If you are not paying attention to your magnesium intake, then you definitely should be. There are so many health benefits of magnesium in having sufficient levels of this vital mineral in your body.
“The reference nutrient intake for magnesium does vary slightly for males and females but a range of 300-400 mg/day is recommended. (NRV’s)”
Magnesium is a micro-nutrient that has health benefits for every organ. Often people are not including enough ways to obtain ample Magnesium in their diets. At Nutrition for Life we notice this frequently, especially when someone makes the decision to start a Low Carb Healthy Fat or a Ketogenic dietary approach. This will usually require an increase in Magnesium intake for the individual to meet the RDI (recommended daily intake).
Magnesium is an essential mineral which is responsible for more than 300 chemical reactions in the body. This important mineral is involved in the contraction of our muscles, the signals our nerves send, maintaining a healthy functioning brain and heart, building a strong immune system, energy and protein synthesis, regulating blood sugar levels, the formation of strong bones and teeth, and many more crucial processes.
Why is Magnesium intake key when starting out in low carb or a ketogenic way of eating?
In the first few weeks of a low carbohydrate diet, you can lose a lot more water from the body.
As glycogen is stored in the body as one-part glycogen and three parts water, it means that more water is filtered through the kidneys. Since magnesium levels are controlled through the kidneys, this can then inadvertently cause a drop in serum magnesium levels.
Paying attention to foods containing magnesium, along with considering a supplement in the early stages of an LCHF approach is a good idea (but speak with a health professional first).
Food containing magnesium include: green vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, shellfish, fatty fish, dark chocolate, avocado, and tofu. See ideas in our recipe range.
How does magnesium help with the way your body operates? (here are just some of the benefits)
Weight control/ Weight Loss – Magnesium does offer weight loss support. Magnesium citrate helps you lose water weight and stool weight. Magnesium also helps you create more energy and lowers your insulin resistance – this will help with weight control and weight loss in conjunction with a healthy balanced low carb healthy fat approach.
Blood glucose regulation
Fights inflammation – Everyone should be working on reducing inflammation in their body. It’s a challenge even the healthiest people face. Magnesium is well-studied and known for its anti-inflammatory effects on the body. In fact, magnesium is considered an anti-aging mineral because it reduces inflammation and stress – two factors important with healthy aging and fighting disease.
Improves mood – Magnesium is an important nutrient for healthy brain function, including balancing mood.
Improves sleep – A common recommendation for those will sleep issues, magnesium works by activating the parasympathetic nervous system which calms you down as well as it assists to produce melatonin which is a hormone supporting good sleep.
“Can you be deficient in magnesium? Yes! – and it is thought that up to 90% of the population do not get enough via diet alone.”
Common signs of a deficiency include:
Joint pain, migraines, muscle spasms and/ or cramps, pins and needles, restless legs
Low energy, anxiety, brain fog, decreased memory function, sleep problems, loss of appetite
High blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms