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Get Your Magnesium for Better Health

By Emily Lindholm

Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body, 60 percent of which is found in our bones, and the rest is found in our muscles, soft tissues, and fluids.  This mineral is essential for every cell in our body.  Every cell needs it in order to function.  Therefore, it is important to get enough magnesium and supplement if you need to.  

The Benefits of Magnesium

Magnesium is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body, which include:

  • Turning food into energy
  • Creating new proteins from amino acids
  • Creating and repairing DNA and RNA
  • Helping to contract and relax muscles
  • Helping to regulate the nervous system

There are other benefits of magnesium as well.

Fighting depression - Low levels of magnesium have been linked to depression.  Why?  Magnesium plays a major role in brain function, and part of this is to support the production of serotonin.  Studies have shown that increasing the amount of magnesium in one's diet has lowered feelings of depression in some people.  

Decreasing inflammation - Inflammation is one of the drivers of aging, and magnesium has been known to help fight inflammation.  Magnesium can also help to regulate blood sugar, another factor that plays a role in chronic inflammation.  

Improving PMS symptoms - Most women of childbearing age experience symptoms of PMS, which include abdominal cramps, water retention, irritability, and fatigue.  Magnesium may help to reduce these symptoms and may help to improve mood.  

How to Get More Magnesium in Your Diet

Try to include as many magnesium-rich foods in your diet as possible.  Yes, dark chocolate is actually one of these magnesium-rich foods, but others include:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Spinach, boiled
  • Swiss chard, boiled
  • Black beans
  • Quinoa
  • Halibut
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Avocado
  • Almonds
  • Cashews 

Supplementing With Magnesium

It is smart to supplement with magnesium, especially if you drink coffee.  Coffee tends to strip our bodies of magnesium, and so does alcohol.  Not all supplements are created alike, so be sure to shop smart for a highly absorbable magnesium supplement.  The ones that are the most absorbable include:

  • Magnesium citrate
  • Magnesium glycinate
  • Magnesium orotate 
  • Magnesium carbonate

From the above list, magnesium citrate comes first in terms of bioavailability.  It can be purchased online or from a health food store.  

When to Take Magnesium

When supplementing with magnesium, take it throughout the day with meals, especially for healthy digestion.  Take it with at least two meals a day and even before bed for improved sleep.  If you are an athlete or work out regularly, magnesium can help tremendously with sore muscles and is best to be taken post-workout.  

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Flagstaff, Ariz.

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