Magnesium is a mineral that is vital for maintaining health and proper muscle functions in the body. Minerals are more difficult than ever to get the proper amount in our day to day diets, with processed foods and overly filtered water. Sometimes we turn to supplements when needed, but having a nutrient rich diet is always preferred. We are going to walk you through the benefits that Magnesium has on the body and your sleep, foods that are naturally high in Magnesium, and other nutrient rich foods that you should be eating as well!
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral that is required for the human body to function properly. Often associated with the build and maintenance of proper bone structure. However, the benefits of Magnesium range widely. From helping to ease headaches, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, regulate heart rate, and help prevent heart attacks, to even helping support the synthesis of your DNA.
It is a pretty important mineral to have in your system and when you have a deficiency it can wreak havoc on your body. Studies have shown that even light deficiencies can lead to bouts of insomnia.
How Magnesium is Beneficial for Sleep:
When your body is not receiving or absorbing the proper amount of vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly, there are going to be a multitude of unwanted side effects that are going to start affecting your life and overall health.
When you do not have the proper amount of Magnesium in your diet, insomnia is one of the first symptoms you will begin to experience. Thankfully with the addition of Magnesium rich foods, you can begin to correct these imbalances in the body.
Foods High in Magnesium:
- Nuts – Almonds, cashews, peanuts
- Leafy Greens – Spinach, collard greens, mustard greens
- Beans – Black beans and edamame
- Avocados – Also rich in other healthy fats and vitamins
- Cultured Yogurts
- Whole Grains
- Fatty Fish
- Dark Chocolate – Warning, usually also contains caffeine so do not eat right before bed.
Other Beneficial Vitamins & Minerals:
Magnesium is not the only mineral that can help you to get rid of insomnia. You have to remember that vitamins and minerals work together in order to bring balance and efficiency to your bodies functions. Potassium, Calcium, and Zinc all have their own ways of helping you to sleep better at night. Check out their benefits and foods you can find them in bellow.
Potassium is important for moving nutrients (Like Magnesium) in and out of your bodies cells, this helps to maximize the effects of all the other nutrients in your foods. It also has its own benefits for sleep. Potassium helps to relieves some causes of insomnia like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
Foods High in Potassium:
We often think of bananas as being a good source for potassium but there are plenty of other fruits and vegetables that have even higher levels of potassium.
- Leafy Greens -Spinach and Swiss Chard. Maximize your intake by eating fresh vs cooked as much as possible
- Dried Apricots
- Potatoes – Sweet & regular. Be sure to leave the skins on, majority of the nutrients will be found in the skin.
- Prunes – fresh, dried, and juice
- Concentrated Tomato Products – like sauces, juices, and paste all of which are more densely rich in potassium than fresh tomatoes
- Coconut Water
- Beans – Black beans, white beans and edamame
Calcium helps the brain to utilize tryptophan, which helps with the production of melatonin which the body releases to induce sleep. See that trickle effect? This is why a balanced diet that is nutrient rich is so vital for optimizing all natural body functions.
Foods High in Calcium:
- Dairy – milk, yogurt, cheese get a bad reputation at times. However, they are naturally high in calcium and milk is also naturally high in tryptophan as well. This is why a glass of milk is such an effective sleep aid.
- Leafy Greens – Spinach, Collard Greens, Swiss Chard
- Seeds & Nuts – almonds, walnuts, poppy seeds, chia seeds, and sesame seeds are all nutrient rich, including being high in calcium
- Legumes – Lentils
While Zinc does not trigger sleep, but eating a Zinc filled diet through your day can help you fall asleep faster, and stay asleep longer. Researchers are not certain as to the reasons why but it can also help to increase the quality of sleep you are getting.
Foods High in Zinc:
- Red Meats – The less processed the better, this includes the cooking process. If you typically eat your steak well done, consider ordering it medium-rare next time.
- Whole Grains
- Dark Chocolate – Warning, often contains caffeine so do not eat before bed
- Shellfish – Oysters and Crabs are higher in Zinc than most other shellfish.
- Legumes – Lentils, chickpeas, and beans are all rich in Zinc
- Seeds & Nuts – Sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, almonds, peanuts, pine nuts, and cashews. A long list and it is only scratching the surface. Seeds and Nuts and jam packed with many micro nutrients and are a healthy addition to your daily diet.
When your body is not in balance with the proper amount of vitamins and minerals just taking one supplement can cause other issues, they all help each other to work properly. Lets say you start taking a Magnesium supplement but you also have a B Vitamin, Potassium, or Sodium deficiencies that are not also being taken care of, then the Magnesium supplement might cause your heart to race.
That is why the following foods that are rich in multiple vital minerals and vitamins can be so beneficial to your health.
Foods High in Magnesium & Potassium –
- Leafy Greens
Foods High in Magnesium & Calcium –
- Seeds & Nuts
- Leafy Greens
Foods High in Magnesium & Zinc –
- Dark Chocolate
- Seeds & Nuts
- Whole Grains
Magnesium for Sleep:
When it comes to getting the best nutrients for sleep there are several great options out there. Whether you choose to focus on magnesium, potassium, calcium, zinc or a combination of these, you’ll surely find the perfect balance.
Eating whole, low processed foods will provide your body with the micro nutrients your body needs to survive. They are also vital when you are struggling to get the sleep you deserve. We hope this guide helps you to pick and choose healthy foods that can help you get the nutrients you need to sleep better.
Have questions about the benefits of magnesium for sleep? Let us know by contacting us and we would be happy to help!