Magnesium is probably one of the most important elements that our bodies need to survive. Is important for healthy bone formation, regulating blood pressure, maintaining heart health, energy production and nerve functions. It also aids in blood sugar control. A magnesium deficiency is a little difficult to diagnose, as magnesium can not be measured with a normal blood serum test. The serum contains less than 1% of the body’s total magnesium. A more accurate alternative would be a RBC magnesim test which checks the amount of magnesium in the red blood cells.
Unfortunately a magnesium deficiency is very common for different reasons. The soil that fruit and vegetables are grown in is not as nutrient-dense as it used to be, so our food is less nutritious. Consuming tobacco, caffeine or having high levels of stress may prevent the body from absorbing enough magnesium. Certain medicines such as antibiotics, cortision and the birth control pill may also lead to a deficiency. Indicators for a deficiency are feeling stressed, nervous, tired, weak, having difficulties concentrating, being sensitive to noise, feeling dizzy, pain in neck and back, high blood pressure, obesity and hair loss.
I have felt many benefits when I started supplementing magnesium, increasing my overall health. It prevents muscles aches after work outs and relives my tension headaches.
There are many different types of magnesium available, however not all of them are absorbed equally well by our bodies. I like to use magnesium citrate, magnesium sulphate and magnesium chloride. Magnesium sulphate is also called epsom salt and while it does contain magnesium, magnesium chloride is more easily available for absorption.
While magnesium citrate is best absorbed orally, magnesium chloride is known to be absorbed by the skin. I personally prefer chloride, however sometimes it is not possible for me to regularly take baths and the citrate powder/pills are easier to take. I usually use magnesium citrate powder and mix it with water. Magnesium pills are also convenient while traveling. Since magnesium citrate is absorbed by the body so quickly it helps to relieve my tension headaches almost instantly.
Food sources of magnesium are almonds, spinach, cashews, black beans and peanut butter. To increase the magnesium absorption combining the mineral with vitamin B 6 from bee pollen, boron from dried plums and magnesium bicarbonate daily helps.
Especially when taking in caffeine regularly or drinking alcohol it’s important to get enough magnesium for good overall health. Although severe magnesium overdoses are rare, they do happen and it is important to know the signs. The first sign is diarrhea, as too much magnesium works as a laxative. Other symptoms include nausea and cramping.
Since magnesium chloride is best absorbed through the skin so I like to take full-body magnesium baths. I use around 500-1000 grams of magnesium chloride for a full bath tub and stay in it for a minimum of 40 minutes. I like to keep the temperature between 37-42 degrees and add warm water whenever I feel the water getting cold.
Before doing a foot bath I clean my feet from sweat and oils. I then use around 4-6 tablespoons of magnesium chloride in 5 liters of water, the temperature should be between 37-42 degrees. I keep my feet in the water for around 40 minutes and add warm water whenever the temperature cools down.
For children under the age of 12 it is advised to use half the doses, so for a full body bah around 250-500 grams and for a foot bath around 2-3 tablespoons.
In Abu Dhabi magnesium chloride is sold at Organic foods and cafe, for around 7 dirhams/100 grams. On iHerb two different kinds of magnesium flakes are available, from Life Flo, 1250grams for 57 dirhams and from now foods 1500grams for 55 dirhams. Magnesium chloride is also available on amazon.
Magnesium sulfate, also known as epsom salt is available at Holland and Barrett, Abelas and most pharmacies. On iHerb 450 grams are sold for 35 dirhams from White Egret. For 5% off your order use code: RDD731 For more information on how to order on iHerb, click here.