How are your magnesium levels? (I bet that’s not a question you’re typically asked!)
Several months ago I began reading about magnesium and how important it is to supplement since magnesium is responsible for over 325 enzyme reactions in the body! Magnesium is a mineral that you can find in sea vegetables, dark leafy greens and green vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and cacao. However, due to mineral depletion in our soil and cooking/heating our food, most of the magnesium in our food supply is minimal by the time it reaches our bodies. And, if you consume coffee, sugar, or high amounts of protein, this can also deplete magnesium levels in the body.
Why is this important? Well, magnesium deficiency can cause a variety of conditions, including:
- Stress, anxiety and panic attacks
- Constipation and IBS symptoms
- Heart disease
- Headaches and migraines
- Musculoskeletal conditions (e.g. fibromyalgia, muscle spasms, cramps, etc)
- PMS symptoms
- and a host of others (read more here)
I don’t know about you, but most people I know (myself included) have at least one of the issues mentioned above. For many people, stress is a growing problem and magnesium plays a vital role in managing blood pressure and blood sugar. If you are under stress and magnesium deficient, this can lead to hypertension, blood clots, anxiety/panic attacks, headaches, and muscle tension. Magnesium also helps ease PMS symptoms, including bloating, fluid retention, muscle tension, moodiness, irritability, and digestive issues.
Furthermore, magnesium deficiency plays a huge role in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Magnesium helps to relax smooth muscle (including the colon) so if you include lots of fresh vegetables and fiber sources in your diet and still experience constipation, you should definitely try supplementing with magnesium. And, since magnesium helps to relax muscles, it is really important for athletes to supplement in order to prevent muscle cramps and tension.
One other things that I think is important to mention here is that magnesium balances calcium. Maybe it’s just my perspective, but I feel like in America we are obsessed with taking calcium supplements and preventing osteoporosis. However, what we don’t often know is that we need to have a balance between calcium and magnesium. If we have too much calcium and not enough magnesium, this can actually cause symptoms of excess calcium, including: osteoporosis, heel spurs, kidney stones, gallstones, and fibromyalgia. (I won’t go deep into my personal history here, but I actually developed gallstones at the age of fourteen and I definitely attribute this to excess calcium from dairy products and calcium-only supplements.)
About a month ago I began including Natural Vitality’s Natural Calm magnesium supplement in my diet and have already noticed a huge difference. I am sleeping better, feeling less stressed overall (even while moving!), and saw a huge decrease in PMS symptoms. This is the only magnesium supplement I have tried so I can’t personally recommend others, but I love how easy it is to add this powder to water. It’s vegan, gluten-free and sweetened with organic stevia so when mixed with water, it makes a bubbly, sweet drink. It comes in several flavors (including one plain without stevia) and the raspberry-lemon is definitely my favorite.
If you are interested in learning more about magnesium, I definitely recommend reading The Magnesium Miracle by Dr. Carolyn Dean. And, please keep in mind that while I am a certified holistic health coach, I am not a medical doctor and this post is not intended as medical advice. This is simply my own research and my personal experience so please consult your naturopath or doctor before adding any supplements or making dietary changes.
I typically drink Natural Calm mixed with plain, filtered water, but I thought it would be fun to experiment with with some seasonal citrus fruits so I created this special Blood Orange Spritzer. The magnesium powder mixes best with warm or room-temperature liquids so be sure to mix the juice and powder together before adding any ice.
- 2 cups fresh blood orange juice (about 6 medium oranges)
- 1 - 2 teaspoons Natural Calm Raspberry-Lemon Flavor magnesium supplement
- 16 ounces sparkling water
- Fresh mint for garnish (optional)
- Juice oranges and mix with magnesium powder. Add sparkling water, ice, and garnish with fresh mint (optional). Serve and enjoy!