Hands down, my favourite mineral. Magnesium is a cofactor (essential to proper functioning) in over 300 enzyme systems and regulates processes like protein synthesis, blood glucose (sugar) control, muscle & nerve function and works to regulate blood pressure. Magnesium also supports the catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme, which breaks down estrogen, catecholamines and neurotransmitters (including dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine). I could go on and on but you can just go look it up later.
Food sources include green, leafy vegetables (spinach, swiss chard), legumes (beans, peas, lentils), nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts), seeds (pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds) and whole grains.
Although it’s based in the U.S., the National Institutes of Health (NIH; Office of Dietary Supplements) found that daily intakes of magnesium are lower than the recommended amounts.
In addition to food sources, magnesium as a supplement comes in a number of forms, including oxide, citrate , (bis)glycinate, and malate. Each form performs a little differently, and some are known to move the bowels more than others.
From my own experience with patients, I have seen magnesium provide benefit for muscle tension, sleep, bowel movement regulation, breast tenderness and stress.
As I hope you already know, it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional to determine if this is appropriate for you and does not interact with any current medications or supplements. It is also important to discuss which form and dosage is appropriate, if this is indicated for you. Magnesium is one lovely mineral, but it should be used with guidance!
National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. 2018.
The Global Resource for Nutrition Practice. Functions and Food Sources of Some Common Minerals. 2015.