Image of assortment of sliced avocados, some with pits, some without

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If the key minerals were musicians, magnesium would be the buzzy indie band that suddenly everyone seems to be talking about. Why has this seemingly straightforward mineral—the fourth most abundant in our bodies — seemingly suddenly become the latest wellness world obsession?

For one thing, magnesium is an essential electrolyte and one that seemingly impacts the bodily functions you need to reach your flow state, aka when your body’s at optimum health. Blood pressure regulation? Check. Energy production? Check. Relaxed muscles, better sleep, and a calmed-down nervous system? Check, check, and check. Plus, it’s been associated with preventative effects against some big-name chronic diseases, from Alzheimer’s to migraine headaches. In general, magnesium’s known to regulate a number of our enzymes, allowing them to function properly and support our body’s natural chemical reactions,” says certified nutritional practitioner Kelly Maia Agnew.

There’s also the fact that a surprising number of people are actually deficient in magnesium. How to know if you’re part of the 48 percent of Americans who aren’t hitting their mineral goals? According to Agnew, some of the most common symptoms are muscle twitching and cramps, or anxiety and nervousness. Other signs might include osteoporosis, muscle weakness, and/​or high blood pressure. She stresses, though, that these signs could indicate other deficiencies as well. So, when in doubt, see your doctor and get your levels tested.

Image of chocolate smoothie bowl with topping of almonds and chocolate, with chocolate and halved avocado on table next to bowl

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The good news is that you can find this mineral superstar in loads of foods, including avocado, dark chocolate, and almonds, which might in part explain its popularity. But if helpings of avocado dark chocolate mousse aren’t in your daily diet, you can also turn to supplements for help. I recommend magnesium citrate or magnesium glycinate because they’re generally easier on the digestive system,” says Agnew. Some people work better with one, and some work better with the other,” she adds, so test a few different options to find your perfect fit. Plus, there’s a delivery method for everyone: supplements, powders, and liquids. If you have absorption issues, liquid is usually better.”

And then there’s the fact that the Epsom salt bath you’re drawing for yourself on Sunday evenings is actually giving you a magnesium boost. They can be especially great for physical aches and pains,” notes Agnew, although she points out that these are a little harder to control how much is being absorbed.”

Self-care with a side of major health benefits? That’s definitely worth the hype.

Articles from The Natural should not be considered medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please consult a medical professional.