6 October, 2020

Magnesium – the busy person’s best friend

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We welcome guest author and practitioner, Emma Jacques, to talk about the wonders of magnesium. Emma is a naturopath who devotes her practice to supporting women in fertility, pregnancy care, postpartum and mother-care, and menopause. She also offers natural solutions for disorders such as endometriosis, PCOS, thyroid dysregulation, fatigue and burnout.

Essential nutrient for the busy people

Magnesium is a nutrient our body utilises in larger quantities when we are stressed. The reason for this is that magnesium is required to make Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), our “put the brakes on and calm the hell down” neurotransmitter which is produced by the body when it detects stress. GABA tries to bring the body back into a state of calm and balance.

For GABA to do this it requires plenty of magnesium along with other co-factor nutrients. Without adequate supply we cannot reach that level of harmonious balance.

GABA – put the brakes on

Unfortunately, our modern obsession is with being busy – we have almost completely disregarded the importance of taking things slow and finding rest and relaxation in every day. This state of busyness means that many of us have our nervous systems stuck in the fight or flight mode. Our hustle, being super mums/career women, giving to everyone else, constantly doing and rarely receiving, is all at the cost of filling our own cups.

Due to this our GABA is switched ‘on’ around the clock causing many of us to become magnesium deficient. We can no longer maintain our peaceful equilibrium and quickly end up burnt out, frazzled, short tempered, anxious and unable to switch off. Sound familiar?

Signs of magnesium deficiency

  • Feeling tense
  • Sleep problems – taking too long to fall asleep or inability to stay asleep
  • Muscle aches, cramps, restless legs or tense shoulders
  • Feeling ‘wired but tired’

Sadly, the magnesium content of our Australian soils can often be low due to modern farming practices. Buying organic and locally grown produce, or grow your own, will supply magnesium-rich vegies. Aim for foods which contain plenty of fibre.

Foods high in magnesium include:

  • Green leafy vegies
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Dark chocolate
  • Nuts (particularly almonds and cashews but go for variety)
  • Legumes such as  edamame, kidney beans and black beans
  • Peanut butter (no additives)
  • Good quality whole grains

So eat a variety of magnesium-rich foods and make sure you include ways to embody calm and relaxation. Remember, stress uses up magnesium to make GABA to maintain equilibrium. Some stress busters may include deep breathing, yoga, mindfulness, gentle exercise, laughter or anything that brings joy and nourishes the soul – root cause medicine.




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