We’ve all heard of magnesium but not many people realise just quite how important it is. Magnesium is involved in over 300 chemical reactions in the body and essential for our energy, bones, brain and immune health. Here we explain the best foods that provide magnesium, what magnesium does, and what can lead to a deficiency in magnesium.
Foods providing Magnesium
Magnesium is found in nuts, seeds, dark green leafy vegetables and dark chocolate (good news!). You can also easily increase your magnesium consumption by adding green vegetables to meals like soups and stews, and green smoothies are an excellent way to boost magnesium intake.
Simple, vegan and delicious: Creamy Spinach Soup
What does Magnesium do
Magnesium is involved in pretty much everything in the body, and here are a few of its best benefits.
Magnesium helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue
The interesting thing about magnesium is that it is both a calming and energising mineral. While it is commonly taken at bedtime because it helps relax our muscles, magnesium also helps reduce anxiety and fatigue. Energy is produced within your body’s cells and many enzymes are required for this process, and magnesium is essential for their function. The right amount of magnesium intake will support your energy production and your body’s recovery from stress and exercise.
Magnesium supports muscles
Without magnesium, our muscles won’t relax which can cause cramping.
Magnesium helps our nervous system
Our nervous system is the communications department within our body. It is essential to have a well-functioning nervous system for physical and mental function. Too little magnesium can leave you feeling emotionally and physically tense.
Read our blog: 6 big signs of stress.
Protein synthesis and cell division
It sounds complex but put simply proteins are essential molecules inside cells in our body and, like the walls of a building, without them our bodies would collapse.
Proteins wear out over time, so our bodies continually make new proteins through protein synthesis, and this is where magnesium comes in – magnesium is an essential component in protein synthesis. It supports the continual cell division which is vital for helping our bodies protect itself from disease such as cancers, and for muscle healing and repair.
Stronger bones and teeth
Magnesium is an essential mineral in the bone and teeth matrix. The majority of our magnesium is in our bones. If, however, we don't have enough magnesium in our blood to provide our muscles with magnesium, our body can take it from the stores in our bones, leaving us at risk of a number of issues caused by magnesium deficiency, among them osteoporosis.
What causes magnesium deficiency?
Low magnesium levels can be caused by low intake from our diets but also by a number of other common factors including
- excessive sweating
- prolonged stress
- too much calcium supplementation
- heavy menstrual periods
- high consumption of fizzy drinks, coffee, salt and alcohol
- conditions such as IBS
Not sure if you're low in Magnesium?
Read our article How do I know if I'm deficient in Magnesium?
What is the best magnesium supplement
There are over 10 different types of magnesium you can get in a supplement. The difference between them is how well they are absorbed into the body, and the citrate form is the most easily absorbed by your body and the most effective.
DR.VEGAN Magnesium is in citrate form, the most bio-available and effective for your body.
View our range of Vegan Vitamins & Supplements.
Want to hear more? Sign up to our email newsletter to get exclusive offers, tips from our nutrition team and latest news:
Or chat and discuss topics with others for free as part of our facebook community DR.VEGAN Healthy Living Community