It is estimated that magnesium deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world. This important mineral is implicated in over three hundred chemical reactions in our bodies and it is important for nerve transmission, muscles function, heart rhythm, mood and sleep regulation, energy production, and much more.
Important for the stress response
Magnesium it is also fundamental for the stress response and the production of the neurotransmitter GABA, which is responsible for calming our nervous system. Magnesium is also important for those suffering from migraines and PMS.
Supplementation can be tricky as there are different forms of magnesium available and they are indicated for different functions. Testing is also tricky too, as common tests may not get the real picture.
This brings me to the point that real wholefood, is the best way to get the nutrients you need. The good point is also that each food has a “cocktail” of nutrients which often enhance and complement each other in team efforts that provide the “fuel” for our body and mind.
1. Raw cacao
Cocoa powder is rich in numerous anti-oxidant and it is a great source of magnesium, which also explains why women who suffer from PMS often crave chocolate in certain times of the month. Cocoa also boosts the production of serotonin, the feel good hormone, which together with the calming effect of magnesium can explain why chocolate has this wonderful calming effect when we are stressed. I love my cocoa powder in a drink with a bit of cinnamon, and I always feel great afterward.
Bananas are rich in both magnesium and potassium, which is a great combination as these two minerals work They are also rich in Vitamin B5, B6 and contain what is called “resistant starch” a sort of fiber that helps to feed your healthy gut bacteria.
3. Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts are really rich in magnesium, and it is estimated that two Brazil nuts provide the daily recommended dose of magnesium for a healthy individual. They are also particularly rich in selenium, which is a mineral needed for the production of an anti-oxidant and for the activation of a thyroid hormone. Selenium, though can be toxic in high doses, so you should not eat too many Brazil nuts at once. A couple of Brazil nuts should be enough to cover for your daily dose of magnesium.
4. Spinach and green leafy vegetables
Spinach and in general green leaf vegetables are a great source of magnesium together with a range of other nutrients like potassium and folates and vitamins that act in synergy with magnesium.