be top of your list – when it comes to anything to do with your health and well-being this is FUNDAMENTAL.
Many of the magnesium supplements on the market are pills or solutions meant for oral consumption. Although these can be effective they can also cause some digestive issues and stress the kidneys. Experts estimate that magnesium absorption from the digestive system is only 20-55% (depending on the research), but this means over half of it is leaving the body as waste.
A great way to supplement with magnesium is through the skin:
A solution of magnesium can be sprayed on the skin, and the body will absorb what it needs, directly into the blood and tissues, restoring magnesium levels to their optimal range without affecting the kidneys.
You can buy Magnesium spray or here is a recipe to make your own from Wellness Mama:
EPSOM SALT BATH
Epsom salts are a form of Magnesium and are readily available at Laikipia Pharmacy. Add a good cupful to your bath and spend a luxurious 20-30 minutes soaking to get maximum benefit. If you like nice smells, put the salts in a jar layered with lavender, and the salts will absorb the wonderful lavender fragrance, enhancing your experience – ENJOY!!
EAT MAGNESIUM RICH FOODS