The mineral magnesium is needed to help the body break down glucose into energy, so when magnesium levels are even a little low, energy often takes a dip.  

Magnesium deficiency, also known as hypomagnesemia, may result in a variety of health issues such as fatigue, muscle weakness, heart problems, pre-menstrual symptoms, increased blood pressure, kidney stones, mental disturbances, depression and seizures.   

There are several reasons why we can find ourselves deficient in magnesium. For starters,  as a nation we Americans eat a diet high in processed foods and low in nutrition. Our soil is depleted of nutrients, so even the “good” food we eat may not be the best nutritionally. Drinking fluoridated water is harmful because fluoride binds to magnesium in the body. Many classes of drugs can also cause low magnesium. Diuretics, some proton pump inhibitors, certain antibiotics, and immune-suppressing drugs can result in loss of the mineral into the urine. And don’t think you’re exempt just because you’re living a healthy lifestyle, avoiding medications and get plenty of regular exercise. If you’re an athlete who sweats a lot, you may lose valuable minerals through perspiration.  

To get more magnesium 

Start with diet. Be sure to eat whole foods, including nuts and seeds, dark leafy greens, avocados, bananas, quinoa, kidney beans,  lentils and artichokes. Use unsulphured blackstrap molasses as a sweetener.  

Soak it in. Take Epsom salt baths. Epsom salt is actually magnesium sulfate, and is absorbed through the skin. Try to take a 40-minute soak at least twice a week.  

Spray it on. Magnesium oil can be rubbed or sprayed on your skin.  Avoid application to sensitive body parts. The oil may also be added to a bath.  

Pop a pill. Become familiar with magnesium supplements, including those you can drink. Ask a trusted expert about the different kinds of absorbable magnesium supplements, and follow directions for dosage.  

EPSOM SALT BATH

INGREDIENTS

2 cups of Epsom salt
5-10 drops essential oil (optional)

Fill your bathtub with comfortably warm water.  Add ingredients and soak in the bath for about 40 minutes. Adding essential oils such as lavender, rose, sandalwood, or tea tree oil will aid in the therapeutic value of your bath.

 

Good for gardens, too

Magnesium is one of many nutrients essential for healthy plant growth.

Tip: Do a soil test to determine the pH and nutrient content of your soil (there are kits available online or ask your university extension office). The exact amount of magnesium you should add to your soil depends on a variety of factors including the texture of your soil, as well as existing magnesium and pH levels.