Magnesium is the “relaxation” superstar in our bodies. It’s the wonder mineral that plays a crucial role in over 300 different chemical reactions in our bodies, working tirelessly to keep you and I feeling our best and functioning our best.
This everyday wellness warrior comes in many forms, each with its own unique set of benefits and absorbency. From calming our nervous system, to relaxing our muscles, to its comforting potential during painful periods, magnesium is an absolute powerhouse!
Here’s a deeper look at the different forms of this multitasking mineral, plus my tips on how to make sure you’re getting enough of it in your daily diet.
Forms and functions of Magnesium in the body
Magnesium glycinate is considered the most easily absorbed form of magnesium due to its two components: magnesium and an organic amino acid called glycine. Glycine helps increase the absorption rate of minerals like magnesium, making it a great choice for those with conditions that interfere with nutrient absorption. The magnesium citrate form is also well absorbed, but tends to have a slightly laxative effect for some people.
When it comes to your nervous system, magnesium helps reduce stress and promote relaxation. It is often used as a natural remedy for anxiety and insomnia due to its calming effects on the body. Magnesium can help maintain normal muscle function by helping muscles relax and contract properly.
This means that it can be beneficial for people with muscle tension, cramps, and spasms. Research suggests it’s also worth considering to reduce period pain and discomfort. It can help relax the uterus during menstruation and reduces levels of hormones involved in pain and inflammation.
How to increase your consumption
While magnesium is abundant in many different types of foods, due to our increasingly processed Western diet, many of us do not get enough dietary magnesium. Reduced soil magnesium levels have also resulted in significantly lower levels of magnesium found in fresh fruits and vegetables.
The good news is that there are lots of delicious ways to increase your daily magnesium intake. Eating a balanced diet is key, as most whole foods contain magnesium. Dark, leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale, nuts, seeds, and certain grains are excellent sources of this mineral.
Focus on including foods like avocados, oats, figs, quinoa, raw cacao, and pumpkin seeds in your daily meals to boost your magnesium dose. Some fortified breakfast cereals also contain a good amount of this mineral.
If you don’t get enough natural magnesium through food alone, supplementing with the right type of magnesium can be a great way to bridge the gap. It is important to speak with your doctor before taking any new supplement, especially if you have any existing medical conditions or are pregnant or nursing.
Including more magnesium-rich foods and/or supplementing with the right type of magnesium can help promote relaxation, reduce stress, and balance hormones. With the help of this magnificent mineral, you can feel secure knowing that your body is functioning at its best.
de Baaij JH, Hoenderop JG, Bindels RJ. Magnesium in man: implications for health and disease. Physiol Rev. 2015 Jan;95(1):1-46. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00012.2014. PMID: 25540137.
Gröber U, Schmidt J, Kisters K. Magnesium in prevention and therapy. nutrients. 2015; 7(9):8199-8226. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7095388
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