Our bodies need magnesium for all sorts of things like muscle and nerve function, regulating blood sugar levels and blood pressure, as well as making DNA, bones and protein.
Studies by the US Department of Agriculture showed that nearly half of Americans weren’t getting enough magnesium in their diets, and for teenagers aged 14 to 18, 2/3rds of them aren’t getting enough. As Australians have increasingly similar lifestyles and diets, there’s no reason to assume that we’re any different!
How do you know if you’re not getting enough magnesium?
I wrote a post on this last year, and you’ll find lots more info in that article about magnesium deficiency.
You might not be getting enough magnesium if:
- you’re not eating a well balanced diet
- you drink lots of caffeinated drinks or soft drinks
- you’re elderly (magnesium absorption descreases as you get older)
- you’re alcholic
- you have a medical condition or are taking medication that inhibits magnesium absorption
What happens when you increase your magnesium levels?
Studies have shown that increasing your magnesium levels may help with:
- muscle fatigue
- muscle cramps
- sugar cravings
- stress management
- cramps associated with pregnancy
- post workout recovery
- pain associated with some surgical procedures
So how do you increase magnesium intake?
You can get magnesium from foods like legumes (beans, lentils and peas), leafy greens, nuts, seeds, whole grains and fish. However, thanks to soil depletion, your veggies don’t contain as many vitamins and minerals as they used to. So even if you’re eating a well balanced diet, you still may not be getting enough magnesium.
Research shows that your body absorbs magnesium more easily through the skin than it does if you take it orally. So applying to your skin daily makes perfect sense.
You can use an oil, like the ones from The Base Collective or Amazing Oils. Just spray on after a shower or a workout, or even across the back of our neck or your temples if you can feel a headache coming on.
I love to soak in a bath with some magnesium flakes like these ones from Ancient Minerals or The Base Collective. You can also try soaking your feet in a magnesium bath for a DIY pedicure that’s good for you!
We even have wipes that are soaked in magnesium oil. These are so great when you’re out and about (especially if you suffer from migraines). And if you’ve got a restless baby that won’t sleep, you could try the lower strength magnesium infused baby wipes.
And finally, you can add magnesium simply by applying a body lotion every day. The Base Collective have two beautiful body balms containing magnesium: White Tea Magnesium Body Balm and Magnesium & Lavender Baby Balm. Both products are organic, and they’re divine. Use them just like you would a normal body balm, but they’ve got the added benefit of magnesium.
Images: BigStock, The Base Collective