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Do you need to increase your magnesium intake?  

4 Reasons You Need More Magnesium, and where to get it.

Ruby Deevoy

Any health-conscious person will be familiar with magnesium, at least to the extent that this mineral is present in almost all multi-vitamins and is available to buy in a wide range of forms to take as a daily supplement. But perhaps not so many people know that magnesium is one of the most important things to make sure you’re putting into your body, one way or another, because despite being an essential macro-mineral that’s involved in over 300 vital processes, the human body does not produce it.

Studies consistently show that men, women and children all over the world are getting inadequate amounts of magnesium in their diets. Processed foods, which are now commonplace in most western homes, have been shown to have up to 90% of natural magnesium depleted in the refining process. So, what can we do to up our magnesium intake? What are the benefits? And what are the natural sources of magnesium you can take?

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Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash 

Magnesium Intake

How Can I Increase my Magnesium Intake?

There are easy ways to up your magnesium intake. Just as another prime example of how the hemp plant seems to be divinely designed for human use and consumption, hemp seeds (and hemp seed oil) offers one of the richest sources of bioavailable magnesium in nature. Just 1-2 tbsp of hemp seed oil or 2-3 tbsp of whole hemp seeds contains 39% of your RDA, and better yet, it’s in a form that the body is able to absorb and use effectively.

Other natural sources of magnesium include:

Nuts
Legumes
Avocados
Whole Cereals
Cocoa
Coffee

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Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Natural sources of magnesium

Can Magnesium Help You Sleep?

Lots of us struggle to get a full, restorative 8 hours sleep each night, and there are many potential reasons for this. Having a magnesium deficiency is one of them, and is even believed to be a leading cause of insomnia.

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Photo by We-Vibe Toys on Unsplash

Can Magnesium Help You Sleep?

Magnesium helps regulate sleep

One double blind placebo controlled trial found that taking 500mg of magnesium daily for 8 weeks significantly improved sleep efficiency, sleep time and sleep onset and early morning awakening, while increasing melatonin (a natural hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle) and decreasing stress hormone cortisol.

Magnesium boosts GABA levels

There’s also plenty of evidence to show that magnesium plays a key role in maintaining healthy levels of GABA – a neurotransmitter that enhances sleep and reduces stress. Keeping your diet rich with the natural sources of magnesium mentioned above will hopefully deliver better sleep, fast!

Can magnesium reduce stress?

Magnesium has been shown time and again to reduce stress and anxiety, via multiple mechanisms. One of those ways, as mentioned above, is by improving GABA levels, but the way it does this has a profound impact on many other aspects of the stress response.

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Photo by Alexandre Lecocq on Unsplash

Can magnesium reduce stress?

Magnesium is actually released from where it is stored, in the bones, to help diminish the stress response. This is how it’s supposed to work, but once released it needs to be replenished for future use. Furthermore, chronic stress (which triggers continual release of magnesium) can resulted in very depleted levels of magnesium which will inevitably effect the body, negatively, in many different ways.

 Improve magnesium absorption

Multiple studies have demonstrated that people suffering from stress, anxiety and depression consistently show low levels of magnesium, and elevating these levels makes a significant difference to mood. Magnesium combined with vitamin B6 (which you get from a serving of hemp seed oil) appears to have an even more impressive effect!
 
Giving your body a regular dose of magnesium means it will have the stores to deal with stress appropriately, as it arises, and help lift the strain from other aspects of the stress response system.

Magnesium for Leg Cramps

Many people swear by magnesium supplements for dealing with muscle cramps, whether that’s triggered by an intense workout, growing pains, pregnancy, advanced age or certain conditions.

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Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

Magnesium for Leg Cramps

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle cramps and contractions – so they certainly seem to be linked. But not all of the science backs up the anecdotal evidence, suggesting there’s still deeper understanding to be had. There is fairly solid evidence that several hundred milligrams of magnesium can help prevent nocturnal leg cramps during pregnancy. However, it’s always advisable to speak to your doctor before taking any supplements. 

Magnesium for PMS and Period Pains

Lower magnesium levels are often reported in women who have to contend with PMS each month, so it should come as no surprise that increasing your levels of magnesium might help with the associated symptoms.

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Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

Magnesium for PMS

Magnesium for PMS: The Studies

One study, evaluating 32 women (age 24-39 years old) found that taking 360mg of Magnesium 3 times a day, from the 15th day of the menstrual cycle to the start of their periods significantly reduced pain and elevated mood. This suggests that magnesium may provide some much needed PMS relief! 
 
Given that magnesium is so heavily involved in so many bodily processes, this is of course merely scratching the surface of how keeping healthy magnesium levels can do for your overall wellbeing! Take a look at our other articles for more tips on how to feel great, every day.

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