What Is Magnesium and Why Is It Important?
According to Wikipedia Magnesium, chemical element Mg, is an alkaline earth metal and the 8th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. Magnesium is the 11th most abundant element by mass in the human body and is essential to all living cells. This vital mineral plays a role in the body’s detoxification process and is crucial to prevent and reverse chemical and environmental damage as well as heavy metals and other toxins. Unfortunately, very few people are aware of the importance of magnesium to their health and wellness.
How Do I know If I’m Magnesium Deficient
Studies show that the majority of people, about 80%, are magnesium deficient and don’t even know it. Additionally, most doctors do not even test magnesium levels and until recently magnesium deficiency was hardly talked about.
Magnesium deficiency is caused by consumption of alcohol, caffeine, processed food and sugar. Antibiotics, prescription drugs and excessive sweating from exercise are also linked to magnesium depletion. Guilty of one (or more!) of these habits? Then chances are you are lacking this essential nutrient. Many foods are grown in depleted soil, including organic (although typically higher still vs. conventional), due to modern farm processes which means that even healthy eaters are in need of magnesium.
Magnesium Is Essential For Proper Health And Well-Being
Magnesium is responsible for many bodily functions including:
- Regulating blood pressure
- Lowering cholesterol and triglycerides
- Decreasing insulin resistance
- Digestion and elimination
- Promoting more restful sleep
- Easing muscle cramps
- Enhancing circulation
- Promoting healthy body weight
Magnesium has been shown to prevent and reduce migraines, treating asthma and emphysema and relieving chronic pain and fibromyalgia. Adequate magnesium levels help to prevent osteoporosis, as well as congestive heart failure and even cancer. For children experiencing ADD or ADHD magnesium intake has been associated with lessening or eliminating many symptoms.
Low magnesium levels can result in many different symptoms which can be different from each person. If you suffer from any of these symptoms chances are your magnesium levels are depleted:
- High levels of stress
- Anxiety or depression
- Mental disturbances
- Poor memory
- Difficulty concentrating
- Thyroid problems
- Gut disorders
- Dental problems
- Heart flutters/palpitations
- Muscle pain
If you suffer from several of the above symptoms then your levels are on the lower end of the spectrum and a magnesium supplement is highly recommended. There are a few different ways to get magnesium into the body starting out with small doses and then working up to larger amounts to ensure the mineral is being absorbed properly and not going to waste.
How To Boost Magnesium Levels
While magnesium levels cannot reach necessary levels by diet alone, there are foods that are good dietary sources such as sea vegetables, kelp, nettle flax seed, almond butter and dark leafy greens. You can also get capsule form of Nettle HERE and Kelp HERE.
Another way to get daily magnesium is in powder form HERE or liquid form HERE which provides an easy way to control the dose and work your way up. Lastly, the most effective way to increase magnesium levels is transdermally through the skin. This is the fastest way for the body to absorb the mineral. This can be done through taking an Epsom salt bath or by using Magnesium oil, which is very easy to make.
Homemade Magnesium Oil Recipe
- 1/2 cup of filtered or distilled water
- 1/2 cup of Magnesium Chloride Flakes (or Epsom salts)
- Small spray bottle (glass preferred)
Bring the water to a boil. Pour magnesium flakes (preferred over Epsom salts) in a glass mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over the flakes. Dissolve magnesium and let mixture completely cool before adding to the spray bottle. The magnesium oil solution will last about 6-months (although you will most likely use it up before then if you use daily!)
Spray the magnesium oil on the stomach, legs and arms daily. You may notice a tingling sensations the first few applications, but that is normal. Once your body gets used to it that will disappear. Leave the magnesium oil on the skin to absorb or at least 30 minutes before you shower to ensure maximum results. It can be used multiple times a day and is great for kids too.
Adding Epsom salts or magnesium flakes to baths or foot soaks is highly recommended. Experiment with different essential oils such as lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint or lemongrass and reap the benefits. Taking the time to do something good for our bodies has infinite rewards and should become a regular habit to nourish the mind, body and soul.
It is recommended that you employ multiple ways of magnesium supplementation daily to reach the necessary levels, especially for those who are very deficient and show signs of illness. Common side effects of magnesium overdose is usually upset stomach and diarrhea so if you begin to notice these symptoms it’s time to lower your intake. Most people notice changes pretty soon after supplementing magnesium into their diet and are thankful they learned about the importance of the mineral for their health.
Disclaimer: Please note: I am not a medical professional, the information provided is strictly for informational purposes. Please use your careful discernment and double check with your naturopath or doctor before taking any vitamins or supplements
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Like what you've read? Sign-up for my newsletter and get tips and other information on how to live a healthier and happier lifestyle!