Magnesium is a mineral that is vital for our health, but how exactly does it affect our poop? I’ve done some research and here is what I discovered.
According to MichiganMedicine, magnesium citrate is a great choice as a gentle laxative as it works in two ways. Firstly, magnesium helps to relax the muscles in the intestinal wall, making bowel movements easier. Secondly, magnesium acts as an osmotic, absorbing water into the bowels and softening the stools for easier movements.
Keep reading to find out exactly how magnesium affects your bowel movements, as well as some added benefits and foods you can eat that are rich in this mineral!
How EXACTLY Does Magnesium Make You Poop More?
In order for your digestion system to run smoothly, it needs adequate magnesium. Studies have shown that a low intake of magnesium correlates to increased incidences of constipation. Magnesium supplements have also been shown to work much better than bulk laxatives for those with constipation.
Magnesium citrate has the best of both worlds, in that it helps to relax the muscles walls in the intestine and makes the passing of stools much easier. It also has an osmotic effect, soaking up water in the bowels and creating softer stools to move smoothly through the intestine.
Recent studies indicated that drinking mineral water that is rich in magnesium sulfate can improve the frequency of bowel movements for people suffering from IBS. This temporary laxative effect happens in two ways:
- Muscle relaxation. Magnesium may relax the muscles found in the intestines, creating a smoother flow as the stools move through the bowels.
- Stool softener. Magnesium absorbs water into the intestines, which makes it an osmotic laxative. The extra water stimulates bowel movements and softens and increases the size of the stools, triggering a smoother bowel movement.
8 Healthy Foods That Are Rich in Magnesium
By eating healthy foods rich in magnesium, you can easily reach your target intake of 400 mg per day without having to spend money on supplements! I’ve compiled a list of some of the healthiest foods that are rich in magnesium below:
01. Dark Chocolate
This is excellent news for all the chocolate-lovers out there! According to Healthline, dark chocolate contains 64 mg of magnesium, which is 15% of your RDA.
Dark chocolate is high in iron, copper, and manganese. It also contains prebiotic fiber that actually feeds the good bacteria found in your gut! It is also loaded with antioxidants that fight against free radicals and disease.
In order to reap the most benefits, make sure you are choosing chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa solids. In fact, the higher the percentage the better for your health!
Avocados are packed with nutrition, making them one of the best fruits to eat regularly!According to NutritionData, one medium-sized avocado contains 58 mg of magnesium, which is 15% of your total RDA.
Despite being packed with potassium, B vitamins and vitamin K, avocados are also full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They are also a great source of fiber! 13 out of the 17 grams of carbs in an avocado are from fiber, meaning it is great for your digestion and staying regular.
Studies have also found avocados reduce inflammation, decrease cholestrol and keep you feeling fuller for longer!
Incorporate half an avocado into your morning breakfast or afternoon lunch to enjoy all the benefits!
Nuts are not only a delicious snack, but they are also packed with magnesium! The best nuts for magnesium are almonds, cashews and Brazil nuts.
One ounce of cashews contains about 82 mg of magnesium, which is an impressive 20% of your RDA.
Nuts are an excellent source of fiber and monounsaturated fats, which help control blood sugar levels and cholesterol. The added fiber and magnesium also makes them an excellent choice if you are feeling a little blocked up!
Legumes are packed with important vitamins and nutrients, with magnesium being one of them! Legumes include lentils, beans, peas, chickpeas and soybeans.
One cup of these can contain about 120 mg of magnesium, which is a very impressive 30% of your RDA! This makes legumes an excellent choice for relief from constipation.
05. Leafy Greens
Leafy greeens are exceptionally healthy, and most of them are jam-packed with magnesium! Greens with high leveks of magnesium include the following:
- Collard Greens
- Turnip Greens
- Mustard greens
One cup of cooked spinach contains up to 157 mg of magnesium, which is 39% of your RDA. Pretty impressive, right?
They are also super-rich in iron, manganese, and vitamins A, C, and K. Incorporating one cup of leafy greens with your meals will n=ensure you are reaching your daily intake of magnesium and will keep your gut and digestive system functioning optimally.
06. Fatty Fish
Certain types of fish such as salmon, mackerel and halibut are very high in magnesium. Half a fillet (178 grams) of salmon is packed with 53 mg of magnesium, which is 13% of your RDA. Not bad!
In also provides you with 39 grams of high-quality protein, which is also important for your digestion. Fish is also packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, which have various health benefits for your heart.
07. Whole Grains
Whole grains boast a wealth of nutritional benefits, containing roughly 65 mg of magnesium per serving (1 ounce), which is 16% of your RDA. Since whole grains are so high in fiber and magnesium, this makes them an excellent choice for those who are suffering from irregular bowel movements.
Whole grains that are good for your gut include oats, wheat, barley, buckwheat and quinoa.
Seeds are a whole lot healthier then you originally thought them to be! Seeds such as flax, pumpkin, and chia seeds are very high in magnesium, with an impressive 150 mg per 1-ounce serving. This is a whopping 37% of your total RDA!
Seeds are also extremely rich in fiber! Nearly all carbs found in seeds come from fiber, making seeds an excellent, healthy addition to your daily meal plan in order to reach your nutrient goals and keep your bowels happy.
Best Magnesium For Constipation & Dosage
Magnesium comes in many forms, and it’s vital that you understand which one is the best option for you. When it comes to constipation, there are certain doses that work much better than others.
Salts such as magnesium and sulfate ions are not ideal, as they are not absorbed in the gut very well. The osmotic laxatives used for constipation that are most effective will be listed below.
This is generally used in milder cases of constipation, and recommended doses range between 1.2 to 3.6 grams per day. However, you can adjust the doses depending on the situation. The liquid standard magnesium hydroxide mixture contains roughly 8% of magnesium hydroxide that is hydrated. This should be taken in a dose of 50ml per day.
This is a more potent laxative, but it is not usually used often. It tends to result in abdominal distension and the passing of stools that are large and runny. It is also difficult to adjust the dosage to the correct amount to form softer stools, so there’s a high chance you may take too much and end up with runny stools.
This magnesium supplement works by increasing the GABA section in the brain and increases the body’s absorbency rate of the mineral. This is aimed more for treating a deficiency in magnesium rather than constipation, but it is important nevertheless. 400mg in the evenings before bedtime should do the trick!
How Much Magnesium Do You Need Daily?
According to the Healthline, healthy men should be taking between 400-420 milligrams of magnesium per day. A healthy woman should be consuming between 310-320 milligrams per day. Pregnant women should aim to take a little more, to prevent constipation.
Taking too much magnesium can have some adverse side effects, such as:
- Weak Muscles
- Low blood pressure
- Breathing problems
- Abdominal pain
However, if you stick to the daily recommended intake you should have no issues!
If you’re not a fan of supplements, there are plenty of foods that are naturally high in magnesium that you can incorporate into your diet, so keep reading to find out!