Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body, and it is necessary for over 300 reactions in the body. According to the United States Department of Health, most of us are deficient in it. In fact, some sources say up to 80% of American adults are deficient in magnesium.
In 2015, the United States Department of Health published a document called, “Dietary Guidelines for Americans.” The goal of the document was to provide Americans with guidelines for obtaining the necessary nutrients for optimal health. Included was a list of seven nutrients called, “shortfall nutrients of concern.” These are nutrients that the American public is under-consuming to the point that it warrants a public health concern (aka not great). Magnesium is one of the seven nutrients on this list.
Why is magnesium important?
Every single cell in the human body demands adequate magnesium to function. Some particually important functions that magnesium aids with are: bone and teeth health, balanced hormones, a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system, regulated blood pressure, a strong immune system, metabolism support, and increased circulation. Additionally, magnesium is necessary for proper function of the GABA receptors in the brain for restful sleep.
Why are Americans magnesium levels depleting?
Like most issues, there isn’t just one culprit causing magnesium deficiencies. There are many overlapping causes including:
American farming processes have changed. Most modern farming processes tax the soil, depleting it of its natural magnesium. Magnesium, in fact, is one of the most depleted minerals in farm soils.
Urban water sources have changed. Deep well water is a great source of magnesium. But today, urban sources of drinking water are usually from surface water, such as rivers and streams, which are low in magnesium.
A lot of Americans eat a diet heavy in processed foods. Food processing causes enormous loss of magnesium in foods that are commonly fairly good sources of it.
American’s societal habits. Other things that can deplete magnesium are high consumption of caffeine, sugar, and alcohol. Additionally, your body’s natural magnesium store gets used up when you’re stressed.
How can we increase magnesium levels?
There are a number of way to supplement magnesium. Arguably the safest, and most effective is by using it on the skin. Topical magnesium doesn't have to pass through the digestive system and kidney can more quickly enter the blood and tissues of the body.
Native State is a local company that was started just last year by Cincinnati local Erika Ashe. Erika creates homemade products that are chemical free, and incorporate essential oils.
She dropped off an adorable gift bag of products to us a few weeks ago. One of these products was her magnesium body butter infused with lavender oil (great for helping with relaxation). I followed the packaging instructions and used before I went to bed. Erika explained that the butter is best applied at bedtime because the combination of magnesium and lavender essential oil will hopefully help you relax and sleep better. I liked the texture and the body butter smells amazing. I noticed I actually did sleep better. In all fairness, I also need to say I was on a week vacation from my 9-5 so that could have contributed in the better slumbers. One of my intentions for 2018 is to create a better night time routine including less screen time and more relaxation practices. I plan to continue to work this body butter into that routine.
Native State also sells bath bombs, lip calm, soaps, clay masks, facial products, hair serum, sunscreen, baby skin products, essential oil rollers, and more.
Erika gave us a clay mask to try out as well, which I’m going to whip up tonight. Currently, you can order through Native State’s Facebook page here. If you’re interested in the health benefits of magnesium, choosing products that are made without harsh chemicals, and supporting local, I recommend checking out Native State.
If you are interested in trying out any of Native State's products, you can order them directly from Erika via email, Facebook, or Instagram.