8 Signs You May Be Deficient In Magnesium
Magnesium is an essential mineral that your body needs for hundreds of biological processes. Yes, over 300 reactions in your body require magnesium! So, can you imagine the variety of symptoms that people may experience when they’re low on this essential mineral?
What exactly does magnesium do?
These 300 biochemical reactions that need magnesium include things like: energy production, synthesizing proteins, as well as proper DNA repair. They help with nerve and muscle function, blood pressure control, bone strength and glucose metabolism. Magnesium is especially important for the brain, heart and muscles (source and source).
In fact, magnesium is essential for every cell in your body, and is therefore critical to good health.
Unfortunately, magnesium is also one of the most common minerals that North Americans don’t get enough of (source).
Low magnesium levels are mostly due to not eating enough magnesium-rich food, but can also be caused from certain medications such as those for high blood pressure and ulcers (source).
Symptoms of low magnesium
Serious magnesium deficiency can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver and thyroid. Magnesium deficiency can also be associated with increased inflammation, and production of free radicals (source).
Low magnesium levels are much more common than full-blown deficiencies. Some symptoms that may be signs of low magnesium levels are (source):
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trembling/tingling of the hands or eyelids
- Calf muscle cramps
- Mental and physical hyperactivity or restlessness
- Anxiety and irritability
- Irregular heartbeat/palpitations
Magnesium in food
Magnesium is the central atom in all plants’ chlorophyll. It’s what makes them green. You can find magnesium in green leafy vegetables, whole grains (like brown rice and quinoa), white potatoes, legumes, nuts, seeds, and cocoa. Magnesium is highest in fresh, unprocessed foods (source).
Ideally, women should get a minimum of 320 mg/day (420 mg/day for males) (source). Much of that can, and should, come from food.
Here is a table that shows just how much magnesium is in certain foods:
How to make sure you’re getting enough magnesium
There are a few things you can do to increase your magnesium levels (source):
- Eat more whole, unprocessed foods
- Reduce your intake of coffee, strong tea and alcohol
- Don’t eat excessive amounts of unhealthy fat
- Reduce your stress levels
- Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to find out if your medications affect your magnesium (or other vitamin/mineral) levels
Fun fact: The lower your magnesium levels are, the more efficiently your body absorbs it from your food.
There are several different types of magnesium supplements available for sale. Magnesium citrate is a recommended high quality form of absorbable magnesium (source).
Claudia recommends THIS brand to her clients. It’s not only an easy way to add magnesium to your diet, but it also helps to calm your mind and relieve stress. It’s perfect to take an hour before bedtime to ensure you get adequate sleep.
Note: Too much magnesium can cause diarrhea, so be mindful of the serving size (source).
About the Guest Contributor:
Leesa Klich, is a health writer and content strategist for busy wellness professionals. She translates the science of health and wellness into understandable and fun articles. You can download a free copy of her ebook “The Real Deal About Calcium and Your Bones” on her website at leesaklich.com.