Magnesium has many benefits for menopausal women. This article describes those benefits and explains how to get magnesium.
This article is for information purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. For medical advice always consult your physician.
What is magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral that has been shown to have many positive benefits for women. Growing up you were probably aware of minerals like calcium and iron, but may have been less aware of other minerals like magnesium.
What foods contain magnesium?
I always suggest that food sources are the best source of any vitamin or mineral. Foods that contain magnesium are healthy and are a great way to improve your diet. Some of the best sources include:
- Nuts like almonds, cashes and peanuts
- Seeds like hemp seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds
- Vegetables like broccoli and spinach
- Legumes including black beans, kidney beans, black eyed peas and soy.
- Whole grains like oats, brown rice, quinoa (a pseudograin) and wheat
Benefits of magnesium
Research on magnesium and hot flashes is in early stages and the results are mixed. One study showed a large reduction in hot flashes, while another study did not. This may be something for you to try on your own if it is safe for you to take magnesium or simply increase your intake of magnesium rich foods.
Magnesium helps with calcium absorption and vitamin D usage. This makes it essential for bone health. If you are taking a calcium supplement, then added magnesium will help to absorb the calcium so it ends up in your bones.
On the other hand, elevated levels of magnesium may not be healthy for bones so be careful with over supplementing.
Better insulin sensitivity
Magnesium supplements have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. Women whose diets that are higher in magnesium have a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Magnesium has been shown to lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure and has been shown to reduce risk of other heart disease and of strokes. There is a possibility that other minerals found in foods with magnesium are the real cause of the benefits.
People who took a magnesium supplement reported lower levels of anxiety in one study. Magnesium may help with areas of the brain that control your response to stress.
Some women report better sleep when taking a magnesium supplement.
Some of the worst PMS that women get is during peri menopause. Magnesium has been shown to reduce premenstrual syndrome.
Who is at risk for lower magnesium levels?
Women may be ask for lower magnesium levels if they have a diet low in magnesium rich foods. As we get older is becomes more difficult to absorb magnesium. If you have diabetes that can lower your ability to absorb magnesium. Gastrointestinal issues can cause magnesium to be depleted. Alcoholism is also associated with low magnesium levels.
How should you supplement with magnesium?
The best sources of magnesium are food sources since these also contain other important vitamins and minerals, but if don’t eat enough of the foods that contain magnesium, then you may want to consider supplements.
Check with a physician or pharmacist before supplementing with magnesium especially if you are taking other medications. There are several forms of magnesium to choose from. Magnesium citrate seems to be the best tolerated since other forms may cause diarrhea. Magnesium supplements should be taken with food.
Too much magnesium from supplements can have serious side effects such as diarrhea or low blood pressure.
Magnesium is an important, but often overlooked mineral that has essential functions in the body. It may help with many menopause symptoms so should not be ignored. If you add foods to your diet that are rich in magnesium or take a supplement you may see some positive effects.