The Magnificent Mineral: Exploring the Power of Magnesium

Whether it’s the social media algorithm, a sign of the times, or everyone is wisening up to the benefits of homeopathic medicine and holistic healing (or all of the above), “magnesium” is being referred to left and right. It’s a term that’s become synonymous with overall well-being, much like adaptogens were just a few years ago.

But what is magnesium exactly and how does it support our well-being? Is it a substance that’s naturally occurring in our diets or do we need to rely on supplements? Is it all trend and no truth? We’re here to dig in.

Understanding Magnesium

According to the National Institutes of Health, magnesium is “an abundant mineral in the body, is naturally present in many foods, added to other food products, available as a dietary supplement, and present in some medicines (such as antacids and laxatives).” It’s a vital mineral that helps our bodies break down and utilize protein, it helps our bodies regulate sugar, supports our muscle and nervous system, and helps keep blood pressure under control.

In short, this powerhouse mineral does a lot for our bodies—so much so that you would notice if you were extremely low on magnesium. According to the Cleveland Clinic, most people are slightly low in magnesium—much like the average American is deficient in Vitamin D (35% of Americans, to be exact). Slightly decreased levels of magnesium could cause muscle spasms, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, and stiffness. However, if left untreated, magnesium deficiency could get worse and lead to abnormal heart rhythms, numbness and tingling, personality changes, and, in the worst cases, seizures. It’s reported that those at the highest risk of magnesium deficiency are those with gastrointestinal diseases such as Chrons and celiac disease, individuals with Type 2 diabetes, and individuals with alcohol use disorder.

It’s important to note that magnesium deficiency can only be found via a blood test, so talk with your doctor before taking any supplements or making drastic dietary changes.

Magnesium in Homeopathy
Magnesium Phosphate known as ‘mag phos’ is our go-to mineral cell salt that is an incredible antispasmodic remedy,” explained Kari Wagner, owner of TapRoots. “Neuralgia pains like intense spasms or sharp cramps tend to respond well to mag phos.”

Magnesium is often used in homeopathic medicine to treat ailments that are commonly occurring on the right side of the body as well as irritability, emotional oversensitivity, abdominal cramping, painful periods, writer’s cramp, or sciatic pain.

“In homeopathy, mag phos is taken orally as a tablet that dissolves under the tongue,” Wagner continued. “The tablets can be dissolved in water and taken that way as well.”

Exploring Different Sources of Magnesium

In addition to supplementary sources of magnesium, natural food sources are also rich in magnesium. Greens, nuts, seeds, dry beans, whole grains, wheat germ, wheat, and oat bran are all exceptional sources of magnesium and can naturally contribute to the recommended 400-420 mg per day of magnesium for men and 310-320 per day for women. In fact, the highest source of magnesium is pumpkin seeds, offering a whopping 168 mg of magnesium per one ounce serving.

In addition to increasing your intake of magnesium rich foods, you could also make lifestyle adjustments such as a weekly soak in an Epsom salt bath, drinking natural electrolyte drinks, and cutting back on alcohol consumption.

Magnesium-Rich Salad

A delicious and nutritious recipe that includes dark greens, pumpkin seeds, and whole grains while being rich in magnesium is a Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Kale, and Pumpkin Seeds. Here’s a simple recipe to try:

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water or vegetable broth
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
2 cups kale, chopped
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Rinse the quinoa under cold water and drain well.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa and water or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked and fluffy. Remove from heat and let it cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, chopped spinach, chopped kale, toasted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries (if using), and crumbled feta cheese (if using). Toss gently to combine.
  4. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup or honey, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to make the dressing.
  5. Pour the dressing over the quinoa and greens mixture and toss until everything is evenly coated with the dressing.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. You can add more salt, pepper, or lemon juice according to your preference.
  7. Serve the quinoa salad immediately or chill it in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the flavors meld together before serving.

This recipe is not only rich in magnesium but also provides a good balance of protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients from the dark greens, pumpkin seeds, and whole grains. 

So Do We Need More?

As previously stated, magnesium deficiency can only be determined by your doctor. However, the best way to ensure you’re doing everything you can to get your suggested daily allotment of magnesium is to eat a balanced, nutrient-rich diet—the first line of defense for combating many ailments and deficiencies.

Is there room for homeopathic treatments and dietary supplements? Absolutely—if needed. Talk with your doctor and schedule a routine, comprehensive blood panel to best understand how your body is performing and the areas that may need an added boost.

Magnesium plays a crucial role in our daily lives, impacting various bodily functions and overall well-being. From supporting energy production and muscle function to aiding in nerve transmission and bone health, magnesium is essential for maintaining optimal physiological processes. Its involvement in over 300 enzymatic reactions underscores its significance in biochemical pathways, highlighting the necessity of adequate magnesium intake through diet or supplementation. Furthermore, recognizing the potential implications of magnesium deficiency underscores the importance of ensuring sufficient levels of this vital mineral to promote health and vitality.

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