If I had to pick my fav mineral and vitamin, magnesium would win hands-down. It is so flipping important for us humans. Magnesium, is the 4th most abundant mineral in our body and involved in over 600 metabolic reactions! It is important for our:
- cardiovascular system and blood pressure levels
- thyroid function
- glucose and insulin balance
- oestrogen metabolism
- brain health
- your mood
Magnesium is a big deal, my friends!
How do I know if I’m low in magnesium?
You can do a blood test for magnesium levels but they are woefully inaccurate and to be honest not worth bothering with. The best way to test your mineral levels is with a hair tissue mineral analysis. You’ll need a functional medicine doctor (like the brilliant Karin Reiter) to order and interrupt this type of test.
So while testing is possible, magnesium deficiency is likely if you have symptoms like:
- sleep issues
- anxiety and depression
- brain fog
- muscle cramps
- restless legs
Of course these symptoms are not conclusive as they can indicate other things too!
Getting enough magnesium
Now we know that magnesium is super duper important we need to make sure we are getting enough of it. Magnesium can be found in green leafy veggies, cruciferous veggies, nuts, fish, seaweed, chocolate and bananas. So make sure you have plenty of them in your diet!
Sadly though, diet alone is probably not enough. I’m sorry to share that most of us are low in magnesium for these reasons:
- Our food is not as rich in magnesium as it should be due to the depleted levels of minerals in soils
- Our body requires a lot of magnesium during times of stress (and hello, the last 18 months have been very stressful!)
- Lastly, birth control, antibiotics and alcohol all leach our body of magnesium
There is a whole range of supplements you can take for different symptoms, but remember I am not a nutritionist so what I’m sharing is a summary of a few you can discuss with your own nutritionist:
Magnesium Bisglycinate – can be a game changer for anxiety, sleep and menstrual issues
Magnesium L-threonate – great for concentration and brain fog. Animal studies have shown it helps memory
Magnesium Citrate – if you suffer with constipation, this type of magnesium can get things a’moving
Transdermal magnesium – this is my fav as it’s very economical and easy to use! Foot soaks or baths with epsom salts or using magnesium lotion/oils to apply on the skin. PRO TIP: I love doing epsom soak foot soaks while I do my computer work or watch the telly. Make sure you go easy on the epsom salts when you do a foot soak – you only need 1 tbsp for 1 litre of warm water, otherwise it becomes a saline solution and doesn’t work any magic.
Can I take too much magnesium?
Yes, you definitely can! Everything in moderation, friends. Taking too much magnesium would show as loose motions or diarrhoea so dial back any supplements if you experience that. Also, please note that people with kidney issues may have problems removing excess magnesium from the body so do seek medical advice before supplementing with magnesium if you have kidney issues.