If I had to choose my favorite mineral, the answer would be a resounding MAGNESIUM! I simply love magnesium – it’s a magical, marvelous mineral. Why this elemental love affair with “mag”? Well, for starters, magnesium is involved in over 300 essential metabolic reactions in the body. That’s no small task. It’s a true superhero in the mineral universe. Magnesium is crucial for energy production, especially the conversion of dietary fats into energy in our mitochondria. Magnesium also helps to regulate blood pressure, support our bones, relax our muscles, and keep our hearts beating regularly. Yet, despite its importance, about half of the US population may have insufficient magnesium intakes. Tragic, right? Many foods are stripped of magnesium during processing, and commercial farming practices have depleted our soil, leading to lower magnesium levels in our produce. We also don’t eat quite enough of magnesium-rich foods.
Many medical issues are connected to magnesium deficiencies and insufficiencies, and based on what you now know about magnesium, it’s easy to see why. The use of magnesium therapeutically is backed by solid science (click here to nerd-out on the evidence). Clinically, we use magnesium for various symptoms and conditions, often with really stunning results. Some of my favorite uses of magnesium include decreasing constipation, improving anxiety and sleep, relieving muscle cramps and period cramps, lightening PMS symptoms, preventing migraines, and improving insulin sensitivity.
If you’ve ever shopped for magnesium, you have probably become overwhelmed with your options. Magnesium is sold in many different forms, and unfortunately, all forms are not created equal. Some are low quality and poorly absorbed, while others really shine when it comes to absorption and efficacy. To make things a little bit clearer for you, I’ve put together this fun magnesium pocket guide, as well as a list of foods that pack a solid magnesium punch. As with any supplement, it’s important that you follow the guidance of a trained medical provider when it comes to dosing and appropriateness. While magnesium is a relatively safe mineral to take, there are drug and nutrient interactions that may occur, especially at higher doses.