As women, we’re told we should take this pill and that pill and then the next day, we’re told it may be bad for us, so I understand that when I tell you a magnesium supplement is essential to your health as a woman, you may be hesitant at first of my reasoning. This being said, let me tell you for starters how a magnesium supplement has truly changed my life in terms of health and physical well-being. Rewind five years when I was a walking picture of anxiety, fatigue, poor digestion, and moodiness. I was never on an even keel, no matter what vitamin I took, how I ate or what I did to relieve stress. I also suffered terrible joint pain and occasional headaches. I blamed it on hormones, stress, etc. Then one day I contacted my naturopathic doctor and she told me about magnesium and how a magnesium supplement could benefit me. Fast forward to present day where I can say I'm eternally grateful to her advice because it worked like a charm! After implementing a magnesium supplement into my day, I can truly say all those symptoms I suffered disappeared. Read on to find out just what a magnesium supplement may be able to do for you and why it is now being called a miracle supplement for women.
One of the main reasons most women could benefit from a magnesium supplement is due to the fact that many of us lead stressed, busy lives, which naturally deplete magnesium levels in the body. Magnesium is one of the most crucial minerals in the human body. It is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including breaking down glucose into energy. When your magnesium levels are low, you’ll be tired, feel depleted quite easily, and not feel like doing much of anything. Unless you eat a good bit of nuts, greens like kale and spinach, fish like halibut, and sources such as wheat bran or oat bran, chances are your diet isn’t composed of enough magnesium. Focus on getting more magnesium rich foods into your day, but if you’re not eating these each day, then you’ll probably benefit from a magnesium supplement of 350 mg-400 mg per day.
2. Calms Your Nerves
One of magnesium’s biggest jobs and benefits is it relaxes the nervous system. If you’re stressed, you’re tense, and your magnesium levels are already low at this point. Magnesium can help restore levels of calm to the body and bring relief, and fairly quickly at that. It sends calming messages to the body, which is what you’ll get from eating foods rich in magnesium such as almonds, cashews, bananas, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, sweet potatoes, halibut, salmon and oatmeal. Even if you're eating these foods, levels can still be quickly depleted, which is where a supplement would be beneficial.
3. Prevents and Treats Headaches
Magnesium keeps headaches away and relieves them at the same time. Since it has an effect on the nervous system, when you are stressed or fatigued from lots of activity or stress, blood vessels constrict, which can cause a headache. Magnesium helps to calm the body and even out blood flow, slowing down blood pressure and reducing constriction that causes headaches. Women in their menstrual cycle who experience headaches would greatly benefit from magnesium as well, for the same reasons.
4. Helps Sore Muscles
Magnesium sufficiency is also important for your muscles, especially when exercising. When your muscles are tired, depleted and overworked from lots of activity, you may experience more inflammation and muscle pain if you don’t take a magnesium supplement directly after. Magnesium supplementation can help lower inflammation in the body and prevent joint pain since it helps to relax you. It has also been associated with relieving chemicals in the body associated with nerve and joint pain.
5. Lowers Blood Sugar
A wonderful benefit of taking magnesium for women is that it lowers your blood sugar. Many times, our blood sugar soars because our cortisol levels, or stress hormone levels, are high. We think we’re hungry or low on sugar, but really, our bodies are just stressed. Cortisol tells the body it needs glucose to relieve internal stress and lower stress hormones, and magnesium helps reduce cortisol, lowers blood sugar levels, and tells your body it no longer needs glucose to create energy or lower stress hormones.
6. Prevents and Treats Constipation
Due to magnesium’s direct effect on your nervous system, it is wonderful for relieving and treating constipation. Many women who are low in magnesium also suffer constipation. When we are stressed, our bowels are often the first things to stop working. Lowering stress is one of the most important things you can do for a healthy bowel. Practice calming activities such as walking, yoga and meditation, and consider taking a 400 mg magnesium supplement to help relieve constipation fast. Do not overdose or you may develop loose stools as a result. Magnesium sends waves down the GI tract, where a majority of our nerves connected to our brains are located. During this process, bowels relax and wastes are released.
7. Treats a Nervous Stomach/IBS
Again, since magnesium has a direct effect on the nerves, it helps relieve a nervous stomach. I have always had a problem with a nervous stomach, whether good or bad, and my IBS always acts up during this time. It can be debilitating at times, but a magnesium supplement always helps. I actually take one pill in the morning and two before bed since I’m on my feet all day, and have terrible IBS tendencies. This supplementation formula works best for me but everyone is different, so be sure to start with a low dose before you increase your dosage if you decide to implement magnesium into your routine.
8. Treats Depression/PMS
When we suffer PMS, our nerves are all over the place! Our blood vessels constrict, we’re tired, our muscles ache, our bowels act up, we get headaches and this all influences depression. Well, magnesium can take care of all that because all of those symptoms work synergistically with our nervous system, which magnesium helps to control. I find my mood, muscles and stomach all work more efficiently as they should when I get enough magnesium into my day, through supplementation and through the foods I eat.
9. Helps You Sleep
Since magnesium relaxes you, it can really be a great cure-all for insomnia. Consider taking a magnesium oxide supplement before bed, which is the type of magnesium most helpful for falling asleep. As someone who suffers insomnia, I take a magnesium supplement each night and am asleep within five minutes and have the most peaceful rest and deep sleep I’ve ever experienced without waking up groggy. It can also help give you a morning bowel movement, which is important as well.
One thing that always surprises me is that most multivitamins don’t even have half the recommended daily amounts of magnesium in them. This is one reason why supplementation is needed. Magnesium requirements should be between 350 mg and 400 per day, or you may need even more than that. Be sure to start with a low dose and if you’re concerned, please do see your doctor. I like brands such as the Now Foods brand at iHerb.com. Do you take a magnesium supplement?