Most of us know of magnesium as a mineral that we get in a lot of our leafy green, nuts and grains, and unadulterated foods. However most also don’t really understand its vital benefits and importance to our bodies when it comes to some very pivotal functions.
As with just about everything else in the human body, magnesium deficiency has a range of related problems it can initiate – and they are all impactful not only to our longevity and overall disease prevention, but also to our enjoyment of life.
Magnesium and weight loss – nutrient utilization
Our bodies need magnesium in order to properly utilize the foods we eat and break them down into their most efficient energy-giving, metabolism boosting forms. This can have a range of benefits, not the least of which are proper metabolism and weight maintenance, anxiety and stress prevention, and blood sugar and appetite control. If we’re eating a ton of processed foods devoid of magnesium in its natural form, our bodies naturally crave more food, which causes an endless cycle of overeating.
Magnesium also benefits weight loss helps open up the cells to introduce glucose into the body’s cells, where it can be converted into energy instead of circulating in the blood stream in elevated levels, unused (stored as fat). So, those energy spikes you feel when you’ve been eating right (aka eating mostly unprocessed, whole foods) are a direct result of the body’s effective use and assimilation of energy.
Magnesium also activates enzymes that control the digestion and proper use of carbohydrates, proteins and other nutrients we get from our food. This makes the body a more efficient “machine” when it comes to breaking down foods.
This also means your body craves less, so you don’t find yourself craving for excess calories. You feel more “satiated” by the foods you’ve already eaten because you haven’t filled your body with empty calories from processed non-living foods that are devoid of minerals, enzymes and vitamins.
Foods and Other Ways to Introduce Magnesium
Since magnesium is (or should be) one of the most present nutrients in our body, it goes without saying that we have to get plenty of it in order to not be considered deficient and have a wave of symptoms occur from said deficiency.
So how do you get enough magnesium in your body? One way is of course to make sure you are eating only whole, unprocessed and minimally cooked foods. Leafy green veggies (especially darker) have plenty of magnesium.
Avocadoes and bananas are high in this mineral (as well as other important vitamins and minerals, notably potassium). Seeds and nuts are also a good source so pack a few of them for snacks. Fish can also be a great source of magnesium. Try drinking your water in the morning with fresh squeezed lemon juice (a couple of slivers would be fine). Lemon juice contains several minerals, including magnesium, which have a synergistic effect.
Epsom Salts (and the Ocean) – One of the BEST Ways to Get Magnesium
Ocean water is naturally rich in magnesium. Guess that helps explain why a long swim in the ocean water brings on a feeling of profound peace and relaxation (the sun, sounds of rolling waves and bare feet in the sand probably has some place in that as well). But what if you don’t live close to the ocean, or have the time to take a daily dip in its mineral rich waters?
Try keeping Epsom salts and other types of raw, minimally processed sea salts around for soaking in the bath tub after a long day of yard work or other muscle aches and soreness. We’ve been keeping them around for a while, and little did we know that this is one of the best ways to supplement your body with magnesium!
Apparently, your skin is a very efficient magnesium absorbent material, and magnesium is easily assimilated through the skin into the blood stream where it goes to work helping us digest and utilize nutrients properly. Epsom salts contain this mineral in high volume, so adding them to your bath can really help ensure you’re getting a good infusion of this important mineral if you think you may be deficient.
There are other benefits to Epsom salt soaks as well. They include headache relief, muscle and ache relief, expedient abrasion and wound healing, stress relief and better moisture retention of the skin. If you don’t have a half hour to soak in the tub with epsom salts, make yourself a magnesium spray. There are a few good recipes out there online. Some people even report they can use magnesium spray as a natural deodorant (and be sure to read about our natural deodorant which happens to include natural sea salt as one of the odor killing ingredients).