It’s vital to have energy and stamina when embarking on your intermittent fasting journey. Fasting can be mentally challenging enough without feeling achy, stiff, overwhelmed, stressed and waking up feeling unrefreshed.
For a surprisingly large amount of people, these run-down symptoms could point to a magnesium deficiency. They’re not just a normal part of life so don’t for a minute think that you have put up with them.
It’s important that we feel good when intermittent fasting, because who wants to feel crappy when you’re already having to forego food for up to 24 hours?
Funnily enough, magnesium is a cheap, widely available mineral, but due to poor diet and chronic stress, many of us are deficient, which is unfortunate, because if there is a mineral to make you feel good, to be able to relax and to get restful sleep it’s magnesium.
Magnesium is a powerful but widely overlooked mineral. Most of us don’t realise that so many ailments are associated, in some way, with magnesium deficiency or the flow on effect of that deficiency.
Unfortunately, it is a difficult mineral to metabolize in the body. You need plenty of Vitamin D, B6, and selenium to properly absorb magnesium, so if you’re deficient in those, you might already be a step behind. Excess stress or over-exercising also causes the body to excrete magnesium rather than absorb it. But, for such a low-toxicity mineral, the fix is relatively simple.
Here are 5 easy steps to help you body to restore it’s magnesium stores;
1. Eat Magnesium-rich Foods.
Sounds easy right? But having a modern diet heavily focused on meats and refined carbohydrates, many of us could go an entire day without ingesting a single good source of magnesium.
These good sources include leafy greens, seaweed, legumes, nuts & nut butters, seeds, whole grains, avocados, potatoes, bananas, broccoli, and apples.
Most fibre-rich foods, incidentally, contain good levels of magnesium. By focusing on adding more plant foods into your diet, you can ensure that you’re getting adequate magnesium and feeling great!
2. Limit Caffeine, Salt, Sugar, and Alcohol.
These things in excess, can deplete your body’s stores of magnesium. Drinking too much coffee throughout the day, for example, causes you to excrete large amount of magnesium. So if you’re already low in magnesium you could be making things a lot worse.
It doesn’t mean you have to give up coffee altogether, but just be aware that if you’re diet is lacking in plant foods, you’re more likely to be magnesium deficient and may suffer from unexplained chronic fatigue and stress. So make sure you increase the foods above, and reduce caffeine, alcohol and sugar.
Enjoy them in moderation rather than relying on them to get you through the day, and you’ll feel (and look) a lot better, and you’ll be able to build up your magnesium stores faster.
3. Use Whole Food Supplements.
There are a variety of ways to supplement your magnesium levels. If you don’t think you’ll be able to add magnesium rich foods to your diet, then make it easy for yourself and eat the foods in a condensed form. That’s basically what whole food supplements are. They’re made of food.
Once you have consulted your doctor or naturopath about taking magnesium supplements, pick a reputable brand whether it be magnesium oil spray or capsules.
4. Practice Active Relaxation.
Relaxing your body will allow it to harness magnesium’s power. Sound’s easy right? But many of us have forgotten how to relax.
For a little bit of help with this one, there are plenty of smart phone apps, that are free or relatively cheap, like this one that is great for all types of medications and relaxation exercises. There are many different ways to relax, so choose the one that works best for you and that you know you’ll enjoy doing.
Progressive muscle relaxation is the intentional relaxation of body parts one at a time, until your entire body has been released. It’s great for retraining your body to relax. Especially after a long period of being deficient in magnesium and feeling tense and stressed.
Relaxation has been shown to boost immunity, fertility, and confidence while reducing inflammation, blood pressure, IBS symptoms, and moodiness. Give it a try especially when you have a headache or when you about to embark on a day of fasting. You might find you breeze through it far ore easily than usual.
5. Take a Relaxing Bath with Epsom Salts.
Have you heard about Epsom salt baths? What a delicious way to boost your magnesium levels.
But what are Epsom salts exactly? Conveniently, they are magnesium sulfate . You simply sprinkle some in to a hot bath. And because our skin is an organ that absorbs minerals, taking a hot bath with Epsom salts will allow you to absorb high levels of magnesium into your system in a short space of time. And ease aching muscles in the process.
Pamper yourself and restore your magnesium levels. Talk about a win-win!
Consult your doctor or naturopath if you suspect your magnesium levels to be out of whack. In the meantime, it can’t hurt to add more plants and relaxation techniques into your diet.
Generally, the greater variety of nutritious whole foods you are getting in your diet, and the more at peace you are with yourself, the more vivacious and healthy you’ll feel!