Magnesium – a crucial mineral for optimum health

One of the most important minerals for our overall health is magnesium. Every single cell in the human body demands adequate magnesium to function. Strong bones and teeth, balanced hormones, a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system, well functioning detoxification pathways and much more depend upon cellular magnesium sufficiency.

Unfortunately, however, it has become difficult to reliably supply our bodies with sufficient magnesium and as such deficiency is very common. Depleted soils through modern agricultural methods, food processing, sugar intake, stress and many commonly prescribed pharmaceutical drugs such as the contraceptive pill all contribute to our diminished intake and increased demand for this crucial mineral.

So what are some of the symptoms associated with magnesium deficiency?

  • Constipation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Cramps and spasms
  • Eye twitches
  • Sleeplessness
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Sugar cravings
  • Cravings for chocolate and caffeine
  • Headaches
  • Migrains
  • Nervous anxiety
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Hearth rhythm irregularities
  • Back pain
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Adrenal exhaustion
  • l  Preeclampsia

If you find that you experience any of the above symptoms on a regular basis it may be a sign that you need to up your magnesium intake.

So how do you go about increasing your intake of this vital mineral?

One of the simplest ways to replenish your magnesium stores is to add a pinch of natural unprocessed salt such as Himalayan rock salt or celtic sea salt, to your water. Unlike processed salt, this natural salt is a very good source of magnesium and contains 83 other minerals and trace minerals that your body needs to function optimally.

If the soils are well-mineralized, leafy green vegetables, seeds and nuts  are also fairly good sources of magnesium as are certain weeds such as nettles (great for making tea).

Kelp contains spectacular levels, as do most sea vegetables. You can sprinkle them on your salads and eggs or add them to soups and stews. I personally like to snack on nori sheets which are also a great source of iodine – another mineral which many of us are deficient in. Small squares of nori are also a great for your kids to munch on (my little one loves them!) and will provide them with vital brain boosting nutrients.

Having homemade chicken stock on a regular basis will also provide an excellent source of magnesium (as well as a host of other minerals) in a highly assimilable form. Chicken stock is also a wonderfully nutritious immune boosting food for your kids and can be given from the time they start solids. Add it to purees to increase nutrition and aid digestion. See my recipe for chicken stock under the “cook” section.