Magnesium is a mineral that plays many crucial roles in the body, such as supporting muscle and nerve function, energy production, and maintaining bone health. Low levels of magnesium are associated with anxiety, sleep issues, fatigue, poor exercise recovery, muscle cramps, restless legs, muscle weakness, pins and needles, decreased bone density, as well as more serious issues such as calcification of the arteries. Chronically low levels of magnesium can even increase the risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis.
What causes low levels of magnesium?
Ideally, we’d get all the magnesium we need from food, but due to declining soil quality, magnesium levels are now at least 50% less than they were around 50 years ago. If levels of magnesium in the soil are low, that means our food now contains far less magnesium than it once did too. Low levels of magnesium in the body can also be caused by a poor diet, processed food, digestive problems and gut issues, and our levels of magnesium can also be depleted through excess stress. Since magnesium is one of the most important nutrients to help reduce and recover from stress, it is essential to replenish levels if they have become depleted.
When to supplement with magnesium
Due to the high stress levels that all too often accompany modern life, as well as extra stressors such as physical exercise, a demanding work schedule, pollution and toxins found in everyday cleaning and personal products, many of us benefit from supplementing with magnesium in order to help reduce stress and improve recovery. If you suffer from disturbed sleep or find it difficult to get to sleep, increasing your magnesium levels can have noticeably beneficial effects, and the better your sleep, the better your body and mind will be able to recover from mental and physical stress!
Magnesium bisglycinate is highly bioavailable and absorbable. It is the least likely to induce stomach upset, and is the safest option for correcting long-term deficiency, or for those with demanding workout regimes. Get yours here.
Foods highest in magnesium
Many foods high in magnesium are also rich in antioxidants, bioflavonoids and other beneficial compounds. These are some of the foods highest in magnesium:
- Dark chocolate and cocoa
- Nuts, specifically cashew, almond and Brazil nuts
- Seeds, especially pumpkin seeds
- Whole grains especially oats and barley
- Fatty fish, such as salmon
- Leafy Greens
This magnesium-rich chocolate pudding is packed with healthy ingredients, as well as being incredibly delicious. It’s also high in potassium, healthy fats, with an added dose of collagen to boost skin and joint health too. Try this quick and easy recipe to boost your magnesium levels, reduce stress and improve recovery!
Ingredients (serves 2-3)
- 1 banana, peeled and chopped
- 1 avocado, stone and skin removed
- 1 scoop chocolate flavour collagen peptides
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- ¼ cup organic yoghurt or plant-based alternative
- 1 tbsp crushed almonds to top
- Optional: 2 tbsp raw cacao nibs to top (cacao nibs are effective for reducing cortisol, so can help you de-stress at the end of the day).
- Add all ingredients other than the toppings to a blender
- Blend until it reaches a mousse-like consistency
- Divide into bowls and top with crushed almonds and cacao nibs
Relax and enjoy!