Read the full video transcript below
Hello, and welcome to my weekly video blog A.Vogel Talks Menopause. Now for those of you who watch regularly, you’ll know that I mention magnesium time and time and time again. So I thought today I would actually just talk about magnesium itself, why we need it and why it’s so very, very important in the menopause.
What do I need magnesium for?
Now magnesium is a mineral and it’s actually the fourth most abundant mineral in our body. And it’s needed for literally hundreds of different chemical processes. So it’s very, very, very important. Now just, for instance, magnesium is needed to keep your bones healthy. It’s needed for good nerve function. It’s needed to keep your mood up. We actually call it your happy mineral. It’s needed for good muscle function. It’s needed to keep your heart healthy. It’s needed to keep your thyroid balanced. It’s needed to regulate calcium in the body, which again is really important for your bones. It’s needed for your hormones. Very important in the menopause. It’s needed for sleep. It’s needed to keep your blood pressure level. It’s needed to give you healthy hair and nails. And it’s also known to help to keep you young, which is very important for us at this particular point in our lives.
What are the symptoms of a lack of magnesium?
Now lack of magnesium can cause a huge list of symptoms. And in the menopause, these can sometimes actually be mistaken for hormonal problems and it is in fact just a lack of magnesium. So low levels of magnesium can interfere with your sleep. It can give you poor [SP] sleep pattern. It can cause low mood. It can even go as far as causing depression. It can cause muscle and joint aches and pains. It can cause fatigue. It can cause those horrible food cravings. It can also cause that kind of brain fog that we sometimes get. It can give us night cramps and restless leg. It can cause nausea. It can also cause low thyroid issues. It can cause high blood pressure. It can affect your hair and nails. It can make your hair really weak and it can cause split nails. And it can also trigger migraines and headaches.
How can you add magnesium into your diet?
Now, how do you get plenty of magnesium in your diet? The best way, to be honest, is to try to get it through your diet. The only problem is today, the levels of magnesium in our daily food has actually dropped quite considerably. So you need to make sure that you have a really good, healthy, varied diet. So you’re looking at foods such as nuts and seeds, things like sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds. Dried fruits are absolutely great, only don’t take too many because they are high in sugar. Avocados, dark green leafy veg such as spinach and kale. You’ve got mung beans, you’ve got brown rice, lentils. You’ve also got cocoa beans. Now, this doesn’t mean that you go and stuff yourself full of chocolate. But a little piece of dark chocolate, maybe over 70 to 75% cocoa can actually be really good for you, as long as you take it in moderation. Maybe one or two pieces a day. You could also try the cacao powder and use that instead of cocoa powder in any of your recipes or baking. You can also get plenty of magnesium in your whole grains. So things like brown bread, whole meal bread, and brown spaghetti as well can be really good for this sort of thing.
How much magnesium do you need?
So how much magnesium do you actually need on a daily basis? In the UK, the daily recommended allowance is 270mg, but I personally feel that during the menopause, we need a little bit more than that just to keep everything in balance. So one of the best ways to get extra magnesium is to get it in supplement form, but you need to be careful. You need to get the right sort of magnesium and you need to make sure that you’re not actually taking too much. I tend to recommend things like magnesium citrate capsules. You can get liquid magnesium tonics and you can also get magnesium powders now that you can just mix into water or fruit juice. And our Menopause Support actually has magnesium in it as well for those of you who are interested in taking a combination.
I would normally suggest starting at 200mg a day and see how you get on with that. Magnesium tends to work really quickly at making you feel better, so you should certainly know within a week or two, if not sooner, if it’s actually going to help you. You can go up to 400mg a day quite easily, but do be aware because magnesium…we have a bowel tolerance towards magnesium so if you actually take too much, then you might find that you get a little bit of diarrhoea. If you want to take more magnesium than 400mg a day, it’s really important that you do it under the guidance of a qualified practitioner such as a nutritional therapist because if you go overboard, then high magnesium can actually cause a whole load of side effects as well.
Speak to your doctor
Now just one little point. If you are on high blood pressure medication, if you are on heart medication and you wish to take magnesium, then we do advise that you just speak to your doctor first.
Until next week...
So I hope that’s given you a little bit of a clue why magnesium is so very important to the menopause and why I tend to recommend it all the time as well, because it really can make you feel better. So let me know how you get on. If you start or decide to take a magnesium and it improves your symptoms, do let me know because I love to know how everybody does with all the things that I’ve been suggesting.
So I will look forward to seeing you next week on A.Vogel Talks Menopause.