5 Delicious Ways To Up Your Magnesium Levels
Magnesium is a powerful mineral and my recent internet research has made me realize it plays a super important role in our bodies! This is especially important if you're struggling with PMS, with symptoms like migraines, irritability, low mood, and cramps.
Magnesium works in our bodies to support blood sugar balance, hormonal balance and healthy adrenals. It also helps to maintain the pH of the body and is necessary for proper nerve conduction, relaxing of muscles, for tissue growth and more... Along with folic acid and the antioxidant glutathione, magnesium is also critical for proper liver detoxification, and if you have insufficient magnesium your liver may be less able to flush out excess estrogen, which may contribute to estrogen dominance.
So you want to make sure you get enough of the stuff right?
Magnesium and other minerals can only be obtained from the earth, and according to studies, most people don't get enough. This is partly due to depletion of minerals like magnesium in the soil where crops are being grown, but also due to lifestyle choices. If you lead a stressful life, regularly drink coffee (or other caffeinated drinks), consume sweet "foods" regularly or drink alcohol on a regular basis chances are that you have a magnesium deficiency.
According to studies, it's probably not enough to eat magnesium-rich foods, but it's a good start! And since there are so many delicious sources, I thought I'd make a list of my favorite magnesium-rich foods. But do bear in mind that you should also take a look at your lifestyle and maybe consider drinking less coffee, alcohol and sugary drinks/foods to help your body absorb magnesium better. For me personally, decreasing my coffee intake definitely is the key to better periods. Read more about it here.
My 5 favorite magnesium-rich foods
Almonds – a handful of almonds will go a long way, and I always have a jar of toasted almonds in the kitchen (or in my handbag). It's a simple, easy way to increase your magnesium levels, but also to keep your blood sugar balanced when hunger strikes in the afternoon. Almond butter is another delicious magnesium booster. Have you tried my homemade almond butter recipe? I love it in the morning on this seed bread with sliced bananas and a dash of cinnamon. Yum!
Avocado – avocados are a great all-rounder when it comes to hormonal health, which is why I eat them almost every day. As with all these foods, magnesium-boosting isn’t the only benefit, and avocados have many hormone-balancing properties. I eat them chopped in salads, mashed on bread, in smoothies or right from the skin with a spoon - delicious with a little lemon juice and sea salt!
Dark chocolate/cacao – chocolate with above 70% cacao solids contains high levels of magnesium. Make sure the brand you choose has as little added sugar as possible, as sugar requires magnesium to be converted in the body, depleting your reserves - I prefer 85% cacao and above. And do try to find a brand without soy lecithin. This is one of my favorites. Other great options are cacao nibs (I sprinkle them on fruit salads, yogurt etc.) or make a smoothie with raw cacao powder, sesame milk, almond butter, dates and avocado or banana - yum!
Dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale and chard. Leafy greens have the highest level of magnesium of any foods, which is why I like to have a side of them with almost every meal. Spinach sautéed in a little olive oil and finished off with a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper is my favorite. Another delicious way is to drink a green smoothie with spinach and/or kale as a base.
Sesame seeds – these little gems are very rich in magnesium. Sesame seeds also contain high levels of calcium, which helps with the absorption of magnesium. How great is that? I use unshelled seeds (they contain more nutrients), or a mix of unshelled/shelled since the unshelled seeds can be slightly bitter in taste. I make a new batch of tahini and sesame seed milk almost every week. I love to use tahini as a spread on bread and sesame milk is great for smoothies.
Other ways to get enough of the stuff
Apart from trying to eat as many magnesium-rich foods as possible, it may also be a good idea to take regular epsom salt baths for magnesium-boosting benefits. We don't have a bathtub where we live now, but I make an epsom salt scrub (epsom salt + coconut oil) and use it before showering once or twice a week, and I sometimes take a foot bath with epsom salt before bedtime.
Supplementing via a spray on the skin can really boost your intake too. I use a magnesium oil in spray form called Ancient Minerals every night before bed. An added benefit is the fact that your chances for better sleep increase after spraying too!
What's your experience with magnesium? Have you noticed any health benefits when boosting your intake?
Please note that I haven't been paid by any of the brands or web shops mentioned/linked in this post. They just happen to be some of my personal favorites and I'm more than happy to share them with you.