We recently received this question from an enlightened community member: “I’ve been reading about magnesium deficiencies. What are your thoughts on this?”
Magnesium has been getting a lot of attention lately, and apparently everyone is deficient. So what’s the deal? Is this legit or is this overrated?
I have had training in nutrition; I’m not a nutritionist or a doctor. I’m speaking from my own experience and observations of my acupuncture patients here.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is magnesium?
It’s a mineral that your body uses for a ton of functions. Similar to engine oil, all your body systems run more smoothly when you have enough of it – your nerves, your muscles, your bowels, and your immune system.
When your engine light goes on, so to speak, you may have symptoms that point to low magnesium, including headaches (sometimes the exact location of a headache can determine the cause), muscle cramps and spasms, or super low energy.
I’ve been awakened in the middle of the night by super intense charlie horses in my calves. I’ve also dealt with bouts of headaches. I added magnesium powder to my self-care toolkit and haven’t had trouble since. For many of my patients, headaches, energy levels, and muscle issues have all improved with a little help from this mineral too. Even if it doesn’t help, you can then rule out one more reason why you may be experiencing symptoms – for example, you may not be getting enough sleep or water or movement, etc.
There are a few types of magnesium products:
- Supplements – check your multivitamin to see if it’s included, or pick up a supplement from your grocery store.
- Powder – [Also known as flakes.] I use this brand. You can add it to water to drink it, or add it to your bath for a muscle soak.
- Oil – You can spray this onto your skin or use it as a muscle rub. This is basically a watered-down form of the flakes.
- Foods that have magnesium – green leafy veggies, avocados, nuts, fish, and dark chocolate (check out the mouth watering chocolates at joyblissraw)! You can find more food sources here and here.
I personally think this is a mineral you do not want to ignore. In my case, it hasn’t hurt to try it. And the best way to start trying it out is to eat a piece of dark chocolate. You’re welcome.
[Note: If you’d like some personalized attention about your nutrition, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can put you in touch with a nutrition consultant. You may also wish to speak with you doctor if you’d like to have your blood checked out for vitamin and mineral deficiencies.]