Did you know that over half of American adults aren’t getting the amount of magnesium they should be? It’s a pretty startling statistic, especially considering how vital magnesium is in keeping our bodies functioning correctly.
The reason why most of us are lacking magnesium is actually pretty simple—we aren’t getting enough of it through our diets! (Though as you’ll learn in this post, diet isn’t the only way to get more magnesium.)
Magnesium deficiency and inadequacy are serious issues that can lead to a variety of health problems. So today I wanted to shine some light on the topic by sharing some specifics about the importance and benefits of magnesium.
I’ll also be sharing some simple tips for achieving and maintaining healthy levels of magnesium (one of which involves taking a relaxing bath, so sign me up!) 😉
3 Major Health Benefits Of Magnesium
1. It’s A “Helper Molecule”
Magnesium plays the role of cofactor (or “helper molecule”) in over 600 enzyme reactions that take place inside our bodies. These enzyme reactions include fundamental processes like metabolizing food to use as energy and the creation of new cells. In short, magnesium is absolutely essential to human life!
2. It Can Help With Migraines
Magnesium deficiency has been identified as a potential risk factor for migraine headaches, so increasing magnesium intake may help prevent them or reduce their intensity. In fact, a 2016 meta-analysis of migraine studies found that participants who took oral magnesium supplements had fewer migraine episodes and experienced less intense migraine-related pain.
3. It May Soothe Aches And Pains
Muscle cramps are another common symptom of people with low levels of magnesium. While research on the topic is somewhat limited, findings suggest that magnesium supplements may help to reduce muscle cramps, including this 1995 study that found oral magnesium reduced distress from leg cramps in pregnant women.
4 Ways To Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Magnesium
1. Check Your Meds
Certain medications can cause loss of magnesium, like diuretics and blood pressure medicines. If you take either, ask your doctor about ways to regulate your magnesium levels.
2. Eat Magnesium-Rich Foods
Many foods are a great source of magnesium, so many sure you’re including them in your diet. Magnesium-rich foods include kelp, wheat bran, wheat germ, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, millet, tofu, brown rice, figs, dates, collard greens, avocado, beans, barley, and garlic.
3. Take A Magnesium Supplement
According to U.S. Food and Nutrition Board recommendations, adult men should get 400-420 mg of magnesium from their diet daily, while adult women should get 310-320 mg of magnesium daily. If you aren’t meeting these requirements from your diet alone, you may benefit from a magnesium supplement like magnesium citrate.
As always, you should speak to your doctor or a trusted health professional before taking a new supplement!
4. Take A Bath With Magnesium Flakes
One way to boost your magnesium intake is to add it to your bath water! You may already be familiar adding magnesium sulfate (also known as Epsom salt) to your bath, but there’s another magnesium compound called magnesium chloride (sometimes called magnesium flakes) that can be better for people with sensitive skin.
Whichever you choose, both Epsom salt and magnesium flakes can make a great addition to any relaxing soak in the tub! (More on that below.)
How To Take The Ultimate Magnesium Bath
Taking a relaxing bath is one of the best ways to promote a good night’s sleep. And you can make it even more beneficial by adding magnesium to the mix! Here’s how it’s done:
- Add 1-2 cups of magnesium flakes (or Epsom salt) to warm bathwater.
- Add 5-15 drops of one of the following essential oils for added benefits:
- Lavender oil, for relaxation and restful sleep
- Rosemary oil, to soothe aches and pains
- Sweet orange oil, to lift your spirits
- Peppermint oil, for a quick pick-me-up
- Soak for 30 minutes to an hour for maximum benefits!
What do you usually add to your bathwater?