We’ve all heard of vitamins A, B, C and D and raves about the importance of fish oil in our diet. But according to Integrative Health and Nutrition Counselor Jeanette Broneé, who is the author of Eat to Feel Full, there is one mineral that most people are overlooking: magnesium. “It helps metabolism, lowers blood pressure, is one of those minerals that supports the other minerals,” she says. “Without magnesium, there are other things like calcium and zinc that we don’t absorb well.”
Magnesium is key for weight loss and curbing appetites. “If there isn’t enough magnesium in dietary intake, people might not feel as satisfied from their other foods because they don’t absorb it as well. Without magnesium, calcium doesn’t really do what it needs to do,” she says.”One of my favorite qualities about it is that it is indirectly related to weight loss because it helps absorb foods better. It also helps metabolize blood sugar and helps us with cravings.”
She notes that the mineral also has very alkalizing properties. “Alkalinization is important for alleviating the inflammatory states of our body. Inflammation is a big part of our fatigue and magnesium helps counter that.”
Lastly, it takes the edge off. “It’s important for anxiety and stress,” she says. “It helps us calm down and increase our emotional wellness. It’s supportive for our nervous system as well. It’s a very critical part of our energy production and our cells.”
Get It from Your Food
The best thing is to get it from foods, Bronée advises. Foods with high magnesiums are usually plant based. These are all your leafy greens, plus pumpkin seeds, legumes, beans, fermented soy, tempeh, sunflower seeds, almonds and whole grains like barley, quinoa, millets and brown rice.
The Magnesium Supplements to Buy
If you’re looking to supplement, she recommends magnesium glycinate and magnesium aspartate. “These are softer on the stomach,” she says. “Try for 400 mg per day.”
Note: It’s Just a Supplement
None of this is a fix-all. It’s all integrated with mindful eating and checking in with your habits. Supplements are underlying. They’re going to support your efforts, not fix your life. They don’t stand alone.
Are you currently taking a magnesium supplement? Has it made you feel better? Let us know in the comments below!