It is one of the most important minerals that we need to stay healthy and one we hardly get in our diet.
Magnesium rich foods include green leafy vegetables, almonds, brazils or cashews, wheat bran and tofuâ€¦which is not what most people eat!
What magnesium does
In a word – relax! Magnesium helps muscles relax so it is helpful in many cases of aches and pains.
Muscle cells need calcium to contract and work and pull and they need magnesium to lengthen and relax and return to normal .And most people get tons of calcium in their diet through drinking milk and drinking water and this leaves us out of balance and out of magnesium.
How much you need
This is such a vexed question because different experts disagree. So to be safe it is best to take about 500 mg as a supplement and include some magnesium rich foods in your meals every day.
And if you have a health issue you are being treated for let your health professional know that you are taking magnesium supplements.
All magnesiums are not equal
Like most vitamin and minerals magnesium turns up in various forms. Some of these are better absorbed by the body and this is important.
After all it’s not much good if you take a 1000 mg tablet of a poorly absorbed form where only 100 mg gets into the body.
Also different types of magnesium target different parts of the body! So let’s look at a few types of magnesium and point out some useful clues about which of these may be best for youâ€¦
Let’s start with magnesium oxide.
This is magnesium in a very crude form with a little “rust” on it and not really a form that is well suited for our diet. Nevertheless many manufacturers will use it in their formulations because it is cheap. Short story – this is low cost and poorly absorbed by your body.
There are several forms of magnesium that the body uses as part of its energy production such as magnesium citrate, malate, succinate and fumarate.
These forms are natural for the body to handle and work much better than what we may call the geological forms like the oxide, chloride or carbonate.
The body naturally handles proteins and the amino acids from which the proteins are built so if you find magnesium combined with an amino acid – the body will easily absorb this.
The amino acid sneaks the magnesium or any other mineral into the body and so we say this is a vey bioavailable form of magnesium.
Magnesium combined with an amino acid is called a chelate.(pron.Â key + late)
There is another way you can benefit from magnesium – not in your food and not in supplements eitherâ€¦
But in your bath!
Some folks call this a magnesium bath but most call it an Epsom Salts bath.
Epsom is a small town in Southern England where a spring was found which was avoided by animals. Closer inspection revealed that it was magnesium rich water and a little smelly too from sulphur in the water.
Nowadays you don’t need to go to Epsom, you can get bags of the salts at health stores and chemical wholesalers.
A cupful in a comfortable hot bath works wonders at relaxing tight muscles and helps back pain, menstrual pain – any pain with a muscular rather than an inflammatory cause.
Caution – don’t spend more than 20 minutes in the bath and do not use soap or bubbles or anything else in the water.
You will feel sleepy afterwards and very relaxed.
Incidentally you can learn to relax with a super little kindle eBook written by Kathy Baker, a good friend of mine. She covers different Relaxation Techniques so you’ll be able to try them out and find the one that is best for you.
Whether you get your magnesium from eating greens and nuts, drinking green smoothies or by taking Epsom salts baths – magnesium is a superb boost to your health.
If you give Magnesium a go please let me know how much it has helped youâ€¦
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