10 Reasons You Need to Up Your Magnesium Intake
Anxiety. Insomnia. Migraines. Those low-energy days when nothing seems to get done. Sound familiar? We’ve all experienced them, unfortunately, but there’s a method to this madness. It’s simple: magnesium deficiency. It’s easy to forget about the importance of magnesium in our bodies. It’s not as popular as calcium or B16, and not the first vitamin bottle you reach for when you’re browsing the vitamin aisle. But aside from remedying the above mentioned all-too-familiar symptoms, magnesium has a slew of other benefits you didn’t even know could result from one mineral.
Calms Nerves and Anxiety
Have you ever heard of GABA? If you’ve ever sought relief for anxiety or nervousness, it’s likely that you have. GABA stands for Gamma-AminoButyric Acid. It’s an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter to help relieve stress and anxiety. It’s occurs naturally, but those who deal with anxiety often take supplements to increase production. GABA is proven not only to increase relaxation, but actively lessen symptoms of anxiety.
This is where magnesium comes in: it stimulates GABA receptors, increasing GABA production to calm us down. Magnesium also actively inhibits the release of stress hormones in your brain — it’s been called the original chill pill! Magnesium helps maintain calmness in your daily rituals.
If you’re someone who struggles with anxiety, you might struggle with depression as well; approximately 90% of anxiety sufferers also deal with depression. The two have many shared symptoms. If this sounds like you, magnesium is essential for you. It helps both! There is a strong correlation between depression and low magnesium intake, especially in younger adults.
Magnesium boosts serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter important for keeping you in a good mood. Without enough magnesium, serotonin levels could drop off, adding to feelings of depression. Magnesium is essential to a healthy and happy brain’s biochemistry. In a world of corporate pharmacies and a lack of focus on holistic health, this information is crucial for those who try to heal their minds and bodies as naturally as possible.
Eases Muscle Pain
Muscle pain is pervasive in our daily lives. Whether it be through playing sports, working out a little too hard at the gym, or even bringing in a heavy load from the grocery store, muscles aches can be a daily problem. Common home remedies include taking a bath filled with epsom salts or icing your muscles.
Increasing magnesium intake has been proven to help relax muscles. Muscle pain lifts away when muscles are relaxed and at ease. Upping magnesium levels is beneficial not only to heal existing muscle pain, but to prevent it in the first place. It helps to improve muscle strength, which makes injury less common and less severe.
Increase Energy Levels
If you ask any passerby on the street whether or not they’d like more energy throughout the day, it’s unlikely anyone will answer “no.” Magnesium is essential for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, so if your levels are even a tad low, it’s bound to show somewhere.
One study showed magnesium-deficient women expending more oxygen to do simple physical tasks than after their magnesium levels were restored. This means we work harder and get tired faster when we are magnesium deficient.
Sleep is one of the most important things for overall health. As impossible as it sometimes seems, adults need on average 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Good sleep is sometimes viewed as a luxury. Sleeplessness is often glorified in our society as a sign of a hard worker. In reality, sleep deficiency leads to lack of focus, irritability, and long term health issues— not exactly helpful for productivity!
Sometimes insomnia is the culprit; the brain seems to be going a mile a minute while our bodies are ready for rest. Daily stresses and worries can cloud the brain and make it hard to relax. Magnesium increases GABA production, which helps calm down the brain and prepare it for sleep.
Helps Prevent Migraines
Migraines are many people’s worst nightmare — these headaches can become so severe that they can cause nausea. Often, only resting in a cold, dark, quiet room for hours on end can alleviate a migraine. They ruin your dinner plans and leave you wanting a solution; even better, a way to stop the headache before it even starts.
A likely cause of many migraine sufferers’ problems: magnesium deficiency. If you suffer from migraines, it’s very likely that you have a magnesium deficiency and don’t even know it. Magnesium’s efficacy in preventing and helping migraines has been proven so strongly that it is recommended that all migraine sufferers take magnesium supplements regularly. Many people who deal with regular migraines actually have a genetic difficulty absorbing magnesium. This makes proper magnesium intake extra important to keep migraines at bay.
Magnesium helps to alleviate inflammation by reducing the effectiveness of serum C-reactive proteins, indicators of inflammation in the body. One study even showed individuals with chronic diseases including frequent inflammation as magnesium deficient.
Improves PMS symptoms
Okay, ladies, tell me this isn’t a familiar scene: you’re lying on your aching back in bed, heating pad on your stomach turned all the way up, turning your skin red, moaning in pain as you watch the latest Orange Is the New Black episode and wonder when the Midol is going to kick in. Magnesium can help, and it’s a lot more natural than most of the painkillers you’ll find on the shelves at the drugstore.
One study showed that magnesium supplements significantly decreased the painful cramps of PMS that you’re all too tired of. Another study even found women reporting lessened mood swings while taking magnesium supplements! This could be related to the increased serotonin that magnesium causes. Magnesium is a safe and natural alternative to pharmaceutical pain relievers that wreak havoc on the liver, trading short term pain relief for long term damage.
Fiber! It’s good for regularity, but how exactly can we get enough of it in our diet? If you’re not a superfan of superfoods like green leafy veggies, increasing your magnesium intake through supplementation is a perfect solution for relieving constipation and helping you “go.” We’ve all been there; it’s uncomfortable to talk about, but even more uncomfortable to live through!
Supports Healthy Bones
When you think “healthy bones,” you think calcium— right? Our whole lives, we’ve been told that calcium is the key to strong bones. Milk jugs celebrate their calcium content, convincing us that it is the primary vitamin for growing big and strong. It may be important, but it’s not the only vitamin our bones need to stay sturdy.
Magnesium is also an essential mineral that supports bone health. One study even showed magnesium to be more effective than calcium in strengthening bones over a period of a year!
You can up your magnesium intake naturally by eating green leafy veggies, legumes, whole grains, seeds, and nuts (especially almonds). You can also find magnesium in “hard” water, as it’s a naturally occurring mineral. It’s not so hard to incorporate more magnesium into your diet— magnesium is sneakily present in a lot of your favorite foods, even coffee and chocolate! You can also supplement by taking magnesium pills or tablets. The recommended daily intake for women is 300 milligrams and 350 milligrams for men. Keep your magnesium levels in the 300’s for a sound body and mind!
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The Amazing Benefits of Turmeric
Belonging to the ginger family, turmeric is often referred to as the “Queen of Spices,” having been used in India and the Middle East for thousands of years. Besides lending a peppery flavor to foods, turmeric has also been used for medicinal purposes in Ayurvedic and Chinese medication.
The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric are the main reason the plant was used to treat a wide variety of conditions, such as skin, health, and beauty problems. Moreover, turmeric is rich in anti-carcinogenic, anti-viral, anti-mutagenic, and anti-bacterial properties.
Anti Inflammatory Properties
Numerous studies have confirmed the anti inflammatory properties of turmeric, which are the result of curcumin, the pigment that gives turmeric its mustard color. This compound has been shown to influence hundreds of human genes and curcumin can be of help in the following conditions that are characterized by chronic inflammation.
Chronic and Acute Inflammation
To use turmeric for chronic and acute inflammation, all that is needed is to mix it with a little water and apply it to the inflamed area. Some of the symptoms of inflammation include aching, stiffness, distress, and more. People with chronic inflammation are more at risk of developing heart disease and stroke, according to scientists at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.
Here are some of the most common conditions that have inflammation as one of their symptoms:
• Rheumatoid arthritis – this affliction causes inflammation in the joints and the tissues that surround them. At times, inflammation of other organs in the body may occur.
The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric are so powerful that they match those of some anti-inflammatory drugs, according to a study published in Alternative Medicine Review in 2009. Another study published in 2003 in the Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine concluded that the safety of curcumin has been demonstrated safe in six human trials.
The Role of Turmeric as an Antioxidant
The main function of antioxidants is to protect the human body from free radicals, and the chemical structure of turmeric makes it a powerful antioxidant, according to a study published in the “Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology” in 2007. Besides being an antioxidant in itself, curcumin can also boost the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.
The benefits of antioxidants include protection against a number of degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, arthritis, and more. Not all antioxidants have the same effect, but turmeric has the capacity to block free radicals directly and stimulates the antioxidant mechanisms of the body subsequently.
Turmeric and Arthritis
Using turmeric in cases of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis leads to the reduction of pain, stiffness and inflammation, according to an article published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2004. This effect is related to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in turmeric, so consuming the plant on a regular basis results in less pain and joint inflammation.
Turmeric and Depression
Depression is one of the most common modern psychological afflictions and the curcumin in turmeric can fight against it in multiple ways. First, curcumin increases the level of neurothropic factors that contribute to the growth and survival of the nerve cells. Next, it fights against inflammatory and oxidative responses that depression is known to generate. Finally, curcumin can modulate the level of neurotransmitters in the human brain.
A controlled trial documented in the 2014 study “Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial” showed that the effects of curcumin on patients with depression were similar to those generated by Prozac.
Turmeric as a Natural Antibacterial and Antiseptic Agent
Turmeric has been demonstrated to act as an efficient disinfectant, which can also help repair damaged skin and has healing properties for those suffering from psoriasis. By applying turmeric on a cut or a burn, the healing process can be accelerated.
Turmeric as an Aid in Improving Digestion
Besides its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is also highly valuable for its influence on the digestive system and the liver. By incorporating turmeric into foods, you can reduce gas and bloating and improve digestion. Moreover, turmeric is also known for stimulating bile production and stimulating its excretion via the gallbladder, which results in the improvement of the body’s ability to digest fats.
Turmeric is also helpful when it comes to treating various forms of inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis. Nevertheless, you should be aware that turmeric is not a suitable choice for those who suffer from any form of gallbladder disease, as it may worsen the condition.
Fighting Against Alzheimer’s Disease With Turmeric
There is quite a lot of research into the potential role of curcumin as an Alzheimer’s treatment, with several studies showing that the plant could prevent the formation of the amyloid-beta plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and even break them up. Alzheimer’s disease is a cognitive disorder caused by brain inflammation, so the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin can be of help when it comes to enhancing the oxygen flow to the brain.
According to a study published in the Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy in 2014 showed that one of the essential components of turmeric, turmerone, may actually reverse the damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, it should be noted that turmeric is frequently consumed in India, a country where the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is lower than average.
Tips for Sourcing High-Quality Turmeric
As there are a lot of herbal choices out there, choosing a high-quality turmeric may not be that simple. When looking for a turmeric supplement, try to learn more about the way it was sourced and avoid any genetically modified sources whenever possible. Extraction methods are also important when it comes to the purity and potency of turmeric.
When you consume turmeric as a health aid, keep in mind that curcumin is more bioavailable when combined with a dash of black pepper. An essential chemical in black pepper, piperine, is similar to curcumin when it comes to potential health benefits. According to studies, the serum levels of curcumin are lower when ingested on its own. However, when piperine is added, the bioavailability of curcumin is boosted by up to 2000 %.