All that glitters is not gold, sometimes it is magnesium and this mineral is as valuable to us as gold, if we know its benefits. Used as a flash powder in the early days of photography, in fireworks, marine flares and incendiary devices during WW11, it is often over looked as anything but an antacid for our stomach. Which is a very simplistic way to view this brightly shining addition to our health routine. Magnesium is a real gem of a supplement and undoubtedly nature’s beauty enhancer.

In traditional Chinese medicine it is called the beautiful mineral and considered as essential to the body as air and water. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and there are over 300 biochemical reactions that rely on magnesium. Magnesium is a key mineral in the development of strong healthy white teeth, radiant, healthy skin and strong hair growth. That’s all on the surface and will certainly give us beauty, skin deep, but down in our bones lays 50% of the magnesium in our body and this explains the important link between bone density and magnesium which is not often written about.

Magnesium has many benefits we can and can’t see, including relief of aches and pains particularly in the effective use of our muscles, including our cardiovascular system and it can have a positive affect in reducing high blood pressure. It boosts our energy levels, supports our immune system, elevates our mood, relieves stress, helps in balancing hormones and improves our quality of sleep.

How can you get a good supply of natures wonder drug, dark leafy greens are rich in magnesium, as are avocados, sesame seeds or tahini, but my favourite is raw cacao, which of course is chocolate and who needs a good excuse to indulge in some delicious dark chocolate. To get the maximum benefit from your veggies, buy organic and lightly blanche or steam until they change colour, which in terms of food chemistry makes the nutrients more available to us. Raw cacao, is a little harsh and bitter, but many good health food shops have excellent quality chocolate based on raw cacao, so you can enjoy and feel good about getting a magnesium hit.

Unfortunately with our stressful lives, diet changes and depleted soils many of us are magnesium deficient. Eating your magnesium intake is a great way to safely regulate the quantity, as your body will only take what it needs. There are no negative side effects to getting the right amount of magnesium, but too much can cause diarrhea and stomach upsets. So, if you think you are deficient or you are unsure, see a trained naturopath who can help you identify a good quality organic magnesium oxide or magnesium chloride, which can be better absorbed and get a routine and dose specifically recommended for you.

Common foods high in Magnesium

  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashew nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pine Nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Oatmeal
  • Brown Rice
  • Avocado
  • Black Beans
  • White Beans
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Bananas
  • Dried Figs
  • Natural yogurt

Buy the whole food, rather than a tin, jar or packet for maximum nutritional benefit.

As we come to the end of exploring this magnificent supplement, let’s finish with recipe for relaxation. At the end of a stressful day, run a bath with handful of Epsom salts, 10 drops of lavender oil and half a cup of baking soda. Lay back and relax while you gently draw out toxins, lower stress related hormones and balance your PH levels, that is the magic of magnesium.