Their are so many benefits of magnesium for the body as magnesium is involved in over 300 functions in the body and acts as a co-factor for many enzyme reactions. Some causes of magnesium deficiency include soil depletion of magnesium, processing of foods in which magnesium is lost and an increased consumption of refined carbohydrates that requires magnesium for utilization of glucose in energy production. Magnesium deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the general population and is a very important alkaline mineral.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency
Some signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency include: fatigue, irritability, insomnia, nervousness, nausea, anxiety, tight muscles, twitching eye, chocolate cravings, menstrual cramps, PMS, estrogen dominance and high blood pressure to name a few
Magnesium for energy
Magnesium can help to improve energy levels as it is required by the mitochondria as a cofactor to make energy in the body and utilize glucose by helping to convert glucose to ATP, (the bodies usable form of energy). One of the reasons as to why someone may feel fatigued or tired can be due to a deficiency in magnesium which is common especially when eating a high refined carbohydrate diet that is lacking in magnesium yet requires magnesium for the utilization of all the sugar found in these foods.
Magnesium and stress
Magnesium is great for stress as magnesium is needed to help clear and process the stress neurotransmitters such as adrenaline from the system. If you have a hard time winding down after a stressful day or event magnesium can help to relax you and clear the neurotransmitters such as dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine.
Magnesium and sleep
Magnesium before bed will also promote a better sleep by again clearing the stress neurotransmitters and promoting a more relaxed state that is conducive to sleep. Magnesium along with vitamin B6 and niacin is used to convert the amino acid glutamate into GABA which has a calming and relaxing effect on the brain that is beneficial for sleep.
Magnesium for tight muscles
Tight muscles, twitching eye and cramps can also be a signs of magnesium deficiency as magnesium is needed to help relax the muscle tissue. Calcium and magnesium work together in the muscle and heart tissue as calcium is needed for the contraction and magnesium is needed for the relaxation. An inability for a muscle tissue to fully relax is often due to a magnesium deficiency. Smooth muscle also surrounds blood vessel walls and the constriction of the muscle surrounding blood vessels can lead to high blood pressure.
Magnesium and estrogen
The COMT enzyme is one of the primary enzymes that breaks down estrogen in the body. Magnesium is needed as a cofactor for this enzyme to function and optimally clear excess estrogen in the body thus preventing PMS related symptoms associated with high estrogen.
With so many benefits of magnesium and necessary functions it truly is important to ensure you are eating foods high in magnesium, avoiding processed foods that are deficient in magnesium and supplementing when necessary or if you have symptoms of magnesium deficiency.
Some foods naturally high in magnesium include dark leafy green vegetables, almonds, pecans, cashews, brazil nuts, millet, brown rice, avocado, beans and legumes, dark chocolate, raw cacao and soy products if tolerated.
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