Magnesium is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body.
It directly impacts blood pressure, metabolism, immune function, bone health, joint health, cell regeneration, hormone function and hundreds of other aspects of health.
And yet, magnesium deficiency is such a widespread problem that estimates suggest that over 90% of us are deficient. In fact, some experts claim that magnesium deficiency is the single largest health problem in our world today.
Where did this deficiency come from? We used to get magnesium (and other vital nutrients) from the food we eat and water we drink. However, conventional farming practices in recent decades has all but wiped out the nutrients in our soil, meaning that the fruits and veggies we eat are lower in magnesium. The meat we eat has suffered too, since these animals feed on plants that come from nutrient-derived soil. The use of chemicals like fluoride and chlorine in our tap water supply also makes magnesium less available. These chemicals bind to magnesium, making it indigestible in our bodies.
In addition to depleted soil and water quality, things like caffeine, sugar, processed foods, prescription drugs, antibiotics, alcohol and stress all deplete the body’s magnesium levels.
Supplementing with magnesium improves:
- Muscle spasms and cramping. Magnesium is great for muscle recovery after a long run or intense workout.
- High blood pressure and hypertension. This is perhaps one of the most well-studied areas of magnesium deficiency. A Harvard study of over 70,000 people found that those with the highest magnesium intake had the healthiest blood pressure numbers.
- Hormone imbalance. Magnesium works wonders for helping both men and women regulate their hormones. Especially for women during pregnancy, menstruation (muscle cramping) and menopause.
- Sleep disorders. Some doctors call magnesium the ultimate relaxation mineral. Studies have shown how it helps relax the body and the mind, which both contribute to restful sleep.
- Anxiety and depression. There is ample research showing that magnesium deficiency can have a tremendous impact on mental health. A simple Google search will get you on the right track if you’re interested in this.
- Bone strength. We always talk about calcium and bone health, but magnesium is needed to actually draw calcium out of your muscles and soft tissues into your bones.
You can fight your magnesium deficiency through any of the following:
1. Epsom salt baths are one of the easiest, most relaxing ways to enjoy the benefits of magnesium. Your body will absorb the magnesium through your skin. Dr. Teal’s offers the most reputable bath salts, and you can find it at a significant discount at Costco. While this alone isn’t usually enough to bring magnesium levels up, it is a good addition to magnesium supplementation.
2. Leafy green vegetables, sea vegetables like seaweed and kelp, and especially nettle are good dietary sources of magnesium, though if you have a deficiency, it will be difficult to raise your levels enough through diet alone.
3. Take an actual magnesium supplement, in pill form or via transdermal Magnesium oil applied directly to the skin. If taking a supplement sounds easier, just make sure you buy magnesium Glycinate, Citrate, or Chelate as these elements ensure that your body can properly absorb the magnesium. Some folks experience loose bowels when starting a magnesium supplement, which can be helped by taking the supplement right before you go to bed (plus it will help you sleep). If you continue experiencing digestive woes, switch to a transdermal oil.