Health supplements can help people manage and even overcome various health issues. While essential vitamins get a lot of coverage, there are many minerals that play important — and often overlooked — roles within the body.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps facilitate and regulate numerous bodily processes, including muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels and blood pressure. It’s also involved in the process of making proteins, bone and DNA, but it doesn’t get the same level of attention as other vitamins and minerals. So what are the underrated benefits that can optimise your health?
Why Is Magnesium Important for Health?
Without sufficient magnesium in your diet, you could experience symptoms of magnesium deficiency, such as fatigue, muscle weakness or high blood pressure. These symptoms can present themselves subtly, so keep a watchful eye on your health and note any changes to your well-being if you think your levels are too low. Listening to your body is one of the best ways to identify this kind of health problem, but it’s also essential to get the expert advice of a health professional to put your mind at ease.
What Are the Benefits of Magnesium Supplements?
Magnesium is abundant in several food groups, including nuts, fruit, vegetables and even dark chocolate, but for the most effective delivery, vegan magnesium supplements can provide your total recommended daily intake (RDI) in one convenient serving, alternatively you can bath in salts to absorb the healing properties and reach a state of blissful relaxation. Taking a supplement can:
1. Prevent Migraines and Headaches
Magnesium can reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines. Studies have shown that magnesium supplements reduced attack frequency by 41%, making magnesium a highly effective mineral in combating migraines. Although it has potent effects, it’s much safer to use on a long-term basis than other migraine medications, which can have several adverse effects.
2. Stop Twitching Muscles
If you notice your eyelids frequently twitching or if you can’t stop your legs moving — an indication of restless leg syndrome (RLS) — you might be lacking in magnesium. There are usually a few contributing factors when experiencing these conditions, meaning you can mitigate their effects by making some lifestyle adjustments. If limiting your caffeine, alcohol and tobacco intake doesn’t eradicate twitchy muscles, a magnesium supplement can help your muscles relax.
3. Mitigate Muscle Cramps
You might also experience muscle cramps if you’re magnesium deficient. This is where your muscles seize up unexpectedly, causing a tight, painful cramp that can last anywhere between a few seconds to several minutes. As mentioned, magnesium plays a role in regulating muscle contraction and relaxation, but it’s also been reported that muscle cramps could be prevented by taking magnesium supplements.
4. Improve Sleep Quality
Insomnia and disrupted sleep can significantly impact your life, but they’re all too commonplace. While you can take a few simple steps to improve sleep quality, such as limiting blue light before bed and staying away from caffeine after 12 pm, a deficiency will enable insomnia to persist.
Magnesium helps regulate melatonin production, and if the pineal gland doesn’t secrete melatonin before you go to bed, drifting off to sleep can be challenging. Supplementation will increase the availability of the mineral, helping your brain and body work more harmoniously and allowing you to get some restful sleep.
5. Regulate Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can be dangerous. It can cause arteries to harden, which could lead to atherosclerosis if left untreated. This greatly increases your chances of having a heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular complications. Lifestyle changes play a crucial role in lowering blood pressure, but studies have suggested that magnesium supplements could also help when coupled with potassium — another important mineral — and a reduced salt intake.
Should You Take a Supplement?
Although it might not be the most widely talked about mineral, magnesium plays an integral role within the body, regulating your various systems and allowing your body to function properly. Without enough of it, some serious health problems can occur, but even the mildest symptoms of magnesium deficiency can be uncomfortable and have a marked effect on your well-being. That’s why supplementing magnesium is one of the best ways to prevent deficiencies and maintain your physical and mental wellness. You can also bath in magnesium or use body wash to get a gentle intake regularly.
Photography by Tara Winstead