Did you know that 80% of adults are magnesium deficient? Do you know what that deficiency can do to our bodies?
Today, as part of our foray into hormone health (and general health) I will share with you one of the key things that I believe has been helping with balance my hormones, improve my sleep and generally improve my health over the last six months.
Magnesium deficiency is so common these days due to our aggressive farming methods and the lack of nutrients in our soil compared to hundred of years ago, the stress we live with and the fact that we eat so much crap (plus many other reasons) which robs our body of these life giving minerals. It leads to sleeplessness, back/body pain, imbalanced hormones, unhappy bowels (especially constipation), low vitamin D , restless leg syndrome, fertility problems and much much more.
Why does a deficiency cause such havoc?
“Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. There is an increased interest in the role of magnesium in preventing and managing disorders such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.” source
And when looking specifically at hormonal health heres what Dr Dean (author of The Magnesium Miracle – yet to read it but its on my wish list!) has to say on magnesium and PMS and infertility (read full article here):
“Ever wonder why you crave chocolate before your period? It’s because your body is clamoring for magnesium, and, ounce for ounce, dark chocolate (80-plus percent cocoa) has more magnesium than any other food. Magnesium levels fluctuate during a woman’s cycle. The higher the estrogen or progesterone, the lower the magnesium. During the second half of the menstrual cycle, when both estrogen and progesterone are elevated, magnesium plummets. This can result in spasms in the brain arteries — a prelude to PMS and migraines. Increasing dietary and supplemental magnesium can help relieve PMS-related symptoms, such as headaches, bloating, low blood sugar, dizziness, fluid retention and sugar cravings.
Low magnesium may be a culprit if you’re having difficulty getting pregnant. “Magnesium deficiency can cause spasms in a woman’s fallopian tubes, preventing egg implantation,” says Dean.”
Looks like magnesium is pretty important!
Plus here are some of its other benefits…
This workhorse of a mineral plays many roles in your body, including:2
- Gives rigidity AND flexibility to your bones
- Increases bioavailability of calcium
- Regulates and normalizes blood pressure
- Prevents and reverses kidney stone formation
- Promotes restful sleep
- Helps prevent congestive heart failure
- Eases muscle cramps and spasms
- Lowers serum cholesterol levels and triglycerides
- Decreases insulin resistance
- Can prevent artherosclerosis and stroke
- End cluster and migraine headaches
- Enhances circulation
- Relieves fibromyalgia and chronic pain
- Treats asthma and emphysema
- Helps make proteins
- Encourages proper elimination
- Prevents osteoporosis
Hippy Fad or Does it Actually Work?
First its worth noting that it may seem ridiculous that a seemingly simple thing like magnesium could ‘miraclously’ impact so many aspect of health but the fact is (well, opinion) that are bodies are one . Each reaction, organ, cell and enzyme works together and if we are severely lacking is magnesium then it is not going to just effect one small aspect it will effect a whole range of health issues. Our bodies depend on us eating or absorbing enough minerals and when we don’t the whole body can pay.
Anyway, since I have been taking magnesium supplements and using magnesium oil spray I have noticed my sleep, muscle/ back pain and period pains improve. I have also found I am less anxious and get less sore after a hard core gym session and when I was constipated (sorry I do love a good over share!) during GAPS diet this made a massive difference! My mum started to take it and not longer gets restless legs at night and sleeps much better due to it. So I would definitely recommend it and most of my health coaching clients find it makes a big difference too especially to their bowels.
How to become Magnesium Rich?
- Eating lots of green vegetables (like kale, spinach etc) , nuts of all varieties but especially almonds, pumpkin seeds and raw cacao products as cocoa beans are the most naturally magnesium dense food out there!
- Supplement safely. I use the supplements below for periods of time but not all the time. I will take them consistently for 4 weeks then break. I may take them individually before my period is due. Or use a magnesium spray – but more on that next week!
- Cut out the crap. Sugar, alcohol, caffeine and general junk rob your body of magnesium naturally found in other foods.
So if you have tried everything else to lose weight and balance out your hormones then maybe try some adding magnesium to your diet and see how your body responds? Got questions or not convinced – then leave me a comment in the box below!