Magnesium is a mineral that plays a vital role in our health and well-being. It’s crucial for many processes within the body. Magnesium helps to keep the nervous system healthy and to calm your nerves when you are stressed. In fact, did you know that magnesium is the first mineral depleted when you are stressed? so if you have any type of stress in your life magnesium is the first mineral that goes out the window. Magnesium is also an important mineral co-factor for enzymes that have biochemical reactions in the body. In other words it plays a large role in digestive system health as it helps enzymes do their job as well as to loosen the body to relax and ease to support the metabolic processes.
Magnesium is also needed for protein synthesis which means that it helps to create new protein in the body. It helps with blood glucose levels, blood pressure and is crucial for healthy nerve function. You’ll find that if you begin taking a magnesium supplement and have never done so before that you may have bowel movements more often and your stools may even become looser as well, this can be a sign of too much magnesium in your diet or supplement routine if your stool becomes too loose. Magnesium also works with potassium and calcium to regulate your heart and many other electric functions within the body, think heart, nerves, cellular conductivity etc.
How Do You Know If You Have A Magnesium Deficiency? Here are 6 Signs:
1. Stiffness: I have found that people with a magnesium deficiency tend to be stiff. Think of magnesium as the loosening mineral. It helps create more fluidity, flexibility and mobility in your joints and body. If you are stiff and ache all the time there is a very good chance that you have a magnesium deficiency.
2. Irregular Heart Rate (or palpitations): Magnesium helps to manage electrical processes in the body ranging from your heart to your nerves all the way down to individual cell function. If your heart is irregular or your nerves feel weak or shot then there’s a good chance you may be deficient in magnesium. I have had heart palpitations and I made three changes at this point in my life. I walked, drank more water and took a magnesium supplement. My palpitations went away, I believe that all three practices did help but magnesium definitely played a role. Your body reserves the highest amount of magnesium in your heart so it is crucial for the health of this organ.
3. Digestive Issues: If you are backed up you could be deficient in magnesium. If your stool is hard and not loose and easy to release then there’s a possibility that you don’t have enough magnesium in your regular daily routine. I find that whenever I increase my magnesium intake I have more bowel movements and the stool is softer as well. Magnesium helps your body to digest fats, carbohydrates and proteins so you really need this mineral no matter what your diet looks like, it helps in every digestive process of every food type.
4. Low Energy: Magnesium is a pre-curosor to your body creating ATP which is a molecule that is responsible for giving your body energy.
5. Depression: Your body needs magnesium to create serotonin which is a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good. Without magnesium your body cannot create happy and healthy brain chemistry.
6. Muscle Cramps: Magnesium helps to relax your muscles by playing a role in muscle and nerve relaxation. If you are deficient in magnesium minerals like calcium (which have a hardening and stiffening effect) create muscle cramps and involuntary contractions.
As with any signs or symptoms it’s important to not make any conclusions based on one sign or symptom. I personally think that the more symptoms you have of something the more likely it is. For example, if you have all of the symptoms listed above then there’s a much better chance that you have a magnesium deficiency if you were to only have two or three of the symptoms listed above.
Some of the best food sources of magnesium are organic leafy greens, avocado, bananas, dark chocolate, nuts and seeds. We need magnesium in our body to function optimally, it’s as simple as that. Most people do not have enough magnesium in their diet though. Supplementation goes to waste often times because so many magnesium supplements are not bio-available and they just pass right through your body.
You can learn more about magnesium, it’s role in our health and deficiency signs in this video:
Dr. Carolyn is the author of The Magnesium Miracle which is a book that discusses the importance of magnesium in health and well-being. Personally I recommend taking Natural Calm or using a trans-dermal topical magnesium spray from omica organics. These are both great to have on hand in your home. The next article on this blog will be sharing with you the fastest way to replenish your magnesium levels so be sure to check back soon.