Why is Magnesium Such a Big Deal?
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body and is a vital component of over 300 biochemical functions in the body. Magnesium affects everything from pumping of the heart to muscle activation to proper metabolism.
Magnesium Deficiency is on the Rise
While there are many reasons behind the rise in magnesium deficiency, a key player is the quality of our soil. The soil has been depleted of rich minerals due to the increased use of pesticide and fertilizers. Crops are grown too big, too fast and they don’t have to proper amount of time to absorb nutrients from the soil. Also with rice, corn, wheat and potatoes accounting for 60% of the world’s dietary intake, the lack of variety of crops grown further threatens the nutrient quality of the soil.
A study showed that you would have to eat eight oranges today to derive the same amount of Vitamin A as our grandparents would have gotten from one.
Possible Signs of Magnesium Deficiency
- Muscle spasms
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Eye twitching
- Numbness and tingling
- High blood pressure
Are You at Risk for Magnesium Deficiency?
Some people are at a greater risk for magnesium deficiency due to their inability to break down and/or absorb magnesium. One group of people at a greater risk for magnesium deficiency is those with gastrointestinal distress such as celiac disease, Crohn’s, and irritable bowel syndrome because the majority of nutrient absorption occurs in the small intestines. People with diabetes, alcohol dependence, and the elderly are also at greater risk of becoming magnesium-deficient.
3 Ways to Get More Magnesium
When choosing a magnesium supplement it is important to purchase a high quality supplement from a health professional as not all supplements are created equally. There are various types of magnesium, but the one I most often recommend is magnesium chelate due to its superior absorption into the muscular system.
Epsom Salt Bath
Besides taking a supplement, another way to improve your magnesium levels is to take regular Epsom salt baths. Epsom salt is a magnesium sulfate that can readily absorb through your skin. Try adding 2 cups of Epsom salt to your next bath and make sure to soak for at least 20 minutes for optimal absorption.
Topical magnesium oil can also be used as a natural muscle relaxer on achy areas like the upper shoulders or lower back or rubbed over larger areas of skin for even more absorption. Try rubbing magnesium into the neck muscles to help alleviate a headaches or over the abdomen for a natural pain reliever for menstrual cramps.