Are your children experiencing broken sleep? uncontrollable tantrums? growing pains?
Magnesium Oil might be your answer!
Magnesium is the backbone to human health, it is the second most abundant electrolyte within the cells and the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body. It is also a mineral our body does not create on its own, it is needed from external sources.
Without sufficient magnesium in our body over 300 biochemical reactions are affected; energy and DNA production, muscle and hormone function, blood glucose control and activation of crucial vitamins like B1 and the ability to utilise other nutrients like calcium, potassium and zinc. Looking at this list it is fair to say magnesium is needed every single day.
When it comes to our children who are growing, developing and paving new neurological pathways every single day this mineral is crucial to support their overall wellbeing, and ensure we are setting them up for success. Magnesium deficiency is one of the more common deficiencies seen in children and can lead to many physical and mental health concerns (1)
Magnesium’s reputation to facilitate a good night’s sleep and calm the nervous system doesn’t come for no reason. It is the go-to mineral for calm moods and relaxation. And without boring you with the science, I feel a little background on why it is so crucial and how it calms your nervous system is important. Magnesium and GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid) work hand in hand, GABA is the body’s relaxing, sedative and calming brain chemical (neurotransmitter). GABA acts as a brake to the more stimulating (excitatory)neurotransmitters in the brain, a big one being glutamate. Glutamate is responsible for sending signals between nerve cells and when all is healthy it plays and important role in learning and memory. However, Glutamate can excite cells far beyond a healthy level (2). GABA prevents glutamates nerve impulses that are associated with anxiety and stress. (3) Studies have shown magnesium binds to and activates GABA receptors which helps reduce anxiety and decreases the breakdown of GABA in the brain, leading to more stable GABA levels (4).
There is no hard data (yet) on what deficiency in children looks like in Australia, however there are reports that estimate the deficiency level in children is around 42% (1). With our bodies not creating this mineral naturally we rely on adequate amounts through our diet. Unfortunately, the quality of our soil that our food is grown in has been jeopardised by farming practises and the use of fertilisers. Meaning our soils are depleted in the essential minerals our bodies need to function optimally (1). On top of this the common foods our children like to indulge in are generally not the magnesium rich sources like leafy greens, nuts, seeds and legumes.
When our body is experiencing a level of stress, whether this is physical or emotional it releases magnesium from the cells. This in turn increases our bodies need for the mineral to replenish what we are losing. Stress can be in the form of high activity levels, anxiety and worry about school and friends or a high work load and feeling like they are juggling too much.
A deficiency in magnesium can lead to increased agitation, anxiety, irritability, depression, short attention spans, issues sleeping, and aggression in children. Some other signs and symptoms that may show magnesium deficiency can be;
- Twitching muscles
- Teeth grinding
- Growing Pains
- Low energy levels
Some of the most common questions we get asked about Magnesium supplements for the kids are;
Q. Is magnesium oil safe for my children?
A. Yes, absolutely. If you are seeing signs that your child may have low levels of magnesium or you struggle to get your children to eat the food that are rich in this essential mineral like dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds and legumes then a supplement is probably a good idea. Magnesium oil is a safe way for you to supplement for your children as you are allowing their body to self-regulate and absorb what is needed without the risk of overdosing or putting unnecessary pressure on their digestive system. Always test on a small area like your child’s feet, we recommend only adding a supplement form the age of 3 months and older. Magnesium will assist in relaxing your baby’s nervous system and improve their quality of sleep. You can apply a small amount of Magnesium Oil to their feet or into their bath at night.
Q. How much magnesium does my child need?
A. All children are different and if you have highly active kids that sweat a lot they are going to need more magnesium than a more sedative child that doesn’t sweat much so keep this in mind when you review the below, we recommend using this table as a guide only.
Recommended magnesium intake
Q. If I don’t want to add a supplement what is the best way to include more magnesium rich foods in our child’s diet?
A. Adding the below foods into as many of their meals as possible throughout the day will significantly increase their daily intake. Keep in mind, our foods are not as rich in the minerals they use to be either so the amount needed to meet our daily requirements is significant.
- Spinach and leafy greens (we love a smoothie with added spinach)
- Nuts and seeds (added into banana bread, sprinkled on top of meals. Organic peanut/nut butters)
- Legumes (we add this into our soups and stews)
- Whole wheat (we make our own bread to ensure we are using organic whole wheat flour)
Reducing the amount of sugar your child eats is always my number 1 suggestion as sugar absolutely burns through the bodies magnesium stores.
The benefits of magnesium oil for children of all ages is significant, impacting their ability to turn up each day and be supported in the growth and development ahead of them. By introducing this mineral into your child’s life before they are needing to play catch up sets them up to be able to function properly and be in control each and every day. The benefits this mineral will offer are wide and varied, including; Better sleep, improved concentration, increased energy levels, more balanced moods, healthy muscle and verve function, and improved absorption of other minerals.
- Schwalfenberg GK, Genuis SJ. The importance of magnesium in clinical healthcare. Scientifica 2017:4179326, [Source]