All your organs -- including your kidneys and heart -- need magnesium to function properly. Magnesium is also crucial for bone and teeth formation, enzyme activation and energy production. Unfortunately, your magnesium levels tend to wane during menopause. Replenishing your daily stores of magnesium may not only help keep your body operating properly, it may also help ease menopausal symptoms.
Reap the Benefits
Eating magnesium-rich foods regularly can help strengthen your bones and prevent conditions like osteoporosis, which often develops during menopause. Strong bones can help prevent bone fractures and injury. Magnesium can also help reduce symptoms of menopause such as insomnia, tissue dryness, mood swings, anxiety, irritability and water-retention. The mineral can also help improve energy levels, which tend to dwindle during menopause.
Magnesium is found in many different grains, beans, vegetables and fruits. For best results, eat five or more servings of magnesium-rich foods throughout your day. Examples of foods high in magnesium include brown rice, spinach, lentils, quinoa, oatmeal, kidney beans, bananas, whole-wheat bread, tofu, pumpkin, almonds, cocoa powder and chocolate. Many spices and herbs also exist that contain magnesium, such as dill weed, sage, coriander, fennel seed and tarragon.
Pop a Pill
Magnesium also comes in a supplement form. A menopausal woman should take 320 milligrams of magnesium per day, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Talk to your doctor before taking any supplement -- even a natural one like magnesium. Because the body tends to goes through its supply of magnesium quickly, supplements are not always helpful for the entire day. A diet rich in magnesium can help you better maintain proper magnesium levels.
Proceed With Caution
Only ingest the recommended daily amount of magnesium -- whether your source is from food or a supplement. Taking more magnesium then recommended can lead to diarrhea, upset stomach, or more serious health complications such as low blood pressure, reduced heart rate, vomiting, confusion and even cardiac arrest. Talk to your doctor before increasing magnesium in your diet, if you have low calcium levels -- magnesium can decrease calcium absorption, especially if your calcium levels are already low.
Is This an Emergency?
- Before the Change; Ann Louise Gittleman
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Magnesium
- Doctor Oz: Daily Dose: Magnesium
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Short-Term Oral Magnesium Supplementation Suppresses Bone Turnover in Postmenopausal Osteoporotic Women.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Trace Mineral Status in Post Menopausal Women: Impact of Hormonal Replacement Therapy.
- Cleveland Clinic: Menopause and Osteoporosis