Have you read or heard from someone else that cravings for specific foods could be a sign of deficiency for a particular nutrient? For example, cravings for chocolate could be down to you being low on magnesium. Magnesium is in high demand by your body, it is essential for over 300 jobs. So, perhaps there is an element of truth in this as cacao (the main ingredient in chocolate) is rich in magnesium.
How do you know if you are deficient in magnesium?
A blood test by your GP will determine if you are deficient in magnesium but there are signs of deficiency that you can look out for. These include:
Muscle spasms, cramps or restless leg syndrome
Headaches and migraines
Constant fatigue or feeling weak
Depression, anxiety, brain fog and mood swings
Quick to feel fatigued during exercise
Sleep problems (difficulty falling asleep or waking during the night)
Feelings or overwhelm or feeling wired
Magnesium and your hormones
When it comes to your hormones, magnesium is essential. Magnesium is needed to make your hormones, so if you are low in magnesium you may have a hormone imbalance and experience other symptoms.
Magnesium has many different jobs when it come to supporting your hormone balance:
Magnesium helps to regulate your stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) and it has a calming effect on your nervous system and helps to lower your stress hormones.
Magnesium has an essential role in the production of your thyroid hormones .
Magnesium is vital for energy production, low status of magnesium is going to result in low energy.
Magnesium can help to lower your blood sugar levels, it helps to control insulin, balance your blood sugar levels, reduce sugar cravings and help you manage your weight.
Magnesium helps you to relax your nervous system, your muscles and it can help you have a deeper sleep.
Magnesium has crucial for the production of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. If you are low in magnesium you may experience PMs symptoms and may aggravate perimenopause and menopause symptoms.
Known as your happy hormone, magnesium helps your body to produce serotonin. It helps to regulate your mood, digestion, your immune system and it helps support your sleep. Serotonin is needed to make your sleep hormone, melatonin, which helps you to fall to sleep.
Magnesium helps to activate vitamin D which has a role in the production of sex hormones.
There are may foods that contain magnesium. The following foods are rich in magnesium:
Green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach etc)
Dark chocolate (the darker the better)
Legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas, peas and soybeans)
Wholegrains (Rice, buckwheat, quinoa)
Should I take a supplement?
If you are not eating enough of the above vegetables, you may want to consider taking a magnesium supplement. If you are taking prescribed medication seek the advice of a health professional as certain medications may interact with supplements.
This form on magnesium helps with constipation by helping the bowel to relax.
This form on magnesium is not absorbed very well so it is not recommended if you need to increase your levels of magnesium.
This form is well absorbed by the body and is used to help improve deficiency.
Another form that is easily absorbed by the body and is often recommend for those suffering from fatigue.
This is the best form to help you manage high blood sugar levels and is recommended for those who suffer with cardiovascular issues.
This form is recommended for those who suffer from depression, brain fog and anxiety.
This form of magnesium has a calming effect so it is often recommended for sleep issues such as insomnia and for with anxiety and depression.
This form of magnesium is often found in Epsom bath salts and can help sooth muscles.
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