By Suzi Grant of Alternative Ageing.
When I trained as a Nutritionist, oh so many years ago, one of the first things we were taught was how important magnesium is for every single cell in the body, as well as every single woman on the planet! Fast-forward 20 years and I have to admit that although I am really good about having regular Epsom Salts Baths to get some of that magnesium into my body via the skin, and eating my green veg, I am not so good at taking supplements.
So here’s a quick round-up of why I’m taking magnesium again, why it’s so important for the health of women, and men, and which foods will give you more of this precious mineral.
Magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium are essential for optimum cell health but are the ones most likely to be out of balance. These minerals work in pairs and flow in and out of the cells constantly – or should do. The natural place for sodium and calcium is outside the cell whilst magnesium and potassium should be inside the cell. Anything that changes that polarity can cause stress at a cellular level and stop the cells doing their job keeping you healthy and young.
The trouble with our 21st-century diet is that we consume an abundance of calcium and sodium but are seriously deficient in magnesium and potassium. That means the electrolyte balance is disrupted, the cells don’t function or cleanse properly and you haven’t a hope in hell of fighting ageing let alone the symptoms listed below.
95% of us are seriously depleted in potassium
75% of us are seriously depleted in magnesium
(All the above research was done ten years ago when I was writing Alternative Ageing, the book, our depletion rates are probably nearer to 100% nowadays)
SYMPTOMS OF MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY
Low energy: chronic fatigue, mental fog, lethargy, poor memory & concentration
Poor mood: depression, anxiety, hormonal, stress, insomnia, tension headaches, irritability
Physical performance: low energy production, poor recovery, poor CV fitness, muscle cramps
(That will be all of us Over 50 then!)
All four minerals are needed in perfect balance if you want a healthy heart, hormones, and bones and the most important, magnesium (and potassium), are found in plentiful abundance in green veg, nuts and seeds, pulses and grains.
The word vegetable comes from the Latin, ‘to enliven or animate.’ Just as our red blood cells are rich in iron, the plants’ blood equivalent, chlorophyll, is rich in magnesium. Because the sun produces the chlorophyll in plants, we also eat some of that sun’s energy every time we eat our vegetables!
But the sad fact is that now, due to intensive farming and poor soil, it’s very difficult to get enough magnesium from our diet alone, despite all the veg we may or may not be eating. So I’ve gone back to taking a magnesium supplement daily to see if my flagging energy levels increase and to see if I feel any different.
The nice folk at Nutri Advanced, who I have used as both a practitioner and punter over the last couple of decades, sent me their new, high strength Magnesium Glycinate to trial for three weeks. They claim it’s a superior form of magnesium that’s absorbed well so it can get to work super-fast. It also doesn’t have the laxative effect other forms of magnesium can cause and is more easily tolerated by those with a sensitive digestion. So how did I do?………
Within a couple of weeks, taking only 2 a day, (2 twice a day is recommended) I noticed a much better toleration for exercise, and I was waking up at 6.00 -6.30 a.m. full of energy, physically if not mentally! I didn’t even do that in Australia. As someone who has suffered from short-lived, occasional, M.E. type symptoms in the past, I am glad to report that nothing wore me down for the whole month I was taking the supplement, whatever I did in the way of partying, exercising or working hard. I slept better, if for a shorter time, and felt happy and calm most of the time.
However, when I left the supplement at home for a 5-day break, which involved a whole lot of walking and drinking – but not at the same time – I came crashing down with mild M.E. symptoms as soon as I got back home. Straight back on that magnesium pronto.
The only thing I couldn’t stomach was the size of the supplements. Hence my only taking them once a day. I gagged trying to swallow them along with everything else I take on a daily basis. (I only take astaxanthin for antioxidants, lysine for cold sores and EPA fish oils in case you’re wondering.)
Nutri Advanced came to my aid and promptly sent me a powdered version of magnesium: MegaMag Energen Plus with added Vitamin B & C for more energy & less fatigue.
And I’m thrilled to report that within days I was back to full energy and yesterday cleared the garage, my study, my filing trays, washing, and every household chore I could find – and still woke up at 06.00 a.m. this morning. This stuff obviously works – and no loose bowels either!
There are also MegaMag Powders for:
Post exercise & muscles
Calmness & harmony
Sleep & relaxation
I like having a powder that I can just bung into water and drink, but if you have a sensitive digestion the Magnesium Glycinate may be better for you for better toleration & absorption.
Whatever magnesium you think you may need, do not take it if you are pregnant, breast feeding, or taking prescription drugs, without checking with a healthcare expert first.
Do you use magnesium? Do you feel better for it? As usual, I would love to hear from you and hear your thoughts on this mother of all minerals.
Till next time, take care, and don’t forget that there is loads more on health advice in the new Blog Categories menu on my website.
This article was first published on Alternative Ageing and Suzi has kindly allowed us to republish it here.