Our bodies cannot store magnesium; we need a constant supply of this crucial mineral in our daily diet. But even if your diet is high in foods containing magnesium, you may not be absorbing enough if you have digestive problems. Magnesium levels may be low in those suffering from illness, digestive or malabsorption problems, in alcoholics and in those who consume a diet consisting of refined foods, sugary foods, junk or take-away foods.
A diet high in dairy and low in whole grains can lead to to excess calcium in the tissues and a magnesium deficiency. If you are experiencing cramping, your diet may be high in foods such as cheese, milk or yoghurt. Modify your diet to include mainly magnesium rich foods (see chart below). Continue reading
You may hear the word ‘balance’ applied to a lot of health recommendations. Eating a balanced diet is one of them – but how does that apply to minerals?
For our bodies to function optimally and maintain us in good health, we need our minerals to be in balance. Here are a few examples of what minerals help our bodies do:
MAGNESIUM IN OUR DIET
Even if your diet is high in foods containing magnesium, you may not be absorbing enough magnesium if you have digestive problems. Our bodies also cannot store magnesium, so we need to pay constant attention to our intake of this crucial mineral. If you recognised some of your symptoms in the list of factors contributing to the decreased absorption of magnesium (see above), you may be especially interested in transdermal application of magnesium, which bypasses the digestive system altogether.
MAGNESIUM AND THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
Magnesium has a calming effect on the entire nervous system: it relaxes all the muscles in the body and aids in promoting sound and restorative sleep. When we are stressed, more adrenalin is released in the bloodstream and this puts extra strain on our nervous system. Magnesium levels get low when we are stressed, because magnesium has to work double-time to return the nervous system to a relaxed state. If magnesium levels get too low, the nerves lose control over muscle activity contributing to muscle cramps, nervous tension and/or poor sleep.
Levels of magnesium may decrease as we age, particularly if we have developed digestive problems or chronic symptoms and may not be able to absorb magnesium through our diet as well.
We cannot live without adequate amounts of magnesium in our bodies. Cell health, growth and division are all dependent on the availability of this mineral. Magnesium helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function, including the most important muscle of them all: the heart. In humans, magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and a co-factor in over 300 enzymatic reactions.