Why is Magnesium important? Magnesium is an important mineral required by the body in order for it to stay healthy. It delivers a variety of health benefits. 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. Supplementing with magnesium or enjoying rich sources of magnesium in your diet may also help relieve feelings of worry and tension.
Testosterone in females is very important for fat metabolism, mood, energy and libido amongst other functions. 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.
Are you 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.
Melatonin levels naturally decrease with age, and are especially low at night, so it is important to distinguish between the subclinical changes in the circadian rhythms that occur around midlife and those more substantial deteriorations that come with increased age. The perimenopause is when melatonin levels start to naturally reduce, so increasing your intake of magnesium at this time can be particularly beneficial.
A diet rich in magnesium is vital for your body to turn digested food and supplements into energy fuel, which is needed to keep you going throughout the day. Without proper levels of magnesium, the nutrients that you take in through food and supplements cannot be metabolised into energy, leaving you feeling tired and sluggish.
Since magnesium plays a role in so many metabolic processes, it’s quite possible that a deficiency in it could impact both Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Symptoms of low magnesium levels include muscle weakness and cramps – potentially putting you at risk of injury. Magnesium also helps move blood sugar into your muscles and dispose of lactic acid, which can build up after exercising, leaving your body sore and uncomfortable. This is one of the reasons athletes up their magnesium intake before and after exercising, ensuring this vital mineral is optimised in terms of performance and recovery.
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. With almost half of the magnesium in your body being found in your bones, it’s crucial that you include it as part of your meal plan or daily supplements for optimal bone health.
Best sources of magnesium
With wholefood sources as well as digestible and topical supplements, it’s never been easier to up your intake of 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
- 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
Pour in 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!