Nuts for Magnesium
Aaaaaaaaah Magnesium, like a big warm hug for your muscles! Magnesium is possibly my favourite (dare I say it) minerals on the planet. Most of us probably associate Magnesium with muscular ailments like cramps and neck tension, but the truth is, Magnesium’s actions stretch far and wide (see what I did there).
Magnesium has a lot of friends in the body including calcium, potassium, B6 and Zinc. They each have a symbiotic relationship with Magnesium and require Magnesium for added absorption. Calcium and magnesium work together in both the body’s nervous system and bones. Magnesium is in integral mineral for bone density.
Decreased Magnesium intake, and indeed, deficiency can lead to a variety of symptoms including anxiety, irritability, cramps in the muscles; particularly in the calves and toes, twitchy eye lid and lip, high blood pressure, headaches, back and neck pain, increase in PMS symptoms and period pain due to the cramping. Restless legs, poor sleep sugar cravings…… Whoa, hang on, was that SUAGR cravings??? That’s right, Magnesium is required to metabolise carbohydrates, and sugar is the simplest carbohydrate there is . So, the more sugar you eat, the more magnesium is sucked out of your cells to metabolise the stuff, further depleting your magnesium levels, which, in turn, makes you crave more sugar! Cut the viscious sugar cycle and look at including more magnesium into your diet.
So, where do we get magnesium from? Magnesium rich foods include legumes, nuts, quinoa, bananas, avocado, small fish like mackerel and sardines, brown rice, good quality, dark chocolate, spinach, kale and pumpkin seeds. If you feel like a poster child for magnesium deficiency, speak to your health care professional about whether a supplement may be applicable for you.
Magnesium is a water soluble mineral, meaning we need to drink lots of water to absorb it, particular in hot weather and after exercise. Given its hydrophilic nature, Magnesium is a wonderful addition to a warm bath to ease sore muscles, magnesium is absorbed through the skin and when used in this manner, can aid in detoxification as Magnesium has a ‘drawing effect’. You can also apply Magnesium topically in the form of magnesium body oil, magic stuff!