Magnesium for women: 10 Benefits, foods and supplements

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Mothers today need to navigate a world of special health needs and challenges. From the amazing experience of pregnancy to the tough postpartum period, they deserve steadfast assistance. Magnesium for women emerges as a silent but essential ally on this journey, making a significant contribution to maternal well-being.

 Its function ranges from relieving menstrual discomfort to maintaining the heart’s rhythm and easing the transitions of menopause. Let’s explore the wonderful ways magnesium may empower and nourish moms, addressing the special health needs they confront at each stage of their extraordinary lives.

Benefits of magnesium for women

magnesium for women

Magnesium and Menstrual health

Magnesium, an overlooked mineral, emerges as a monthly saviour for women’s health. Magnesium takes centre stage when it comes to relieving painful period cramps and discomfort. It works as a natural muscle relaxant, calming uterine muscles and lowering cramp intensity. But its magic does not end there. Magnesium also helps to maintain hormonal balance throughout the menstrual cycle. It aids in the regulation of hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone, resulting in a more comfortable ride through the ups and downs of monthly hormonal swings. 

Magnesium in Pregnancy

In the midst of pregnancy, magnesium emerges as an agent of foetal growth. It promotes the development of tiny bones and muscles, ensuring that your baby’s growth is smooth. However, its role goes beyond that. Magnesium protects against preterm labour by slowing hyperactive uterine contractions and lowering the risk of a premature birth. It also protects against the serious condition preeclampsia by regulating blood pressure and protecting both you and your baby. 

Magnesium in postpartum

Magnesium appears as a nurturing ally in the process of recovery after childbirth, when a mother’s strength is stretched to its limits. It promotes muscle relaxation, alleviates the physical strains of labour, and promotes postpartum healing. 

Furthermore, magnesium aids in the replenishment of nutrient stores, which is critical following the intense demands of pregnancy and birth. Its influence extends to revitalising energy levels and generating a sense of vitality in the middle of motherhood’s new challenges. Magnesium’s multifarious assistance is a valuable tool during this delicate postpartum phase, assisting mothers to recover and embrace their newfound duties with vigour.

Magnesium for bone health:

The importance of magnesium in supporting strong bones for moms, especially postpartum mothers, cannot be overemphasised. It works along  with calcium and vitamin D to promote bone density and strength. Magnesium facilitates efficient calcium absorption after pregnancy and lactation, when calcium demands are high. 

This procedure is critical in preventing osteoporosis, a disorder in which bones become frail and brittle. Magnesium protects bone health, allowing moms to negotiate the physical challenges of parenthood while strengthening their long-term bone health.

Magnesium for mood and stress

In the middle of motherhood’s chaos, magnesium serves as a calming relief for frayed nerves. It has a great relaxing impact on the nervous system, relieving the stress and worry that frequently accompany the struggles of parenting. It enhances emotional well-being and stabilises moods by modulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin. This calming influence can be a lifeline for women juggling multiple duties, allowing them to sail the rough seas of stress with grace and strength. 

Magnesium in Digestive health

Magnesium emerges as an effective regulator in the field of digestive health, which is especially important during the transforming phases of pregnancy and parenthood. It promotes regular bowel movements and alleviates the common problem of constipation experienced by expecting and new moms by assisting in muscle contractions, especially those of the digestive system. 

Furthermore, research shows that magnesium has a fascinating link with the complex world of the gut microbiota. A healthy microbiome is essential for digestive health, as it aids in nutrient absorption and immune function while protecting against gastrointestinal issues. The implications are profound: by promoting gut microbiome diversity, magnesium may play a critical role in promoting better digestion, lowering the risk of digestive disorders, and improving overall well-being.

Magnesium in cardiovascular health

Magnesium is vital for heart health. It lowers blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels and aids in the prevention of arrhythmias by maintaining the electrical stability of the heart. Maintaining a sufficient magnesium intake is critical to protecting cardiovascular health. 

Magnesium in Menopause

Magnesium can help with menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings. It acts as a natural muscle relaxant, reducing the intensity and frequency of hot flashes. Furthermore, magnesium’s action on neurotransmitters can help stabilise mood changes that are common throughout menopause. Beyond discomfort relief, magnesium is critical for bone health during and after menopause. 

Magnesium and Breast cancer

According to research, there may be a link between magnesium consumption and a lower incidence of breast cancer, most likely due to its anti-inflammatory characteristics and influence on hormonal balance. More thorough studies are needed, however, to confirm this link and better understand magnesium’s involvement in breast health, encouraging additional research in this important field of women’s health.

Read this free article to know about the evidences of the importance of magnesium for women health and well being.

Magnesium for exercise performance and recovery

Magnesium is essential for workout performance and recovery. It is necessary for muscle function as it aids in muscle contractions and relaxation, both of which are necessary for movement and strength during workouts. Furthermore, magnesium is an energy metabolism cofactor, boosting the conversion of food into energy and improving endurance and stamina. Its muscle-relaxing effects are responsible for its ability to relieve muscle cramps. Magnesium aids efficient recovery after exercise by reducing inflammation and replenishing energy storage. 

Balancing magnesium with other nutrients

Magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D work together to strengthen bone health. Magnesium promotes calcium absorption, allowing it to be channelled into bone tissue for strength. Calcium circulation in the bloodstream is regulated by vitamin D. These nutrients work together to produce an interdependent trio that is essential for women’s bone health. An imbalance can reduce their effectiveness, emphasising the importance of a well-balanced approach to nutrient intake. The best assistance is a diet high in magnesium-containing foods like leafy greens and almonds, combined with enough calcium and vitamin D sources. This synergy promotes strong bones, which are essential in preventing osteoporosis and making sure of our long-term well-being.

Dietary sources of magnesium:

Magnesium is found in various food sources, but the richest source is nuts and seeds, followed by unprocessed whole grains. It is also found in leafy green vegetables, legumes, and dairy products. Another important source of magnesium is drinking water. Of the oral intake, about 30-60% of magnesium is absorbed. In spite of its availability, research shows low serum magnesium levels in the population. The reasons could be

  • Eating more processed fast foods with low magnesium content,
  • Cultivating crops in magnesium-deprived soil
  • Food processing 
  • Excessive use of drugs like proton pump inhibitors for reflux diseases.

Here is a list of foods rich in magnesium:

magnesium food sources

The recommended daily allowance [RDA] is the average intake that is essential to meet nutritional requirements. The RDA of magnesium is around 420mg for adult males and 320mg for adult females. For adolescents, the range is between 240mg and 400mg

Magnesium supplements:

Magnesium supplements are available in various forms, like oxide, citrate, and chloride. The more easily absorbed forms are magnesium aspartate, citrate, lactate, and chloride forms, rather than oxide and sulphate.It is also found in medicines like laxatives and antacids.

Which formulations are most suitable for different health conditions?

Different magnesium supplement formulations, such as citrate, oxide, and glycinate, have different bioavailability and efficacy. Glycinate and citrate are more easily absorbed in general, whereas oxide has a lesser bioavailability. Different formulations, such as oxide for constipation, glycinate for relaxation, and citrate for digestion, are appropriate for specific ailments. Personal needs and health goals should guide decisions. Consulting your doctor for choosing the supplement is always the right choice.

The tolerable upper limit [TUL] of intake:

In order to prevent the adverse effects of overdosing, The Food Board has set a tolerable upper limit dosage for magnesium supplements. This is around 350mg for adults and adolescents. This is less than the RDA because the RDA includes magnesium from all sources, but the TUL includes only supplements.

Other benefits of magnesium, as shown in studies:

  • Hypertension: Studies show that magnesium lowers blood pressure. A meta-analysis of 22 clinical trials shows that magnesium supplementation for a period of 2-6 months lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
  • Heart disease and Stroke: A meta-analysis of several small prospective trials shows that higher serum magnesium levels are associated with lower levels of ischemic heart disease and stroke. However, well-structured large clinical trials are needed to confirm the contributions of dietary and magnesium supplementation intake to cardiovascular health and its primary prevention.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: A meta-analysis of studies including a large population has shown that an increased intake of 100mg/day of magnesium significantly reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes. This could be because of its role in glucose metabolism. Low magnesium levels increase insulin resistance. However, further studies are needed to approve magnesium supplementation in diabetic management.
  • Migraine headaches: A few studies have shown a moderate reduction in headache frequency with magnesium supplementation. And the American Headache Society has concluded that magnesium supplementation could possibly be effective in migraine headache prevention. However, the dose and duration have to be consulted with a personal physician.
  • Magnesium is used in the management of asthma and other respiratory disorders.

Signs and consequences of magnesium deficiency 

These signs emphasise magnesium’s critical involvement in muscle, neuron, and heart function, as well as its influence on mood, bone health, and overall well-being.

  • Tremors and muscle cramping
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Sleep issues
  • Arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats.
  • Weakened bones and the possibility of osteoporosis
  • Inflammation
  • Increased risk of hypertension and diabetes
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Appetite loss

Magnesium overdosage:

Too much magnesium from food sources does not pose a health risk. But higher doses of magnesium from supplements and medicines can cause diarrhoea, nausea, and abdominal cramps. Thus, it is always better to consume magnesium-rich food sources. And consult a doctor before adding supplements to your diet and getting your magnesium levels checked.

Conclusion

In a mother’s journey, Magnesium supports her through each stage, from menstruation to menopause and beyond. Its numerous functions include muscular relaxation, hormone balancing, bone health, stress management, and more. We must recognise the vital role that magnesium plays in protecting our health. Prioritising one’s wellness means including magnesium, whether through a healthy diet or supplements as needed. Every mother’s magnesium requirements are unique, and seeking personalised advice ensures their complete wellness and safety.

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