By: Dr. Francesca Vazquez
Supplements are a controversial topic. Some recommend you to get your minerals and vitamins from whole foods while others recommend every supplement known to man. So what's the right answer? We know supplements are intended to help round up our nutrition and boost what otherwise we would be deficient in. And while you should always be under a doctor's supervision when taking new vitamins, we do know of one that is essential for everyone, especially women. That is magnesium.
Magnesium is a mineral most of us are deficient in, yet it is probably one of the most important ones for our mental and physical health. This mineral can be found in foods such as spinach, pumpkin seeds, beans, bananas, and dark chocolate. However, most of us do not metabolize the recommended dose through foods alone. Not only are we unable to consume the necessary magnesium rich foods needed to meet the daily recommended dose, but we are consuming foods that actually deplete our levels of magnesium. Alcohol, caffeine, fried foods, sugar, lactation, stress, and excessive sweating depletes our body of magnesium on a daily basis.
A high quality magnesium supplement is recommended, especially for women! Here are 3 (of the many!) benefits of magnesium supplements!
1. It promotes better sleep and mood
Studies show that stress decreases magnesium levels, which (in turn) increases the risk for developing hypertension and cardiovascular health issues. In addition, magnesium deficiencies can result in symptoms of anxiety, including heart palpitations and insomnia. Magnesium is known as the relaxation mineral! It has been found to be essential in the management of stress and is known to promote sleep and a better mood. By supplementing with 200-400 mg of magnesium per day, you're likely to experience improvements in sleep and a more relaxed state of mind.
2. It helps with menstrual cramps & muscle soreness
Our diet and lifestyle has been found to have an effect on a woman's experience of pain during that time of the month. However, studies suggest that supplementing with magnesium reduces menstrual cramps and the need for additional medication. Not only has magnesium been found to be effective in helping decrease muscle cramps during menstruation, but it has also been found to assist in the management of PMS. You can also find magnesium in the form of oil. When experiencing muscle soreness due to exercise, you can rub magnesium oil on sore muscles to decrease pain and wake up as good as new!
3. It helps with constipation
A deficiency in magnesium has been found to cause Gastrointestinal issues, including constipation. To improve your GI function, try consuming more magnesium rich foods and consider including a daily supplement. Magnesium citrate (and liquid supplement forms) has been found to be the most successful in treating constipation. Make sure to discuss this with your GI specialist before adding this to your health regime.
Magnesium can also help with medical issues such as asthma, migraines, arrhythmia, metabolic syndromes, and leg cramps. For women of all ages, if you're going to take one supplement, make sure to make it magnesium! Additional ways to increase your magnesium levels include epsom salt baths, magnesium oil massage, and foods such as dark chocolate, nuts, seeds, legumes, and leafy greens (the darker the better!).
Photo Source: via Camille Styles