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  • Writer's pictureFi Dean


Today, I would like to discuss a commonly deficient mineral that is vital for your optimal health and progress. Magnesium. Magnesium deficiency in healthy people is rare but it can be caused by a poor diet, (especially in elderly people or those who do not have enough to eat), type 2 diabetes, digestive problems - such as Crohn’s disease, long-term vomiting, diarrhoea or use of diuretics, kidney problems and alcohol abuse. Being chronically low in this mineral may cause symptoms such as fatigue, muscle cramps and twitches, mental health conditions, irregular heartbeat, osteoporosis, and an increased risk of high blood pressure. If you are concerned about your health and want to know if you are magnesium deficient, book a blood test with your Doctor.

Magnesium is responsible for over 300 essential biochemical reactions in the body, ranging from energy production in your cells to protein synthesis. It is super important for optimal physical performance. This nutrient may also help in other areas too, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), prevention of migraines, boost exercise performance, combat depression, reduce anxiety, support correct blood sugar levels, and give you a better night’s sleep.

It is true – magnesium can really improve the quality of your sleep. To fall asleep and stay asleep, your body and brain need to relax. On a chemical level, magnesium aids this process by activating the parasympathetic nervous system - the system responsible for getting you calm and relaxed. First, magnesium regulates neurotransmitters, which send signals throughout the nervous system and brain. It also regulates the hormone melatonin, which guides sleep-wake cycles in your body. Secondly, this mineral binds to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. GABA is the neurotransmitter responsible for quieting down nerve activity. By helping to quiet the nervous system, magnesium may help prepare your body and mind for restful sleep.

Adults in the western world are interestingly more deficient in this mineral. The recommended daily intake for men is 400-420mg and for women it is 310-320mg. We should not exceed this. It is important to eat a healthy, balanced diet containing magnesium-rich foods such as leafy greens, nuts, beans, seeds, whole grains, and wheat. How much magnesium is in your food? Let's look at a few examples:

Dry roasted almonds - 1 oz serving = 80mg

Boiled spinach - 1/2 cup = 78mg

Shredded Wheat - 2 large biscuits = 61mg

70% dark chocolate - 1 oz = 50mg

Whole wheat bread - 2 slices = 46mg

For example, just 1 oz serving (28.4g) of almonds provides 19% of the RDA (recommended daily allowance) for magnesium.

High quality magnesium supplements are easily available if you think you are unable to obtain the correct levels of this nutrient through your diet alone. If you have a medical condition, consult with your Doctor before taking any magnesium supplements. Though these supplements are generally well tolerated, they may be unsafe for people who take certain diuretics, heart medications or antibiotics.

To conclude, magnesium is super important to our health and wellbeing, but with everything, you need to be consistent and hit the correct RDA levels daily, whether this is through your diet or taking a supplement.

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