Food / Wellbeing

Make it with magnesium

When our energy levels are low, we’re suffering niggling headaches, our muscles don’t give us as much as we’d like when we’re training, or when we can’t go to sleep easily and wake feeling refreshed – the reason could be a lack of magnesium. Magnesium is essential to the functioning of hundreds of biological pathways in the body, yet this mineral is severely overlooked and considerably depleted for many individuals.

Magnesium depletors

While certain diseases can reduce absorption and drain our magnesium supplies, some simple components in our everyday lives can too:

  • Alcohol
  • Fatigue (chronic and acute states)
  • Regular coffee consumption
  • High fat and sugar intake
  • Exercise
  • Digestive disturbance

"Remember to let food be your medicine."

Magnesium boosters

To get more magnesium into your life, consider any necessary lifestyle readjustments, then look to the diet before downing supplements. These beautiful foods are some of the richest sources of magnesium we can get our hands on:

  • Dark green leafy vegetables: kale, spinach, broccoli
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, cashews, pumpkin, flax and sunflower seeds
  • Raw cacao
  • Legumes and pulses: lentils, kidney and lima beans

Integrate these daily with steamed leafy or crunchy greens added as a side to meals; a small handful of nuts and seeds - or mixed into cereals, quinoa or treats; cacao whisked into almond milk for a healthy hot chocolate - or with coconut oil and maple as a delightfully healthy treat; and legumes and pulses in meals such as curries, dahls, burgers and breakfasts. For a delicious, easy way to fuel the body with magnesium in abundance, remember to let food be your medicine.

Jacqueline Alwill is a qualified, practicing nutritionist, whole foods cook and director at The Brown Paper Bag.