Magnesium is a key mineral to women’s health, and yet many women are low in this essential mineral, suffering from a magnesium deficiency. Stress, caffeine and alcohol deplete our magnesium stores faster than we can replenish. Could it be time for a little top up?
Along with increasing fresh produce in your diet, many of us require further supplementation to meet our recommended daily intake of 310g for women. Magnesium is best absorbed as a powder or liquid with magnesium glycinate, magnesium biglycinate or magnesium citrate being the easiest for the body to absorb and utilise.
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Here are 10 signs you might have a magnesium deficiency and may need to pick up a supplement. But even if you check out for all 10 and think you have a magnesium deficiency, remember that you should always speak to your health practitioner before starting a new supplement.
1. You have period pain
While period pain is common, it is not normal. Magnesium can reduce inflammation and relax the smooth muscles of the uterus to reduce symptoms of dysmenorrhea (period pain) for some women.
2. You are tired all the time
Magnesium plays a major role in our energy levels, supporting energy production at a cellular level. If you are not consuming enough magnesium, your body simply may not have enough resources to create the daily energy it requires.
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3. You crumble under pressure
Magnesium helps to calm our nervous system. During times of stress, our magnesium levels deplete rapidly, meaning there isn’t enough stores to support our nervous system and calm the body. Stress naturally produces cortisol and adrenaline, a little is a good thing, but when these two are elevated for too long we start to see the body crumble under the pressure.
Magnesium changes how the body responds to stress in the first place – meaning, we are more likely to stay calm and collected.
4. You are feeling anxious
Dopamine is our relaxing hormone; low levels of magnesium is associated with lower dopamine production. Increasing your daily magnesium intake can support dopamine production and provide support against the symptoms of anxiety.
5. You have monthly PMS
Research has shown that women with PMS have lower levels of magnesium when compared to those without reoccurring PMS. This is thought to be due to magnesium’s role on women’s hormones, in particular progesterone. After ovulation we produce progesterone; it is our calming superpower. When the body is not producing enough progesterone, we start to see mood shifts prior to a bleed.
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6. You have a serious sweet tooth
Magnesium plays a role in our blood glucose management, improving insulin receptors and supporting blood sugar levels. This means that we have less sugar cravings when we have adequate magnesium supplies.
7. You are often constipated
For a happy digestive system we want to be moving our bowels once or twice a day. If you are feeling that your bowels are slow moving or that the stool itself is hard to pass, small pellets or thin like a snake, then Magnesium may be the helper you need.
During times of stress our internal organs feel it too, magnesium can support by relaxing the digestive system so that waste can eliminate easily. Daily elimination is essential to hormonal health as well, as we need to clear oestrogen to support healthy hormone function, such as progesterone production.
8. You are having troubles falling asleep
Magnesium’s role on the nervous system extends into our sleep routine as well. Firstly, by supporting our overall stress response to feel calmer and unwind into the evening with ease, and by enhancing the quality of sleep each night. Magnesium is best taken in the early evening to best support sleep.
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9. You have high blood pressure
Magnesium and calcium work together to support healthy blood pressure and cardiovascular health. Increasing your dietary sources of magnesium such as dark leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and wholegrains will further support overall cardiovascular health.
10. Your muscles cramp and twitch
Magnesium plays a role in muscle contraction and relaxation. If you are experiencing sore limbs after exercise, restless legs during sleep or even frequent eye twitches it may be time to increase your magnesium.
*This article was originally published on Women’s Health AU
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