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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Magnesium health benefits: muscle, mind and sleep

According to a 2018 study published in Open Heart Journal, it’s estimated that a whopping 80 to 90 percent of Australians have sub-optimal magnesium levels which mostly go undiagnosed.

Magnesium is an essential nutrient in the healthy functioning of every cell in your body. It is involved in around 600 body processes including energy creation, protein formation, gene maintenance, muscle movement as well as nervous system regulation. Less than optimal magnesium can manifest in many ways, including the following.

Low energy: Magnesium is crucial to the body’s ability to regulate energy levels, so if you’re low in magnesium you’ll feel tired and your heart will have to work harder during exercise and exertion.

Poor sleep: Magnesium helps you to fall asleep, stay asleep and feel more energised upon waking. It appears magnesium assists in melatonin production and reduction of cortisol levels resulting in better sleep.

Weak bones: We all know calcium is crucial for bone density and strength, but in order to absorb calcium, we need adequate magnesium levels along with Vitamins D3 and K2.

Stress: Magnesium deficiencies have been shown to increase the level of the ‘stress hormone’ cortisol in the brain. Increasing magnesium levels can have calming benefits for people with busy or stressful lives.

Blood sugar regulation: Magnesium plays a role in glucose metabolism which means that if you have low magnesium, you’re more likely to have weight gain and diabetes.

Heart health: Low magnesium is associated with high blood pressure, arrhythmia, and an increased risk of heart attack.

Muscle Cramps: Magnesium has been found to reduce symptoms and the pain associated with muscle cramps. It also helps with constipation and poor digestion.

How to boost your magnesium levels: Foods rich in magnesium include spinach and leafy greens in general, avocadoes, salmon and dark chocolate to name a few. So, if you regularly eat these foods and have low stress levels and excellent health it’s likely you already have adequate magnesium levels.

However, if you’re already deficient in magnesium, you’ll need nutritional support in the way of a supplement. There is a range of different magnesium supplements, with additional ingredients to focus on specific benefits such as improved sleep quality. To find a supplement that best suits your needs, ask a trusted health professional.

Magnesium is also readily absorbed through the skin, which is why there is a wide range of magnesium sprays and creams that you can apply directly to affected areas, such as for muscle cramps.

Finally, Epsom salts are high in magnesium so if you enjoy taking baths, then a regular soak in a bath with the addition of a cup of Epsom salts is very beneficial.

Editor’s note: This wellbeing column provides information that is general in nature. Please always refer to your preferred health professional for advice suited to your personal healthcare requirements.

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