PMS-Migraines-Menopause-Depression-Inflammation and MORE!

Last weeks corner highlighted Calcium, Iron and Magnesium.  I wanted to bring a little more attention to magnesium this week as it helps with a variety of ailments.  Foods high in magnesium are nuts, whole grains – brown rice, millet, buckwheat (kasha), whole wheat, triticale, and rye, legumes including lentils, split peas, a variety of beans, seafood, and green vegetables. 

NOTE:  Over intake of refined sugar, caffeine and alcohol will cause magnesium to be excreted in large quantities in the urine.  Be sure to limit or eliminate these especially if deficient. 

Magnesium and where it may help:  

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A magnesium-rich diet can be helpful for arthritis and to help prevent osteoporosis. 

A team of doctors at Tongji University, Shanghai, China, showed how a deficiency is linked to arthritis.  Increased inflammation, cartilage damage, a defect in making proper cartilage and calcification in soft tissue to site a few.  Chronic inflammation is also a driver for aging, obesity and chronic disease.  Increase in magnesium can reduce an inflammatory marker CRP (C-reactive protein), in older adults, overweight people and those with prediabetes.  CRP is a protein made in the liver and its levels in the blood increase when there is inflammation somewhere in the body.  


A women’s menstrual cycle and chocolate can be a trigger for many.   As dark chocolate is one of the highest foods in magnesium, this overwhelming craving usually means a deficiency in magnesium and poor calcium absorption.  So instead of eating more chocolate increase your magnesium intake with food or supplementation.  Magnesium also helps with cramps and excretes a healthy amount of estrogen, not in excess.


Research has indicated people who suffer from migraines are more likely to be deficient in magnesium.  The good news is, that magnesium can prevent and help treat migraines and, in some cases, relieved more quickly and effectively than common medications usually used.

Perimenopause and menopause

Magnesium can ease symptoms of menopause transition.  In one study, magnesium relieved the menopausal hot flashes of women who were undergoing treatment for breast cancer, that could not take hormone replacement.


Magnesium plays a critical role in brain function and mood.  Low levels could be the cause of depression and mental illness for many people.  Magnesium is abundant in many foods, but the average adult still only gets about 66% of the daily-recommended amount.  This is most likely due to the amount of processed food eaten rather than whole natural foods. In a randomized controlled trial 450 mg of magnesium daily improved mood in depressed older adults, as effectively as an antidepressant drug. 

Diabetes type 2 

There is a link with people low in magnesium and type 2 diabetes as it can impair insulins ability to control blood sugar levels.   One study followed more than 4,000 people over 20 years and found that those with the highest magnesium intake, were 47% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Blood Pressure

An interesting study showed people with high blood pressure who took 450mg/day experienced a notable decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Restless leg syndrome, muscle tightness and Athletic performance 

Magnesium helps muscles relax, so those who have chronic muscle spasms, restless leg syndrome or excessively tight muscles usually find relief with taking magnesium.  Some athletes that have had sudden heart attacks were found to have low blood magnesium – your heart is a muscle.  Also, for people who exercise, they may need 10–20% more magnesium during their activity than when resting.  

Mikkie Nettles, Certified Personal Trainer/Holistic & Sports Nutritionist
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