Despite the ubiquitous nature of magnesium, with good sources ranging from almonds to cocoa all the way through to seeds and spinach, data suggests 60% of adult populations don’t get enough magnesium1. Deficiency in magnesium has been linked to several conditions including type 2 diabetes2, anxiety and depression3 .
Considering that this all-important mineral’s involvement in more biological processes than we care to remember, what are the sneaky signs that you aren’t getting enough?
Supplementing magnesium has been found to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety5. In fact, magnesium is used to convert the amino acid tryptophan into mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin, of which low levels have been implicated in anxiety6. Not only can magnesium help you relax, it can also help make you happy.
Magnesium has a critical role in energy production, converting substances like glucose within cells to help make ATP, the biological unit of energy. Low levels of this all-important mineral have been implicated in fatigue, as well as muscle cramping and weakness. It comes as no surprise that magnesium has also been identified as important both in exercise and when the body is at rest.
Not getting enough magnesium could make it difficult for you to get to sleep. Magnesium helps to suppress the release the stress hormones and neurotransmitters like cortisol and adrenalin, whilst it also helps to relax the muscles and the nervous system.
If you’re experiencing constipation, try supplementing with magnesium. Magnesium acts to relax your bowel muscles and also draws water into your intestines, making it easier for you to go to the loo.
As if it wasn’t enough that good quality dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants, it’s also full of magnesium too. Sometimes chocolate cravings, apart from maybe suggesting your blood sugar balance might be off, could be your body calling out for that bar of 72% you’ve been stashing away.
So how can you up your magnesium? Here are our tips for taking nature’s very own chill pill:
- Eat magnesium-rich foods: spinach, almonds, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, and black beans are all high in magnesium
- Try an Epsom salt bath: Epsom salt is full of magnesium and a great way to melt the stress away after a long day
- Supplement: due to intensive farming methods, soil degradation has made it very challenging to get your daily recommended amount of magnesium in enough quantities from food alone
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How the VITL Superblends support sleep
Magnesium is a fantastic sleep aid - it's a powerful muscle relaxer and most effective when taken with vitamin B6. Luckily, we've included both in our vegan protein powders!