This month I have covered 4 of the supplements I regularly take: fermented cod liver oil, vitamin D, vitamin C, and the last one I was going to cover was a vitamin B complex that I take, but after rereading the label I decided to skip my B-100 complex and go with magnesium instead. I pride myself with being a label reader but this last month I have discovered I trust the claims on the the front of the box or jar more than I read the labels. I have bought at least two different boxes of tea only to get home, have a cup, feel like crap and then read the label. I am not a fan of stevia, I feel off when I consume it, both of these teas had stevia and one had “natural flavors” . Natural flavors can be anything but natural or can be natural things that we really don’t want to eat. So as I was grabbing my bottle of B-100 to start the research I saw it contained folic acid – good right? Well, it turns out there is controversy about folic acid which is synthesized and folate, which is what you get from food. I’m in no position to take this controversy on at this point and don’t want to promote something that I’m not sold on, so magnesium it is!
When I first started to getting informed about my health and how food and lifestyle were affecting me, I knew sleep was important but just not how important. I also knew that stress could take a toll on me but again, not to the extent I understand now. As I became more informed I knew I had to do some things to get better sleep and and reduce my stress. After reading Wellness Mama’s article about magnesium I started taking Natural Calm Magnesium supplements. I bought my first bottle and followed the directions on the package that suggest that you start with ½ teaspoon. One of the benefits of magnesium is it helps to move your stools through your system. When you are not used to having stools move through your system daily and believe that is just how your body works, and then you start having multiple stools move through your body multiple times a day, it sort of freaks you out and after a week I quit taking it. Several months later I was following a discussion on a Facebook page about magnesium and shared my experience and said I was no longer taking it. The response was overwhelming that I should try again starting ⅛ of a teaspoon. I did and within 2 months I was up to the 2 teaspoons recommended. By going slowly I was able to work up to an amount that was healthy and not get all my daily steps from going back and forth to the bathroom. What are my end results? Do I sleep better and am I less stressed? Yes and maybe. I definitely sleep better. Part of my nighttime routine is to drink a cup of what I call magnesium “tea”. It’s really not tea, of course, but I drink my magnesium hot. I put my 2 teaspoons in a cup and fill it up with hot water. The powder smokes and bubbles up and makes me feel like a mad scientist every night. I crawl into bed and read a novel until it is gone. I shut off my light and according to my sleep app on my phone I’m asleep with in the first 10 minutes almost every night. I drink the plain flavor and the warm water with that slight citrus flavor has become very comforting for me. I can’t make the same correlation between the magnesium and stress. I can’t make that correlation because I try and do so many things to reduce my stress that it’s hard to know which ones are working and which are not. I do know that getting a great night sleep helps reduce my stress so I guess if you look at the magnesium from that angle it reduces my stress.
Besides magnesium helping with sleep and stress it is responsible for over 300 chemical reactions in the body and most of us are magnesium deficient. We are deficient thanks to over farming and pesticides and insecticides used on our food. We need magnesium for proper bone growth and development. It is required for proper nerve function and is required for muscle relaxation. Like I mentioned earlier, it helps stools move through the system and helps neutralize stomach acid.
I love the magnesium “tea’ that I drink every night but if you are looking for getting your magnesium from food, try a banana for breakfast and a spinach, avocado, pumpkins seed salad for lunch with some dark chocolate for dessert and you’ve just supplied yourself with 234 mg of magnesium, which is a little over half of the suggested RDA. If you are following the autoimmune diet skip the pumpkin seeds and maybe add a little extra chocolate.
Challem, J. (2003). The inflammation syndrome the complete nutritional program to prevent and reverse heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, allergies and asthma. Hoboken, N.J.: J. Wiley.
Junger, A. (2012). Clean for life.: A doctor’s guide to taking back your health and vitality in a toxic world. HarperCollins Limited.