One of the things I was most looking forward to with finally studying holistic nutrition was delving into the solid facts about the things I have read.
It's easy to do a quick Google search about a certain vitamin or easily become confused about whether fats or healthy or not with all the information floating around out there but now I'm truly learning what this is all about. The dots are beginning to connect as knowledge flows through my classes into everyday life.
One of the first classes I took was an introductory course into the fundamentals of nutrition. This was a great class led by a great teacher full of outside the box info on holistic health and gave a general overview of the basics of nutrition. Towards the end, we finally covered vitamins and minerals which I think are always a bit confusing as there's so much out there to know. How many times have you gone to a health food shop only to leave feeling more overwhelmed than before you arrived?
I want to highlight some of these on here and I wanted the first one to be one of my favourite minerals: Magnesium.
There's good reason as to why I love magnesium so much. It's definitely worked its magic on my classmates and myself during stress-y periods of constant assignments, tests, and exams. How does magnesium do this exactly?
Magnesium is one in the top three minerals that we tend to be deficient in (alongside iron and zinc). In today's modern world, it's hard to get enough of this from our soil alone as it's very often depleted due to current farming practices. We also become deleted in this mineral by our fast paced lifestyles fuelled by caffeine and excess sugar.
One way to make sure you're getting what you can from a food source is to ensure you're purchasing organic. Organic food comes from soil that is treated without the use of chemical fertilizers leaving you with more of the nutrients intact for your body to receive. A few sources to mention include organic brown rice, almonds, spinach, and chard.
Magnesium is a natural relaxant and tranquilizer that helps to alleviate muscle spasms and tension. It's also helpful in easing muscle cramps, PMS symptoms, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, as a laxative, reducing stress, and as a prevention and treatment for heart attacks and heart disease. Just to name a few.
When looking for a magnesium supplement, you'll most often come across either:
- Magnesium Citrate (useful as a laxative)
- Magnesium Malate (useful for fibromyalgia & muscle aches)
- Magnesium Oxide (not as readily absorbed as the others)
- Magnesium Bisglycinate (this is the newest of the bunch with the highest absorption)
It's best to go for a complex (a blend of them all) this way you ensure you're getting a well-rounded formula.
My favourite way of getting more magnesium is actually through Epsom salt baths and magnesium spray. This is a really gentle way to ease into the benefits of this wonderful mineral.
I find this is a great way to unwind in the evening: Have a bath filled with Epsom salts (I use minimum two cups) then spray the body while skin is still damp with magnesium spray so everything absorbs into your system for a rested and peaceful sleep.
It truly does work wonders and I can say this as anyone who I've recommended this to have seen a huge improvement and they notice the difference when they go without.
How do you know if you're deficient and how much should you supplement? If you're consuming magnesium tablets, you can start with 200mg increasing until you reach bowel tolerance. You'll know when this is!
I find it best to take this in the evening prior to sleep to help with the relaxing effect.
Magnesium truly is a magic mineral that I encourage everyone to try out and incorporate into his or her everyday life.