Few nutrients provide as many health benefits as magnesium. It affects over 300 enzymes. It helps cells, muscles, and nerves function. It helps regulate blood pressure. It helps in the metabolism of protein and calcium. And it's important to all of these functions that you get enough of this essential mineral.
Magnesium deficiency is relatively common and can lead to many diseases. Scroll down to learn the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency.
Why is it so difficult to get enough magnesium?
Previously, it was much easier to get the recommended dose of magnesium on a daily basis.
According to physiology expert Rune Eliasson, the mineral levels in our food have dropped dramatically over many years because of industrial farming.
In the US, for example, the nutritional content of apples decreased by 82 percent in the 80-year period between 1914 and 1992, he says.
Another cause of magnesium deficiency is the fact that people have changed their diets. People today rarely eat foods like beans, seeds, fish, nuts, and leafy green vegetables, all excellent sources of magnesium.
13 signs that you may have magnesium deficiency
1. Muscle cramps
If you have problems with cramps in your muscles (often in your calves), it may be your body's way of alerting you about a magnesium deficiency.
Try to get a little magnesium in your system before bed. It can do wonders for a night's sleep (and your muscles).
Studies have shown that breathing can be improved when magnesium levels are increased in the blood.
The highly respected medical journal The Lancet has also reported on the strong correlation between increased magnesium intake and reduced asthma symptoms.
Numbness is usually described as a pricky, tingling, pins-and-needles feeling. These sensations could be a sign that the body needs more magnesium, writes Wikipedia.
People suffering from migraines often demonstrate a lack of magnesium, which enhances the tension in their muscles.
Extra magnesium can counteract nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound in people with migraines, according to this study.
Magnesium is needed for the intestines to function normally.
A lack of magnesium can cause constipation because the body needs this particular mineral to soften stool and absorb liquid.
An irregular heartbeat can be caused by magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium protects blood vessels and can counteract this, according to some researchers.
Magnesium may play a crucial role in brain function and mood. Some experts believe that the low levels of magnesium in modern food could be the cause of many cases of depression and mental illness. A 2015 American study of over 8,800 people showed that those who were under 65 and had a lower intake of magnesium were 22 percent more likely to suffer from depression.
8. Sleep problems
Do you have a hard time sleeping and frequently wake up in the middle of the night?
It may be a sign of magnesium deficiency. One way to get better sleep could be to increase your magnesium intake. US research suggests that an additional intake of magnesium can help to overcome sleep problems.
9. Sweet tooth
If your body is really crying out for magnesium, it can easily be mistaken for a chocolate or candy craving. Maintain a regular intake of magnesium through raw nuts, seeds, and fruit. You'll curb your craving.
10. High blood pressure
Hypertension is a major public health problem throughout the Western world today.
But magnesium acts as natural calcium channel blockers, which are type of blood pressure medication.
In a large British study from 2013, researchers were able to show that patients with normal blood pressure can benefit greatly from increasing their magnesium intake.
11. Joint pain
Many people experience pain in their joints, some more so than others.
For some people, increasing their intake of magnesium relieves their joint pain. And because increasing your intake of magnesium has few or no side effects, it's worth a try.
12. Chronic fatigue
Magnesium is usually recommended for people who suffer from chronic fatigue or generally feel weak.
A Brazilian study has shown that an extra magnesium can not only increase endurance in athletes, but also benefit elderly people with chronic diseases.
13. Calcium deficiency
Magnesium deficiency can also lead to a calcium deficiency, because the body needs magnesium to absorb calcium.
How to increase your magnesium intake
Magnesium supplements can be purchased at the pharmacy or in a health food store.
There are different varieties: Magnesium chloride (tastes bitter, but is the most recommended), Magnesium citrate (a better option if you suffer from heartburn, for example), Magnesium sulphate (perfect for pouring into a relaxing hot bath).
The recommended daily intake is 280 milligrams for women and 350 milligrams for men. Don't forget to consult your doctor before using dietary supplements!
Foods high in magnesium
* Cocoa: pure dark chocolate has almost 500 milligrams of magnesium per 100 grams
* Dark leafy greens: chard, lettuce, spinach
* Fruit: bananas, apricots, avocados, peaches, plums
* Nuts and grains: almonds, cashews, walnuts
* Legumes: Beans and lentils
* Grains: brown rice, millet, oats
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