Low magnesium levels may affect energy, muscle function, nervous system balance, hormones and much more.
Rachel Bartholomew, Nutritional Therapist at Nutri Advanced, explains why our magnesium levels are often depleted and gives 5 tips on how to boost magnesium intake.
Magnesium is often referred to as ‘the spark of life’ because it is involved in over 600 reactions in the body. However, the National Diet and Nutrition Survey[i] has shown that, on average, adults in the UK have low dietary intakes of magnesium.
There are few bodily systems that aren’t affected when magnesium levels are low. This powerful mineral is vital for muscles to function normally, can support energy levels and reduce tiredness and fatigue. Magnesium can also help calm your mind, relax your body and support restful sleep.
Rachel Bartholomew, Nutritional Therapist at Nutri Advanced, said, “In an ideal world, all of our nutrients would come from a well-balanced diet. However, poor crop quality and modern day food processing methods make it very difficult to get enough magnesium through dietary sources alone.”
Why are our magnesium levels so low? Rachel Bartholomew explains.
We don’t eat enough magnesium-rich foods: “Magnesium is found naturally in high amounts in wholegrains, nuts, seeds and leafy green vegetables, and yet is virtually non-existent in more commonly consumed refined counterparts.”
Intensive farming: “Modern day intensive farming techniques add to the problem as they leave soils devoid of essential minerals. Even vegetables do not carry the same nutritional profile as they did 50 years ago.”
Western diet & lifestyle: “A high sugar diet combined with alcohol, caffeine and a typically hectic Western lifestyle increases the rate at which magnesium is used up by and excreted from the body.”
Top 5 ways to boost magnesium intake:
- “Increase magnesium-rich foods in your diet. Choose foods that are whole and unprocessed. Green leafy vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds and legumes such as beans and lentils are great sources of magnesium.”
- “Eat sea vegetables. Sea water is rich in magnesium so vegetables that grow in the sea, such as kelp, contain high amounts of the mighty mineral.”
- “Minimise intake of refined sugar. Excess sugar can lead to increased excretion of magnesium from the body.”
- “Add magnesium flakes to your bath. Regular Epsom salt baths or foot baths are a good way to increase magnesium levels as the mineral is well absorbed into your body through your skin.”
- “Take a daily magnesium supplement. Choose a high quality magnesium glycinate supplement as this form is optimally absorbed by the body and well tolerated, even in higher amounts.”