Did you know that over 60% of Americans aren’t getting the amount of magnesium they should be? It’s a pretty startling statistic, considering that magnesium is so vital in keeping our bodies functioning correctly. And the reason why most of us are lacking magnesium is actually pretty simple—we aren’t getting enough of it through our diets. (Though as you’ll learn in this post, diet isn’t the only way to get more magnesium.)
Magnesium deficiency is a serious issue that can lead to a variety of health problems. So today I wanted to shine some light on this issue, and provide some useful information about the importance and benefits of magnesium. I’ll also provide some simple tips for achieving and maintaining healthy levels of magnesium (one of which involves taking a relaxing bath, so sign me up!) ;-)
By the end of this post, you’ll understand just how important magnesium is, and know exactly how to ensure that you’re getting enough of it. :-)
3 Major Health Benefits Of Magnesium
1. It A “Helper Molecule”
Magnesium plays the role of cofactor (or “helper molecule”) in over 600 enzyme reactions that take place inside your body. These enzyme reactions include processes as fundamental as metabolizing food to use as energy, and the creation of healthy new cells. In short, magnesium is absolutely essential to human life!
2. It Can Help With Migraines
Low levels of magnesium have been identified as one potential cause of migraine headaches, so increasing magnesium intake may help prevent them or reduce their intensity. In fact, studies have shown that participants who took oral magnesium supplements had fewer migraine episodes and experienced less intense migraine-related pain.
3. It May Soothe Aches And Pains
Muscle cramps are another common symptom of people with low levels of magnesium. Limited evidence suggests that supplementing with magnesium may help to reduce muscle cramps (And though research on this topic is limited, the most promising evidence pertains of muscle cramp reduction was observed in pregnant women specifically).
5 Things That Promote Healthy Magnesium Levels
1. Limit These In Your Diet
Keep an eye on your intake of sugar, salt, coffee, soda, alcohol, and caffeine. Overindulging on these things can contribute to lowered levels of magnesium in your body.
2. Check Your Meds
Certain medications can cause loss of magnesium, like diuretics and blood pressure medicines. If you take either, ask your doctor about ways to regulate your magnesium levels.
3. Eat Magnesium-Rich Foods
Many foods are a great source of magnesium, so many sure you’re including them in your diet. Magnesium-rich foods include kelp, wheat bran, wheat germ, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, millet, tofu, brown rice, figs, dates, collard greens, avocado, beans, barley, and garlic.
4. Take A Magnesium Supplement
The US Food and Nutrition Board recommends a daily magnesium intake of 420mg for men and 320mg for women. If you aren’t getting enough through your diet, you may benefit from taking a magnesium supplement like magnesium citrate. (But it’s always a good idea to discuss supplements with your doctor before starting a new regimen.)
5. Take A Bath With Magnesium Flakes
One way to provide your body with more magnesium is to add it to your bath water! You may already be familiar adding magnesium sulfate (also known as Epsom salt) to your bath. But there’s another magnesium compound called magnesium chloride (sometimes called magnesium flakes), which may be better suited to people with sensitive skin.
Whichever you choose, both Epsom salt and magnesium flakes can be a great addition to any relaxing soak in the tub! (More on that below.)
How To Take The Ultimate Magnesium Bath
Taking a relaxing bath is one of the best ways to promote a good night’s sleep. And you can make it even more beneficial by adding magnesium to the mix! Here’s how it’s done:
- Add 1-2 cups of magnesium flakes (or Epsom salt) to warm bathwater.
- Add one of the following essential oils for added benefits:
- 15 drops of lavender oil, for relaxation and restful sleep
- 8 drops of rosemary oil, to soothe aches and pains
- 12 drops of bergamot oil, to lift your spirits
- 5 drops of peppermint oil, for a quick pick-me-up
- Soak for 30 minutes to an hour for maximum benefits!
Author’s Note: The main source of my research for this post was “Magnesium in Man: Implications for Health and Disease,” an extensive review published in a 2015 issue of Physiological Reviews. You can read it in its entirety at Physiology.org.