by Lisa Bell, Registered Holistic Nutritionist
Magnesium is a very important mineral, which is essential for over 300 chemical reactions in the human body. However, many of us are deficient in magnesium, and most of us are likely not getting adequate amounts from our food.
"A study that has tracked the nutrient composition of foods since 1940 (McCance and Widdowson’s Compilation of Foods) shows an average magnesium decrease of 24% in vegetables and 16% in fruits between 1940 and 1991."
Magnesium is involved in energy production, the maintenance of teeth and bones, maintaining nervous system balance, as well as enhancing control of inflammation and blood sugar. It may also be helpful for those suffering from muscle pain or cramps, chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, fibromyalgia, migraines, depression, anxiety, stress, ADHD, insomnia, PMS, or constipation.
We can boost our magnesium intake by eating lots of green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, swiss chard, beet greens and kale. Squash, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, black beans and cashews are also good sources.
However, many modern farming practices have left our soil depleted of essential nutrients like magnesium. A study that has tracked the nutrient composition of foods since 1940 (McCance and Widdowson’s Compilation of Foods) shows an average magnesium decrease of 24% in vegetables and 16% in fruits between 1940 and 1991. Some foods have lost even more of their nutrient content – the same study shows that carrots have lost 75% of their magnesium content since 1940!
Low stomach acid and gastrointestinal conditions such as Crohn’s, IBS, and yeast overgrowth can inhibit the absorption of magnesium. Certain medications, antibiotics, alcohol, coffee, soft drinks, cigarettes, and high amounts of stress can deplete magnesium even further.
An excellent way to ensure we are getting an adequate intake is to take a magnesium supplement. There are many forms of magnesium supplements, so come in to speak to us about which one may be right for you!
*Please note that this is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you have a serious medical condition, please speak with your doctor. Do not take a magnesium supplement if you have renal failure or bowel obstruction.