Every mom wants something to help them feel supercharged. What if there was a simple way to reduce stress, improve sleep, and help you feel more relaxed? While obviously there’s not one silver bullet that can solve all of a mom’s problems, there is one mineral in particular, that addresses all of these things: stress, sleep, promoting calm and supporting digestion and regularity.
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral that is involved in hundreds of chemical reactions in the body. Magnesium is important for calming the nervous system, maintaining blood sugar balance, blood pressure, the creation of protein, DNA & RNA along with muscle health, energy production, and bone health (5). Some of the more obvious benefits of magnesium are that it reduces stress, improves sleep, and prevents many chronic diseases.
Magnesium is found in abundance in the Earth’s crust and many foods used to be rich in magnesium, supporting our need for an ample supply in our diet. Unfortunately, due to the processed nature of our diet and rapid soil depletion, magnesium is an extremely common deficiency. In this study, they found that 75% of American’s are deficient in magnesium (4).
Most people cannot tell they are deficient in Magnesium because they have a subclinical deficiency, which can cause silent problems in the body (2). One of the most common is a weakening of the bones which can lead to osteoporosis. In Paleolithic times, humans consumed approximately 600mg of magnesium a day, whereas the current suggested daily requirement is only 320mg for women.
Such a widespread deficiency is partly due to our foods being drastically lower in magnesium than they were in the 1940s. For example, there is 20% less magnesium in chicken, 21% less in whole milk, and processing of grains reducing the magnesium by at least 82% (2).
The benefits from having ample magnesium in our diets are profound and thankfully, magnesium supplementation can be easy and effective along with a well-balanced diet, even for a new mom.
Why We Need Magnesium
Macy Coleman, a registered dietician and women’s health specialist of Wellwomen Nutrition shared some insight on magnesium and why it’s important. She also discussed why so many women are low in magnesium levels, as well as what we can do to keep our levels up.
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“Hi guys, Macy Coleman here, registered dietitian and women's health specialist of WellWomen Nutrition. I wanted to share some information about one of my favorite nutrients – magnesium. It's one of my favorites because it's really beneficial for women’s health. It's responsible for hundreds of reactions in the body including protein synthesis, blood pressure regulation, and blood sugar regulation. It also soothes and calms the nervous system and helps with the stress response. Two of the biggies regarding women’s health and general health are that it's anti-inflammatory and helps to metabolize estrogen.
Unfortunately in today's society, a lot of us are depleted of magnesium. It doesn't mean that we’re all running around deficient, but our levels are definitely not optimal. One of the reasons is that our soil is depleted. The food we're growing in the soil isn't getting the magnesium that it used to. Another reason is that processing food removes a lot of that good magnesium.
A big cause of depletion that's really big in today's society is stress. When we’re stressed, a normal mechanism happens where our nervous system begins to rev up. To do this, the body gets rid of that calming magnesium. However, again, in today's day and age, we are chronically stressed, which means we're dumping magnesium over and over again, and it's really hard to stay on top of that with diet alone.
There are foods really high in magnesium that I recommend my clients eat daily. These include dark leafy green veggies, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Those are all really high in magnesium and are great to incorporate into your day.
However, I do recommend most of my clients take a magnesium supplement. Two of the best forms that I like to supplement are magnesium citrate and magnesium glycinate, and that all depends on what else is going on with you. But, those are two big ways that we can try to replace that magnesium that's depleted in our bodies everyday through stress, processed food, etc. So do your best to stay on top of your magnesium."
Why is Magnesium Important Postpartum?
Birth is a huge event for a woman’s body to go through and it needs time, love, and nourishment to recover. Nutrition is incredibly important for physical recovery, mental health, and establishing a healthy milk supply. Magnesium is a vital nutrient for you and your baby so ensuring that you’re getting enough is key.
Just like it did in pregnancy, magnesium supports your baby’s growth and development through the duration of breastfeeding. Most likely, your magnesium stores are depleted from pregnancy (3), so increasing magnesium after delivery (and in pregnancy!) is extremely important.
Benefits of Taking Magnesium Postpartum
Taking magnesium after birth helps:
Magnesium and Breastfeeding
Magnesium supports a baby’s growth and development in the same way it does an adult, with hundreds of enzyme reactions that are required for energy, cellular growth, muscle health, and more. Since a baby grows and changes so rapidly, magnesium is supporting your baby to thrive. Breastmilk will contain the perfect amount of magnesium needed, without regard for the mother’s health. It’s so important for a breastfeeding mom to get an adequate source of magnesium for her long term health and prevention of chronic diseases, not to mention the benefits listed above.
Providing a supplement is good quality, magnesium is known to be completely safe to take while breastfeeding (2).
Magnesium and Postpartum Depression
Postpartum Depression (PPD) affects 10-15% of women up to 1 year after giving birth. PPD is finally being recognized and talked about more and more. A mother’s mental health is so important in order for her baby, herself, and her family to thrive.
Magnesium has an anti-depressant effect on the brain by influencing neurotransmitters and calming the nervous system (6). One hypothesis for the cause of PPD is that it is brought on by a magnesium deficiency (among other factors) due to the demands for the nutrient during pregnancy (3). Other minerals, like zinc and iron, can play a role as well.
Even if a new mom is experiencing baby blues or Postpartum Stress Syndrome, Magnesium can have a positive effect on every degree of mental health imbalances. It’s amazing how such a simple and readily available mineral can support mental health in a massive way.
Different Sources of Magnesium and Why They Matter
There are a few different types of magnesium (5) that will have slightly different effects in the body and some are more easily absorbable than others.
Probably the most common form of magnesium, the citrate form is rapidly absorbed and has a mild stool loosening effect, perfect for supporting easy bowel movements.
Has amazing bioavailability, meaning your body can absorb and utilize it easily. The glycinate form does not have the same stool softening effect as the citrate form and has a calming and relaxing effect.
Used for its strong laxative effect only, this form is not often found in nutritional supplements since it’s bioavailability is very low.
The type of magnesium found in Epsom salts and can be absorbed through the skin when it is dissolved in water, like in an Epsom salt bath.
Magnesium combined with the amino acid taurine to create chelated magnesium. The chelated form of a mineral is more easily absorbed and processed by the body. Both magnesium and taurine have a calming effect, cardiovascular health benefits, and support healthy blood sugar.
Majka’s Digest and Destress Magnesium Supplement
Majka’s Digest and Destress combines three of the above magnesium forms: citrate, glycinate, and taurate, to give you the most bioavailable blend possible, while also providing a wide range of benefits from magnesium in a gentle but targeted way.
Chelated magnesium ensures that you’re absorbing what you’re taking and is easier for the body to utilize. Magnesium is so important for the postpartum mother that we knew we needed to create a unique, easy to take, and tasty supplement.
Unlike any other magnesium supplements, Digest and Destress also contains an enzyme blend to support the absorption of magnesium, along with supporting digestion so that you can get a good night’s sleep and feel more calm and grounded.
Mood, brain function, sleep, and energy can all be improved by a daily serving that is the perfect way to nourish yourself before bed. That, and the peace of mind that you’re giving your body what it needs to thrive now and for years to come.
Ultimately, an ample supply of magnesium has incredible benefits and supports you to thrive in any stage of parenthood.
If you’re confident that you are eating nutritious foods regularly and enough, but are still feeling symptoms like stress and fatigue, check out these blog posts for more information!