Our bodies need a bunch of important minerals to stay healthy. Unfortunately, too much emphasis is placed on certain minerals (calcium, zinc, iron) and less focus goes to some big power players (manganese, potassium). A key factor in women’s health is hormonal balance with magnesium. It’s actually one of the most abundant minerals in our bodies!
Why We Need Magnesium
Has your nutritionist or naturopath ever suggested you take a magnesium supplement?
So many women are actually deficient in magnesium. Yet this mineral plays a bunch of important roles in our health.
Magnesium helps to slow down the heart rate of patients experiencing heart palpitations.
This mineral helps make DNA along with other crucial chemical reactions.
Magnesium helps to regulate muscle contractions – it acts opposite to calcium to help our muscles relax. In fact, it’s often recommended for people with muscle cramps and really can help alleviate those middle-of-the-night calf spasms!
It helps maintain your brain function by relaying signals between your body and our brain. It prevents the overstimulation of nerve cells.
And, magnesium may help reduce the risk of arthritis, heart disease and diabetes. And, there seems to be a connection between migraines and low levels of magnesium.
Hormonal Balance with Magnesium
One of my favorite things to do to help me fall asleep when I’m wired and tired is to have a powdered magnesium supplement right before bed!
This works great because magnesium helps to lower cortisol (and we should have very low cortisol at bedtime). Due to its relaxation effects, magnesium is an excellent sleep aid too.
Magnesium can also improve insulin sensitivity to help reduce cravings.
Our bodies need magnesium to produce serotonin, our ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter.
And, magnesium is used to make estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, too.
Are You Deficient?
Even though it is the 4thmost abundant mineral in our bodies, most people have a deficiency of magnesium. In fact, up to 68% of adults don’t get enough magnesium in their diets.
To give you a ballpark idea, women should consume 320 mg/day.
And ideally, you should get your daily dose of magnesium from whole foods.
Food Sources of Magnesium
There are tons of food options available to you if you’re feeling a little low on magnesium!
- Raw pumpkin seeds
- Raw almonds and cashews
- Dark chocolate, at least 70% cacao
- Black beans, peas and non-GMO soybeans
- Oats and oat bran
- Coriander, chives, dill and sage
If you truly do need a magnesium supplement (like I do, with my adrenal fatigue), then I highly recommend a good-quality powdered version. Mix it with water and drink before bed. Powder will absorb faster than pills.
Ideally, always take your magnesium supplement with both calcium and vitamin D. Calcium and magnesium work together, and vitamin D needs magnesium to be activated.
Can You Get Too Much?
Like with any mineral, you can get too much of the good stuff. Problems with too much magnesium include diarrhea, nausea, lethargy or irregular heartbeat. However, if you’re suffering from constipation, magnesium may be the missing link.