You've probably heard that keeping magnesium on your list of ‘must-haves’ can support your health in myriad ways – for both the body and the mind.
But when we keep in mind that magnesium is the third most abundant mineral in the body and is used in over 300 enzymatic reactions, it's not that surprising!
It plays a role in nurturing our whole body: from nervous system to bones, as well as having the ability to stabilise our mood and contributing to our sense of happiness and well-being. So we can see why magnesium is incredibly important when it comes to how we feel on a daily basis.
Why is magnesium so important for our mental health?
Magnesium supports our bodies to maintain normal muscle movement, heart rhythm, nerve function, bone strength, balances electrolytes, and supports a healthy immune system. It also assists the proper functioning of calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and vitamin D (another essential vitamin for our mental wellness), which are all magnesium dependent. Magnesium could be referred to as the 'mother mineral', as it nourishes and supports our body to ensure everything is ticking along nicely and at the right pace.
When it comes to our mental wellness, it promotes calming of the mind and body, and helps us relax. It does this by assisting with muscle relaxation and increasing melatonin production to enhance sleep. And we all know how getting a great night’s sleep can positively impact our mood.
Magnesium is an important cofactor in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, otherwise known as our ‘happy hormones’ serotonin and dopamine. These two chemicals have multiple functions in our body and can especially impact mood and relaxation.
It also supports the brain’s ability to stimulate and respond to the release of stress hormones. Therefore, it turns down the dial on our ‘fight or flight’ response.
Why are we not getting enough magnesium?
It starts with the quality of our soils and a loss of nutrients through food storage and preservation, which means getting these vital nutrients is harder than ever before.
In addition to this, our body is not good at holding on to magnesium. Especially when we experience stress, as we are likely to excrete more of it in our urine or through excess sweating. Women can also lose it through heavy periods.
Modern day food choices also play a part in decreasing our magnesium status, the common culprits are caffeine, sugar – in particular, sugary drinks, excess salt and alcohol. For the body to metabolise 1 molecule of sugar, it requires 57 molecules of magnesium. Overconsumption of processed carbohydrates and sugars in the modern diet, contributes to a widespread deficiency in magnesium.
How can we tell if we have a magnesium deficiency?
If you commonly experience any of these, you may be living with a magnesium deficiency:
- Low mood
- Trouble sleeping
- Poor concentration
- Brain fog
- Muscle tension
- Heart palpitations
- Poor memory
How can you get more magnesium in your diet?
We can start by including wholefoods that are rich in magnesium, such as:
- Dark green veggies
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dark chocolate/cacao
- Whole grains
- Beef and lamb.
Avoiding coffee is also a good idea, as this can reduce magnesium absorption.
However, even if we are eating all the rights foods, some of us may not be consuming adequate amounts through the food we eat alone and may need the assistance of a dietary supplement to help give our magnesium levels a boost.
Choosing the right magnesium:
There are various forms of magnesium and it's worth seeing which suits us best.
Using magnesium sulphate as bath salts or as a foot soak for 10-20 minutes can be a great way to relax, especially in the evenings or after a stressful day. The skin, particularly via the feet, can absorb very generous amounts.
We use magnesium bisglycinate in our BePure One and BePure Magnesium Restore. This is because instead of one glycinate amino acid there are two glycine amino acids, which means it has twice the protection from stomach acids and it can make it through to the gut in an organic form. It is also a more gentle form of magnesium, to relax the body, support muscle cramps, psychological health, energy, and sleep. If you are experiencing any bowel irritation or liquid bowels, then magnesium bisglycinate is a nice safe form to take.
Magnesium glycinate is one of the most absorbable forms of magnesium. It supports bone formation, energy production, promotes calm, regulates blood sugars and has no laxative effect.