Magnesium, it's been called the ‘miracle mineral' and it's necessary for over 325 essential bodily functions, yet most people don't get a enough on a daily basis. To put it another way, if you don't have sufficient magnesium your body won't be able to carry out over 325 important tasks properly.
David Wolfe has said that magnesium is the #1 mineral deficiency. According to a National Academy of Sciences report 80% of American men and 70% of American women don't get the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of magnesium from their diet and whatever supplements they take. Considering that the RDA is set at a level to prevent disease rather than support optimal health I think it's safe to say that most Americans are deficient in this important mineral.
I began researching magnesium because about two years ago I started having a lot of pain on the bottom of my feet. No matter what I did, some things temporarily helped a little, but nothing got rid of it. I would sometimes get cramping in the arches of my feet when I was doing yoga, and they seemed to hurt all the time. As it got worse over time it felt like the muscles in the arches of my feet were spasming. It got so bad I could hardly walk, I was limping in pain with literally every step. So I started doing research on what deficiencies could cause muscle spasms. (I eventually realized I had plantar fasciitis, and I'll write more in another article about what I've done to get some relief from it.)
My research into what mineral deficiencies could cause muscle cramps and spasms lead me to magnesium, and once I opened that door and started learning about the role of magnesium in our bodies I was amazed! It turns out I was experiencing many of the other symptoms of insufficient magnesium, such as insomnia, low energy, fatigue, muscle tension, headaches/migraines, and at times heart palpitations, anxiety, irritability, and stress. These are only a few of the many symptoms of insufficient magnesium, the ones I personally was experiencing.
There are many more symptoms of magnesium deficiency that seem to have reached epidemic proportions among the American population as well as in other countries. I'm talking about things such as depression, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, PMS, osteoporosis, tooth decay and chronic neck and back pain. The list of symptoms is longer still, yet it's virtually unheard of have a doctor prescribe magnesium for osteoporosis, high cholesterol, chronic back pain, heart disease or high blood pressure. Why? Aside from the fact that most medical doctors have almost no training in nutrition, pharmaceutical companies can't make money off magnesium supplements because it's not a patentable drug. But let me give you an idea of how powerful this mineral supplement is… if it's caught quickly enough an injection of magnesium will stop a cardiac arrest! Magnesium can quite literally save your life.
Once I found out more about magnesium and saw some of the other symptoms of magnesium deficiency, I realized that even if the muscle spasms I was experiencing were not caused by magnesium deficiency I was certain that I was deficient and could benefit by supplementing with magnesium. Since not all supplements are high quality or effective, after some research I started using Natural Vitality Natural Calm, a natural magnesium supplement in the powder form that you mix with water. It's convenient to use and take, comes in several nice flavors, is gluten free, vegan, certified non-GMO and contains only organic flavors and organic stevia for sweetener. The raspberry lemon flavor is my favorite, but I also like and alternate with the sweet lemon and orange flavors. You can mix it into either cold or warm water (which is nice in cold weather). A word of caution though, it foams up a lot more if you mix it into hot water. So I add a little cold water in my cup, mix in the Natural Vitality powder, then fill the cup with hot water. That keeps it from foaming over. In the summer time I add some to a water bottle and keep it in the fridge. I buy it online from iHerb: Natural Vitality Natural Calm.
I've just started reading Transdermal Magnesium Therapy by Dr Mark Sircus. Don't be scared off by the term “transdermal magnesium therapy”, it basically involves rubbing or massaging magnesium oil onto your skin where it's absorbed and quickly gets into the bloodstream. If you're having pain somewhere, rub the oil there to get it quickly into the place where it's needed. Research has shown that we can better absorb and utilize the magnesium transdermally than through supplements taken orally. Dr Sircus recommends doing both, taking oral supplements (like Natural VitalityNatural Calm Magnesium Supplement) and using magnesium oil transdermally. Magnesium oil isn't actually an oil, but it's called that because when magnesium is suspended in solution it has an oily feel to it. I buy it online from iHerb: Magnesium Oil.
Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency
Here are the top 22 conditions that may be caused by magnesium deficiency The Magnesium Miracle by Carolyn Dean MD ND (which I recommend reading):
- Anxiety and Panic Attacks
- Blood clots
- Bowel disease induced by constipation
- Cystitis and bladder spasms
- Heart disease
- Kidney stones
- Musculoskeletal conditions including fibrosistis, fibromyalgia, muscle spasms, eye twitches, cramps, chronic neck and back pain
- Nerve problems including migraines, muscle contractions, gastrointestinal spasms, calf, foot and toe cramps, vertigo and confusion
- Premenstrual syndrome, dysmenorrhea, infertility, premature contractions, preeclampsia, and eclampsia in pregnancy
- Raynaud's syndrome
- Sudden infant death syndrome
- Tooth decay
One thing that's not on this list that I think many people will be interested to know is that magnesium also treats and prevents high cholesterol.
Magnesium and Diet
It's hard, if not impossible, to get sufficient magnesium through our diets these days. But still it's worth eating a diet rich in high magnesium-content foods because they are also healthy foods. So here's some things you need to know about which foods are rich in magnesium and what things deplete magnesium in your foods and your body.
- Magnesium is found in seaweed, deep green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and dark chocolate and raw cacao (raw natural chocolate). Kelp and pumpkin seeds top the list of foods that I saw which are rich in magnesium. But David Wolfe says that raw cacao is the #1 source of magnesium.
- Cooking and processing food depletes the magnesium in those foods.
- Alcohol, coffee, sugar and high protein in your diet will deplete the level of magnesium in your body.
I'll be compiling more recipes here that contain magnesium-rich foods, as well as writing more articles about this important mineral. But keep in mind that for various reasons, including the depletion of magnesium in the soil, it's nearly impossible to get enough magnesium through your diet alone. Be sure to supplement with something like Natural Vitality Natural Calm Magnesium Supplement and apply Life-Flo Pure Magnesium Oil to your skin daily.
To find out more about this amazing mineral I recommend these books: