Magnesium is an important mineral required by the body in order for it to stay healthy. Many health experts recommend a diet rich in magnesium for a variety of health benefits.
We were lucky enough to speak to Dr Saadia Meyer a highly qualified practising clinician and Gynaecologist with over 25 years’ experience, specialising in Women’s Health. Here you'll read a few reasons why magnesium is an important nutrient to nourish your mind and body with.
Improves your mood
A diet low in magnesium is associated with low testosterone which in turn is linked to low and irritable moods in both men and women, especially during the menopause.
“Testosterone in females is very important for fat metabolism, mood, energy and libido amongst other functions”, says Dr Saadia Meyer. “Testosterone levels naturally decline, along with other hormones, during the perimenopause and menopause, so if we can address our nutritional habits with a view to supporting levels of testosterone and paying attention to our lifestyles everything will benefit”.
Supplementing with magnesium or enjoying rich sources of magnesium in your diet may also help relieve feelings of worry and tension.
Enhances your sleep pattern
Tossing and turning each night? Magnesium can improve your sleeping pattern by regulating the neurotransmitters in the brain (the chemical messengers to your body's cells), calming your nervous system in readiness for sleep.
Magnesium also works alongside a naturally produced hormone called melatonin, to control your body clock and sleep-wake cycles over time.
According to Dr Meyer “melatonin levels naturally decrease with age, especially at night time, so it is important to distinguish between the subclinical changes in the circadian rhythms that occur around midlife and those more substantial deteriorations in the elderly”. The perimenopause is a particular time when melatonin levels start to naturally reduce, but increasing your intake of magnesium at this time can be beneficial to support decreasing melatonin levels.
Helps your body to create energy
A diet rich in magnesium is vital for your body to turn digested food and supplements into energy fuel to keep you going throughout the day.
Without proper levels of magnesium, the nutrients that you take in through food and supplements would not be metabolised into energy, leaving you feeling tired and sluggish.
Dr Saadia Meyer also points out that “since magnesium plays a role in so many metabolic processes, it’s quite possible that deficiency could impact both Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease”.
It may boost exercise performance
Symptoms of low magnesium levels include muscle weakness and cramps - potentially putting you at risk of injury - so magnesium is an important nutrient source to keep your body feeling nourished and energised for years to come.
Athletes up their magnesium levels before and after exercising as the vital mineral plays a role in both performance and recovery. Magnesium helps move blood sugar into your muscles and dispose of lactic acid, which can build up after exercising, leaving your body sore and uncomfortable.
When it comes to bone health, many people go straight to calcium - after all, 99% of the calcium in your body is stored in your bones! That being said, magnesium works to help convert vitamin D to its active form, which contributes to calcium absorption in the body.
Almost half of the magnesium in your body is also found in our bones, so it's crucial that you include it as part of your meal plan or daily supplements for optimal bone health.
Dr Meyer agrees that one of the main positive effects of magnesium is on “bone density and strength”, adding that it works “through better synchronisation of bone turnover”.
Best sources of magnesium
With whole food sources as well as digestible and topical supplements, it's never been easier to up your take in magnesium. Some examples of foods rich in magnesium include:
- Dark greens: spinach, broccoli, swiss chard
- Fruits: dried figs, avocados, guavas, bananas, kiwi fruit, papayas, blackberries, raspberries, cantaloupes, and grapefruit
- Green herbs: Mint, basil, chives, dill
- Seeds: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds and watermelon seeds
- Nuts: Brazil nuts, almonds, pine nuts, cashews and peanuts
Magnesium magic tip
For a delicious magnesium boost in under a minute, pop the following ingredients in your blender for 45 seconds and serve:
- Large handful of spinach
- 4.5 oz of mixed frozen berries
- 1 banana
- 1 tbsp of flaxseeds
- 300ml of almond milk
- 2 capsules of Life Armour's Super Me+ capsules
Add the almond milk before adding the rest of the ingredients to the blender. Open both Life Armour Super Me+ capsules and pour the powder in mix before blending. Enjoy!