I’m sure you have heard a health professional mention magnesium before?
Magnesium is one of the most commonly prescribed supplements by health professionals such as nutritionists and chiropractors. We interviewed one of our nutritionists here at health space and asked her to give us a break down on what this mighty mineral does for our bodies!
1) How does magnesium work in our bodies?
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for our bodies, needed for the
function of more than 300 enzymes, activation of most vitamins, has a major role in
glucose and fat metabolism and production of energy. Magnesium is a muscle
relaxant, aids formation of bone, maintains normal heart rhythm, helps reduce
inflammation and helps with mood/sleep due to its involvement in production of
hormones and neurotransmitters.
2) How do we know our bodies are lacking Magnesium?
From muscle cramps to nausea, irritability, diarrhoea, migraines, lethargy, muscle
weakness…our bodies are telling us we need Magnesium! Especially people on high
carb diets, athletes, pregnant women, those suffering from diabetes and asthma,
patients with migraines, osteoporosis, chronic diarrhoea, irritability, mood and sleep
disorders, people on restrictive diets and those with high alcohol consumption are
commonly found to be Magnesium deficient.
3) What foods are high in Magnesium
Magnesium rich foods are nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables, legumes (chick
peas, black beans and kidney beans), dark chocolate, quinoa, brown rice, avocados,
bananas… Incorporating these foods in your daily diet will not only ensure you’re
getting enough magnesium, these foods are also a great source of plant proteins,
healthy fats and antioxidants!
4) What is the recommended intake per day?
Recommended daily intake of Mg is 320mg/day for women, 420mg/day for men and
350-400mg/day in pregnancy. The key is to try to get as much Magnesium as
possible from Magnesium rich foods and remember, Mg requires adequate stomach
acid levels, Vitamins B6 and D and selenium to be properly absorbed!
5) When do you need to supplement?
Anyone with absorption problems, athletes and highly active people, people on
restrictive diets and those with the above mentioned conditions would benefit from
Magnesium supplementation. It’s important to remember that supplementation
doesn’t replace the need to get Magnesium from foods, it simply aids the body to get
the required amount!
6) What form of Magnesium is the best?
This depends on the condition you are taking Magnesium for. Currently, most
popular forms of magnesium are chelated, which means that the magnesium is
attached to an amino acid.As with diet, the best form of Magnesium depends on the individual, their presenting complaints, their diet and overall health status. As a general supplement I would recommend magnesium glycinate (many times referred to as Mg chelate) as it is easily absorbed, relaxes muscles and has calming effect on the nervous system and does not act as laxative. Practitioner only brands use best quality ingredients and have strictest quality control and are definitely something I use myself and
recommend to my patients.
By Tina Henwood (nutritionist) and Taryn Frame (chiropractor)