The Vibrant Health Podcast: Episode #17 – Magnesium 101 (+ a Transdermal Mag Challenge!)

by lydia on November 3, 2015

The Vibrant Health Podcast: Episode #17 - Magnesium 101 (+ a Transdermal Mag Challenge!)

Magnesium is probably one of the minerals that you have heard the most about. Today, Jessica and I talk about why magnesium is so important for health (hint, it is required for 300+ bodily functions).

In addition, we talk about whether it is safe for everyone to supplement with magnesium and the best way to boost magnesium.

We’ll end with a helpful list of easy food sources for magnesium, but also explain why you can’t rely on food alone.

Missed previous episodes? You can find them all here.

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Links From This Week’s Episode:

Magnesium-Rich Recipes:

Listen to The Vibrant Health Podcast :: Episode 17

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Introducing The Vibrant Health Podcast :: Episode 1 //

Read The Vibrant Health Podcast Transcript :: Episode 17

Jessica:  Hi, everyone. Jessica here. Quick note about today’s episode, we were having some technical difficulties while we were recording, we have some echoing that has shown up in our final recording here.

So if you notice that, we are aware of it. We apologize for the annoyance of it. But the content was good and we still wanted to share it and didn’t have time to re-record it.

So we are working on trying to get this fixed so you’ll have a better quality recording in the future.

Thanks for listening and let us know if you have any questions.

Jessica:  Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 17 of the Vibrant Health Podcast. I am Jessica from And I’m here with my co-host, Lydia of

Today we are going to talk about magnesium. Magnesium is such an amazing mineral, and it’s one that you probably hear a lot about. It seems like almost every day when I’m on Facebook, I’m seeing multiple articles on magnesium, and how critical it is to our health.

So we decided that this was an important topic for us to cover, especially because we’ve got something fun coming up, or Lydia has something fun coming up in November that we wanted to tell you about.

So we are going to let Lydia, our resident mineral guru, share with us some great info about this amazing mineral.

So hey, Lydia, let’s dive right in.

Lydia:  Hey. Magnesium is one of my favorite minerals, and it has been for a long time. I think it’s definitely becoming more well-known about its benefits, and the fact that we’re all pretty much depleted in it.

So probably a lot of you who have been following us are at least familiar with magnesium and its importance, and maybe even already supplementing with it, or using the magnesium spray or something like that.

But we will dive into a little more today just because it really is so important, and because I work with clients and here in the office, I see this deficiency as one of the biggest problems, and the biggest thing holding people’s health back that needs to be corrected. But it really can take some time.

And so if you have any serious health issues, or not even serious health issues, but health issues that are just not improving, and you haven’t looked into the magnesium piece of your health, it’s really worth taking a look where you’re at because – I have a lot of people that go, “Oh, yes. I supplement with magnesium.”

But they don’t really know quite what they’re doing with it. And they don’t know enough, and they think they’re okay.

“Oh, yes. I’m fine. I take some magnesium.”

But that’s not – that’s a little too over-simplified. And there’s a lot more to it.

So I started taking magnesium myself from information I learned from Ann Louise Gittleman back in 2009. I’ve gone through a lot of massive stress in my life, and I really needed the magnesium. And I started supplementing with it back then, and it really started changing my life.

But when I got started with hair analysis, and I got my first test back, my magnesium was low – very low actually. And I was like, “Oh, my gosh.”

It was a little bit of a surprise, although it isn’t now that I know better why that’s the case.

So magnesium is very difficult to rebuild, especially if you live a stressful life, which I’ve been a single mom for a long time, running my own business. So I was burning through my magnesium stores like nobody’s business. And if I had not been supplementing with magnesium, who knows where I’d be?

So it was pretty eye-opening to me at the time. Plus, my entire family was very low in magnesium. And it was playing into people’s moods and a lot of things, and so I kicked up my approach to magnesium a bit, and started learning some things from Dr. Malter, Dr. Rick Malter, who is a retired school psychologist. He teaches some information about hair analysis, as well as Morley Robbins, who has an interesting approach to magnesium as well.

And both of them had severe issues with magnesium and their health as well, which led them to further explore it.

So anyway, all that said, even somebody as health conscious as myself, who thought – and I was doing – I was taking the right stuff, but just there was more to do, and more to know.

So here I am to reiterate the importance of magnesium in a different way today. And I think it might be nice to hear some of the conditions associated with magnesium deficiency.

Jessica:  Absolutely, because I think – the last article I read is probably higher than this, but I think that one stated that magnesium is responsible for over 360 chemical processes in the body. It’s probably higher than that.

It’s pretty critical. So yes, let’s talk about what can manifest if you’re deficient in magnesium.

Lydia:  Sure. A lot of stuff. So there is actually a level too. And I forgot where I got this information. There are a couple of different places that list the stages of magnesium deficiency. But in general, conditions associated with magnesium deficiency could be hyperactivity.

ADHD behavior, apart from the diagnosis, let’s just say the behavior is very common in kids today. So a lot of people who are deficient in mag – noise sensitivity.

I have that.

Jessica:  Interesting.

Lydia:  I couldn’t stand any noise in the morning, and sudden noises. It drove me nuts.

Allergies, histamine allergies, that was a big health issue of mine. Hyperthyroidism, even something like seizures and epilepsy, renal dysfunction, parathyroid dysfunction, colitis, diverticulitis, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, alcoholism, excessive perforation and cardiovascular disease are some of the common conditions.

Now, if you take a look at phases of magnesium deficiency, mild daily challenges would just be fatigue, constipation, dizziness, excess natural pain, facial twitches, food craving, especially sugar or caffeine and simple carbs, headaches, even hiccups.

Jessica:  Weird.

Lydia:  Hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, irritability, loss of appetite, mood swings, muscle cramps, spasms, nausea, nervousness, poor memory and concentration.

Ladies, every pregnancy exacerbates your magnesium deficient because you give a portion of your minerals to your baby.

And then weakness, general weakness.

So these are just mild. And then we’ve got a great challenge would be anxiety and panic attacks, arthritis, asthma, which was the case for me, attention deficit disorder, back ache, upper back, people with excess cortisol too, cystitis, gluten sensitivity, hyperlipidemia, which is high cholesterol and triglycerides, sinusitis, hypertension, insomnia, insulin resistance or pre-diabetes, migraines, multiple pregnancies, like we just said, it will exacerbate your magnesium deficiency every time.

Nerve problems, obesity, osteopenia which is the pre-cursor to osteoporosis, PMS, poor concentration, pre-diabetes, insulin resistance and TMJ disorder.

Jessica:  Interesting.

Lydia:  Now, we’ve got more. There’s more. So it gets worse. If you keep perpetuating this magnesium deficiency, you’re not restoring or replacing and you’re burning and burning and burning it away, for whatever reason and however, in various ways, you can then get things like arteriosclerosis, blood clots, bowel disease, mitral valve prolapse, chronic fatigue syndrome, myalgic encephalomyelitis.

Celiac disease, cerebral palsy, concussion, depression, miscarriage, diabetes, epilepsy, seizures, endothelial dysfunction. It’s dysfunction of the lining of the blood vessels.

Even failure to thrive, heart arrhythmia, hormonal imbalance, hyper-parathyroid, hypothyroid, kidney disease, liver disease, metabolic syndrome, and then mitral valve prolapse or it becomes calcified. If you don’t have enough amounts of magnesium to calcium.

Okay, then the worst of the problems will be alcoholism, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, cardiac fibrillation, congestive heart failure.

I had a client who was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, and she was in her early 30s.

Eclampsia, myocardial infarction, obesity, renal failure, sudden infant death syndrome, starvation, stroke, sudden cardiac death, ventricular fibrillation.

This is a pretty important mineral for our health. And I’m sure everyone can relate to at least one or two or three of the things in there.

Jessica:  Yes, some of the stuff you mentioned is pretty common nowadays. Almost everybody alive is going to have at least something off that list. It’s not two, or three, or four. Some people have 10 things.

It’s very critical.

Lydia:  So yes, really, magnesium is so important, and anyone could probably take it. You do need to know some things before you just go out and take a bunch of magnesium.

So my two favorite ways, obviously, the hair test is very informative. You’ve heard me talk about that before. And I pretty much am able to guide my clients – every single one of them needs magnesium in some form.

But to understand it even more clearly, we can do a really simple test, and your doctor can run this for you, or you can even get a simple blood test out of pocket, and go to a local lab. It’s called the RBC magnesium, red blood cell count of magnesium.

Jessica and I both did this recently, and your optimal is between about 6.5 and 7, and when it’s below 6, it’s low.

And guess what mine was? 5.2.

I was like, “No.”

Jessica:  Even with all the supplementing.

Lydia:  And just to say, stress will use up your magnesium. And the truth is, had I tested it a year ago, I’m sure it would have been much lower because I’ve had a lot of symptoms resolved.

I don’t have asthma symptoms anymore. I don’t have a lot of the symptoms I had that correlated with magnesium deficiency.

So I know I’m on the right track, and I just got to be more vigilant in rebuilding that.

You did yours, too.

Jessica:  Yes. Mine was 5.8. So it was actually – I didn’t know how to read any of the results when I got them back in, but you said that was okay. There’s definitely room for improvement. But it wasn’t as low as we had expected.

Lydia:  We’ve got work to do.

And one thing I want to point out is you have told me that you’ve been very good about doing both transdermal magnesium and oral magnesium.

Jessica:  My oral magnesium dose is not as high as it once was. So this may be an indication that I need to boost that back up. But I have for about the last month or so been really good about doing about 12 to 15 sprays on my torso, my abdomen and my legs before bed, and just letting it dry, when I finish getting ready for bed and everything, while I’m letting that soak into my skin.

And I also have some magnesium lotions that I bought. And I’m trying to work on an actual homemade version of the lotion so that I can save a little bit of money because I have a six-pound tub of magnesium chloride flakes that I need to go through.

So I might as well make some of my own stuff.

So for about the last 30 days, I’ve been really vigilant about that. So hopefully that’s helping.

Lydia:  I think it is. We’ll know. We’ll probably re-test and see what’s going on. But that really makes the difference because we have to realize that we’re not assimilating all the magnesium we take in. We don’t get every single, itty bitty bit that we consume either through food or supplement.

So that’s where the transdermal really helps to build it up because it goes right in and it’s not competing with digestion, or some people have low stomach acid. They’re just not pulling their minerals out.

So there are a lot of things that could be making it hard to restore your magnesium levels through food and supplements.

Jessica:  Glad that you touched on that because I recently – one of the most popular posts on my site is my homemade magnesium oil recipe. I just posted it on Facebook recently. And I always get a really good discussion going in there.

There were a lot of people who are saying, “I take magnesium supplement, so why would I need to do this?”

And I did bring up that point that almost everybody has got some sort of digestive dysfunction. So you could be taking a ton of magnesium or a ton of other supplements, but you may not be metabolizing those before they actually move through your system.

So with the transdermal form, you’re bypassing the digestive process, and it’s going straight in.

So for people that really struggle with digestion and maybe or not raising their levels as quick as possible, the transdermal could maybe be a lifesaver for them.

Lydia:  And there’s a lot of ways to do transdermal magnesium and make it work for you. The truth is, I personally will go through seasons where if I get really busy, something’s going to go through the wayside. That’s what happened for me recently.

I’m like, “Oh, yes. I got to put my spray on or whatever it is.”

But you can do this magnesium oil spray, you can do magnesium lotion, you can do chloride flakes in a bath, you can do a foot bath. There are plenty of ways to get it in and make it work for you.

Some people are more sensitive than others to the spray on their skin, and that’s why a lotion, a little more diluted, works better for them for a time.

Epson salt baths are great but they’re not as good of a way to rebuild your tissue stores because they’re more for detox purposes.

We’re looking at magnesium sulfate. So it has an effect on detox more than it will on rebuilding your tissue stores.

So that’s one method that people are probably more familiar with and may have already been using. But it’s not going to be enough to really bring up those tissue stores alone.

Jessica:  Yes, you want to make sure you’re looking for magnesium chloride, not magnesium sulfate, like the Epsom salts. The Epsom salts, if it’s excreted, what is soaked into your body is excreted really, really fast by the kidneys.

So it doesn’t even have time to really store. But the mag chloride does help build up the stores.

So yes, make sure you’re getting the right form. If you want to use the transdermal, you want to look for the chloride flakes.

Lydia:  And so because this is so important and because there are so many people out there that just want – they’re not ready to dive into a hair test or maybe they want to do some testing but they’re not quite there. But they want to do something.

So transdermal magnesium is something that pretty much anyone can do without needing a doctor to tell them to do it. So I decided to do a transdermal magnesium challenge for the month of November because anyone can benefit from it, and I personally know I need the reminder sometimes too.

So we’re going to host that. So please look for the link below, and click on it, so you can sign up and join that. It will be a daily reminder to do it, ways to do it, recipes, ideas, testimonies, all kinds of cool stuff. We’d love to have you join us in that challenge.

Jessica:  Yes, I’m super excited about that because I’m using the mag spray at night, but I want to try to implement doing foot soaks like two to three times a week.

I feel like I love doing the foot soaks, I use the mag chloride flakes, and I get some warm water, and I put some lavender essential oil in there. And it’s so relaxing. But for some reason, I have this resistance to doing it. I’m too busy and I just can’t make the time to make a container of water.

So I just told myself, for November, I am going to do it when I’m working. I’m going to sit at my desk, I’m going to put my feet in some warm water, and I’m going to still work, but I’m going to get my soaks in, so that I don’t feel like I have to set aside all this extra time to do it.

So I’ll make room in my schedule to take five minutes to grab my tub of water and my magnesium flakes, and do my foot soak.

Lydia:  And what’s funny is you get too busy, but that’s a total sign right there, you need your magnesium. The more you’re busy and stressed, the more you’re going to burn it up.

So yes, we’re excited about that challenge. So please feel free to join that. Even if you haven’t tested, one month of transdermal magnesium is probably safe to do. Although I will say, if you can, getting the testing done in some way would be ideal, so you have a marker and you know what you’re working on, and where you’re working towards.

And that information will be included in the challenge for you.

So join anyway, regardless of whether or not you’re going to test right away or not, and you’ll get some good information.

Jessica:  And the RBC test was really affordable. I was surprised at how cheap it was. I can’t remember now. It’s on the top of my head. It was like $40 or $50.

Lydia:  It’s $50, yes. You don’t need anybody to interpret it for you. You just need to know it’s optimal. You want to be around 6.5 if you can, up to 7. Below 6 is low.

I had someone – two people this week. Two told me theirs was 1.8.

Jessica:  Wow.

Lydia:  These people do not feel good. They do not feel good at all.

Jessica:  Well, they should partake in the challenge too.

Lydia:  Well, I told them – I said, “Your mission is to use your transdermal mag like your life depends on it because it’s really important.”

So another thing I really want to talk about really quick before we wrap up is food sources of magnesium. Our soils have been depleted for a long time, folks. So we don’t have mineral-rich soil. Period. End of discussion.

We have to work a lot harder to get our minerals from our food. But there are some really great foods to look at in terms of magnesium content.

This is why I’m not a big fan of food restrictive – cutting out all of these different food groups because we have to think about some of the sources we’re cutting out that have minerals that we need.

So if you can, eat more variety, you’re going to find more ways to get some good magnesium in.

So I have a list I’m going to go through. And you’ll see how hard it is to get enough magnesium per day. Are you ready? And this is if you’re pulling it from your food and digesting it. You want – I should have told you what the RDA of magnesium is, but I almost don’t think it’s valid, quite frankly.

Jessica:  Yes, it’s really low.

Lydia:  It’s really low. It doesn’t take into consideration that everybody is already low in magnesium.

So let’s say, we’re shooting for 400 to 600 mg a day of magnesium. Let’s use that as our ballpark.

Wild rice, one cup of wild rice has 52.5 mg of magnesium. Of course that’s if it’s in the soil. So you want to find a good quality wild rice.

I love – Lundberg is great. I think Lotus Foods maybe has one. I’m not sure.

Jessica:  I can’t remember if they do.

Lydia:  But not everybody eats wild rice. It’s probably not something most people eat. We try to eat it here and there, but we don’t eat it that often.

I have a really cool recipe on my site called Aidan’s Wild Rice and Cashew Salad, and one serving is about 200 mg of magnesium.

Jessica:  Yes, that recipe was absolutely divine.

Lydia:  It’s really good. My son made some version of it last night. He really loves it.

So that’s one option, wild rice. But again, you’re not going to eat that every day. Then we’ve got pumpkin seeds. A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds is about 190 mg of magnesium.

I can eat maybe a quarter cup in a sitting. I don’t typically eat much more than that.

Jessica:  Yes, that’s a lot.

Lydia:  Spinach, a cup of spinach, 156 mg of magnesium. Cashews, a quarter cup, 116 mg, black-eyed peas – Paleo people, time to eat some peas, a quarter cup, if you tolerate them – no, a half a cup is 278 mg of magnesium.

Jessica:  Wow.

Lydia:  And they also have a really nice hit of potassium. I love black-eyed peas.

Jessica:  I haven’t had black-eyed peas in – I don’t know how long, but I may get some and cook them on occasion.

Lydia:  Yes. I have a recipe on the site called Hoppin John. It’s for the pressure cooker. It’s so good. It’s got some good minerals in there. Beet greens, a cup of beet greens is 98 mg. Swiss chard, a cup of Swiss chard is 150 mg. Yogurt or kefir, one cup, 50 mg.

One square of dark chocolate – now, this is the good stuff, 95 mg for one little square. Look what I just did. I got everyone happy about chocolate.

Sesame seeds, a quarter cup, 126 mg. Almonds, a quarter cup, 61 mg. Brown rice, one cup, 83 mg. Buckwheat, one cup, 85 mg. Summer squash, one cup, 43 mg. Quinoa, three quarter cup, 118 mg. Sunflower seeds, a quarter cup, 113 mg. Navy beans, one cup, 96 mg.

And of course, you have to remember, if this is good quality food, raised with pretty good soil, you’re going to get these nice minerals from them.

So variety is the spice of life, so if you’re not eating a lot of these foods, you may want to pick a few and try to get them in.

Jessica:  Yes, even just the black-eyed peas or the quinoa or whatever, maybe just once a week, add them into your rotation. And try to get – I’m going to make a note to myself to incorporate some more of that stuff.

I have the raw sprouted pumpkins in the freezer, and I always forget to eat them. So those would be great.

Lydia:  Yes. What if we had a cool recipe, which I do, I just haven’t posted it, salted chocolate pumpkin seed bark. That’s nice.

Jessica:  Good minerals from the salt, and minerals from the chocolate and the seeds. I think people would love that.

Lydia:  I don’t feel like there’s anything wrong with that if you tolerate it. Nobody is going to – I don’t sit down and eat this ginormous amount because it’s really rich, and it’s nice. It’s a nice snack, a treat, and it’s got minerals.

Jessica:  Yes, you could even use that recipe and probably make them into the little silicon molds, like an ice cube tray, and then you can have one piece. So you have those little individual servings.

I find, for some reason, I can make the bark and stuff like that, and as I make it in bark format, or it’s just broken up chunks, I feel like I eat more of that than if I have the actual individual portions.

I have the round ones that I make for peanut butter cups and stuff like that.

So if I just make that then I feel like – I don’t know. It must be a psychological thing. But yes, it’s enough for me to feel like I’m having a treat and something delectable, but not enough where I’m sitting down and eating the entire pan of bark.

Lydia:  So I have a couple of recipes on my site. I’ll throw the links in. I have a buckwheat cereal recipe that we do sometimes. Sometimes people forget about these pseudo grains, buckwheat and wild rice, and some quinoa and brown rice and things.

So if your digestion is getting stronger, and you can tolerate these foods, and they’re not a problem for you, by all means, try to get them in there and get that variety in.

Magnesium needs co-factors. We’re going to talk about that in the challenge. So I’d love to have you join. We need B6 to help the magnesium get inside the cell, and there are other minerals like boron. We need the boron to help the magnesium stay in the cell, different things like that.

There’s going to be some good information you can learn from this challenge in addition to trying to feel better and get some magnesium built up in your body.

Jessica:  I’m excited. That’s awesome.

Lydia:  Yes, me too.

Jessica:  Well, I think we’re going to make this a short and sweet episode this week. We’re probably going to do some more podcasts on magnesium in the future and maybe getting into some more of the nitty gritty and stuff. But we wanted to give you a quick overview about magnesium and why it’s so important, and how you can start trying to get more into your diet, and then let you know also about November’s magnesium challenge.

So hopefully, you guys will come and join us. Well, I say us, but I’m going to be participating. Lydia is the one running it. I’m not taking credit for that idea.

Hopefully, you’ll come join all of us over in the Facebook group, and yes, I think it will be a lot of fun.

Lydia:  In order to join the challenge, you want to join my Healing with Mineral Analysis Facebook group. Check out the link below. You can join anytime. You can stick around even after the challenge. We’re going to be in there talking about minerals for as long as I can think.

So we’d love to have you. That’s it.

Jessica:  Absolutely. Cool. Well, we’re going to go ahead and wrap it up. But if you have any questions about anything, don’t hesitate to let us know. If this information resonated with you, and you know others who could benefit from it as well, we would love it if you would share it.

We would also be so appreciative if you could leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher. If you’re on our sites or YouTube listening to this, we have links down below where you can leave the reviews. That only takes a couple of minutes – not even a couple of minutes, probably just one minute. It’s super easy to do.

And whenever you leave us a review or you share a podcast or a blogpost, it really helps us reach more people with our message of health and wellness. So we really, truly appreciate it because both of us are really focused on helping people live a better, healthier, more vibrant life.

And if you’re looking for more information on natural living or health and wellness, need some recipes, make sure you check out our sites. You can find me over at And you can find Lydia at

So we are going to sign off. We hope you guys have a great day.




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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindy November 10, 2015 at 4:48 pm

I’m ready for the salted dark chocolate pumpkin seed bark recipe! :-)


amy May 26, 2016 at 10:52 am

Just tossing out something we’ve learned from our naturopath. My daughter swims, she tests positive for magnesium sulfate (a need), but with her chlorine exposure, she tests negative for mag chloride. She also requires Iodine when in season at twice the rate I test for. Living in Michigan sets us up for this depletion, the swimming really exacerbates the issue.


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