Magnesium is a jack-of-all-trades in the mineral world. It’s important for aiding carbohydrate metabolism, maintaining nervous system health, heart health and a healthy stress response in the body.
Low magnesium levels in the body can result from insufficient dietary intake, poor intestinal absorption, excess excretion and increased physiological demands which can make it harder for us to meet our daily needs.
Inadequate levels of magnesium can lead to a range of signs and symptoms, but the most well-known symptom is muscle cramps. Magnesium and another important mineral, calcium, work in tandem to facilitate muscle movement. Magnesium is involved in muscle relaxation whereas calcium is involved in muscle contraction. When magnesium is inadequate it cannot counteract the effects of calcium, therefore, we may experience increased muscle tension, spasms and stiffness. If you experience muscle cramps or eye twitches, it may be a sign that you’re not getting enough magnesium from your diet.
Key strategies to optimise your magnesium levels today!
With only 33% of Australians meeting their recommended dietary intake of magnesium, it’s clear that most of us need a much-needed magnesium boost! Top ways to achieve this is by:
- Eating more plants – as they contain the highset amount of magnesium out of all food groups. Green leafy vegetables, almonds, pumpkin seeds, oats and cacao are excellent sources. Some meal ideas include a cacao and banana smoothie or a lentil veggie-packed salad.
- Minimising stress – as persistent stress can eat into our magnesium stores. Reduce stress in your life by participating in regular activity, taking a citrus-scented bath or practice mediation.
- Dial down the caffeine – found in black tea, coffee and chocolate, is a well-known diuretic, and when consumed in excess, can flush out precious magnesium from the body. Try caffeine-free alternatives, such as some herbal teas, or fresh fruit and vegetable juices.
 Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2015). Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes 2011-12. https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/australian-health-survey-usual-nutrient-intakes/latest-release#essential-minerals