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  • Writer's pictureKaren Meisels

The Mighty Mineral: Understanding The Health Benefits of Magnesium and Its Role in Our Wellbeing

Are you familiar with magnesium? Have you ever wondered, Should I take a magnesium supplement? I want to take you on a deep dive into understanding magnesium, its various forms, its biological benefits, and how to incorporate it into your wellness routine.

Magnesium scoop with stone sculpture and water reflection

Magnesium plays a critical role in over 300 enzyme reactions in the human body, covering almost every aspect of our well-being. From supporting bone health to enhancing brain function, magnesium's importance can't be overstated.

Understanding Magnesium: What it is and How it Supports Well-Being

Magnesium is a mineral necessary for various bodily functions. These range from nerve function regulation, metabolism, muscle contraction, and maintaining our heart's rhythm to protein synthesis, DNA production, and bone health support. Despite being abundantly available in various food sources and supplements, many adults need to consume more, leading to magnesium deficiency. This emphasizes the importance of understanding the different types of magnesium and their specific uses and benefits.

It is estimated that as much as 50% of the American population is deficient in magnesium.

The Health Benefits and Uses of Magnesium

Magnesium plays an essential role in many body functions and systems:

  1. Bone Health: About 60% of the body's magnesium is stored in the bones. It aids in calcium absorption, which supports bone health and helps prevent osteoporosis.

  2. Heart Health: Magnesium helps maintain a steady heartbeat and normal blood pressure. Studies suggest it can reduce the risk of heart disease.

  3. Mental Health: Magnesium can cross the blood-brain barrier and alter the mood-regulating neurotransmitters. It has potential as a part of depression and anxiety treatment.

  4. Muscle Function: Magnesium helps muscles relax after contraction, aiding in muscle flexibility and preventing cramps.

  5. Digestive Health: Magnesium draws water into the intestines, aiding digestion and promoting regular bowel movements.

  6. Energy Production: Magnesium is pivotal in our body's energy production as a "helper molecule" or cofactor in the biochemical reactions continuously performed by enzymes. Specifically, the ATP (adenosine triphosphate) molecule, which is the primary energy currency of our cells, must be bound to a magnesium ion to be biologically active. What this means is that ATP is essentially inactive unless paired with magnesium. In simpler terms, magnesium is vital for converting the foods we eat into energy, allowing us to function optimally and sustain our daily activities.

  7. Improve Sleep: Magnesium supports the body's production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Furthermore, it binds to neurotransmitter receptors called GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) receptors, which play a role in reducing brain activity. Sleep more soundly and wake up feeling more refreshed and rejuvenated.

How to Incorporate Magnesium into Your Nutritional Wellness Routine

The best way to ensure you're getting enough magnesium is through a balanced diet rich in magnesium-containing foods like leafy greens, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains. Supplements can also be beneficial, particularly for people with a diagnosed deficiency.

Top 10 Magnesium-Rich Foods
  1. Spinach

  2. Almonds

  3. Cocoa Powder

  4. Pumpkin Seeds

  5. Brazil Nuts

  6. Black Beans

  7. Yogurt & Kefir

  8. Swiss Chard

  9. Halibut

  10. Flaxseed

Group of Magnesium-rich foods healthy foods like banana avocado nuts

Different Forms of Magnesium

Magnesium is found in many forms, and each one has a unique set of benefits and differences in bioavailability- that is, how well it is absorbed into our system and the benefits we get from it.

  1. Magnesium Citrate: Derived from citric acid, this form is one of the most bioavailable, meaning it's absorbed well by the body. It's primarily used to treat constipation and acid indigestion due to its ability to draw water into the intestines, soften the stool, and stimulate muscle contractions that move waste along. Natural sources like fruits, particularly citrus. Widely available as supplements.

  2. Magnesium Oxide: Commonly used in over-the-counter "milk of magnesia" products, magnesium oxide serves as a short-term remedy for heartburn and constipation. While not as bioavailable as magnesium citrate, it still provides a substantial amount of elemental magnesium.

  3. Magnesium Glycinate: Known for its high bioavailability and gentle effect on the stomach, Magnesium glycinate is considered the most effective type of magnesium for bettering sleep, as it may help relax both the nervous system and your muscles. It's less likely to cause digestive issues and is more easily absorbed.

  4. Magnesium Sulfate: Better known as Epsom salt, magnesium sulfate is a favorite for soothing muscle aches and pains. Dissolving Epsom salt in a bath allows for the absorption of magnesium through the skin, providing immediate relaxation and relief.

  5. Magnesium Chloride: Found in lotions and oils, it can be applied to the skin for detoxification and to increase magnesium levels. It's a preferred form for topical application.

  6. Magnesium Malate: Supports energy production. The malic acid combined with magnesium may help with pain and tenderness. It is used to alleviate symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome; this form is slowly released into the system, making it a good choice for sustained benefits.

  7. Magnesium Taurate: Supports cardiovascular health; the combination of magnesium and taurine can have heart-protective effects. Taken as an oral supplement, it has good bioavailability.

  8. Magnesium Threonate: Can penetrate the mitochondrial membrane. It's been shown to improve cognitive abilities and is believed to be beneficial for brain health. Has high bioavailability due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. You can find these in specially formulated nootropic supplements.

  9. Magnesium Dimalate: Supports energy production; has a high elemental magnesium content. Offers consistent absorption and high bioavailability.

  10. Magnesium Bisglycinate: Often recommended for those with magnesium deficiency; has calming properties which can support nerve and muscle health. Found in chelated magnesium supplements, it has one of the highest absorption levels and is gentle on the stomach.

  11. Magnesium Inositol: Supports mood and has potential benefits for those with anxiety or depression. Helps in balancing certain chemicals in the brain.

  12. Magnesium Ascorbate: A combination of magnesium and vitamin C, it acts as an antioxidant, supporting immune health.

Magnesium is critical for almost ALL of our body's essential processes. Understanding and incorporating its benefits into your daily routine can significantly enhance your health and wellbeing.

Looking for recommendations? MegaFood Magnesium is a supplement that I know and trust. Click to shop on Amazon!*

Bottle of MegaFood Magnesium Supplement

  • Muscle Function Support: Every serving provides 50 mg of magnesium to help support muscle relaxation, heart, and nervous system health

  • Vegan and Gluten Free

  • Synergistic Source Of Minerals: Includes 50 mg of magnesium along with 50 mg of spinach per serving

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Discovering the path to your personal, optimal vitality can be overwhelming. As a Vitality Coach, I help bring clarity and structure to your nutritional wellness journey. Together, we will take a holistic approach to your individualized wellness, taking into account your social, spiritual, genetic, and lifestyle factors. There is no reason why you can't live a full, happy, and completely vibrant life!

The content on this website is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Reliance on any information provided herein is solely at your own risk.


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