Magnesium is everywhere. It is one of the ten most abundant minerals on the entire planet. It is also one of the five most abundant minerals in the human body, about half of which is found in bones. It is everywhere but somehow millions of people are deficient in magnesium without even knowing it. There are not many accurate tests to know if you badly need magnesium, but there are symptoms that indicate your body will benefit.
Why do you need magnesium
More than 300 different reactions in your body require the right amount of magnesium. Large amounts are found in the soft tissues of the brain and heart, two major systems that rely on the mineral to function effectively. Helps regulate body temperature and rid the body of toxins. The list of health benefits is too long to go into detail, but here are some of the main benefits attributed to magnesium intake:
- Regulating blood pressure
- reverse osteoporosis
- Prevent heart disease
- Diabetes treatment
- Reduce depression and anxiety
- Treatment of sleep disorders
- It strengthens the bones
- composition of proteins
- Helps lose weight
- Promote healthy blood circulation
- Asthma treatment
- Stroke prevention
- Magnesium, Vitamin D and Calcium
We’ve all heard about the importance of calcium for bone strength and immunity, but without the right amount of magnesium, calcium can actually be dangerous. Once the body uses calcium, magnesium helps remove it from the cells. Without enough magnesium, calcium builds up and acts like a toxin instead of being absorbed healthily by the bones.
Just as calcium depends on magnesium, magnesium depends on vitamin D for proper absorption. Magnesium is not well absorbed during digestion, so if you are deficient in vitamins, you can take magnesium but not reap the full benefits. Finding a balance between these three essential elements is ideal for maintaining health.
How to recognize a magnesium deficiency
It is not very difficult to determine if you are deficient because the vast majority of people on the planet do. It is estimated that 68-80% of Americans do not get the proper amount of magnesium in their system. A magnesium test checks the level of magnesium in your blood. However, most of the magnesium in the body is found in the bones and inside the cells and usually a trace amount of magnesium is found in the blood. Therefore, there are not many accurate tests to know if you badly need magnesium, but there are symptoms that indicate that your body will benefit from it.
Some small indicators include a lack of focus and energy throughout the day. You may tire easily and have difficulty concentrating. People who lack magnesium tend to be irritable and experience higher levels of stress and anxiety. Here are some common deficiency symptoms:
- noise sensitivity
- Sleep disorders
- Frequent headaches
- Digestive problems
- temperature changes
- muscle contraction
There are also more serious indications. You may lose your appetite or feel nauseous. If left untreated, symptoms can worsen into abnormal heartbeats, seizures, and severe mood swings.
Why do we lack magnesium
Industrial farming depletes the soil of nutrients. Instead of fertilizing with rich bio-organic fertilizers, we treat the soil with synthetic fertilizers. As a result, magnesium was depleted from the topsoil, which reduced its dietary intake.
Refined/processed foods are stripped of their mineral, vitamin and fiber content.
Municipal water purification facilities have stepped up their efforts to remove pollutants such as lead, pesticide residues and nitrates from drinking water. Unfortunately, these modern water treatment methods also deplete drinking water of desirable minerals such as calcium and magnesium. To exacerbate this problem, many people have added home water filters to extract any remaining minerals from the water.
Diseases caused by magnesium deficiency
Because magnesium is so essential to bodily processes, deficiency can contribute to a variety of health problems. Without the right amount of this important mineral, you could be setting yourself up for serious health problems.
Because of the way magnesium interacts with calcium, magnesium deficiency can contribute to osteoporosis and poor bone health. There was also an association with the prevention of heart disease and heart attacks. It is common for sudden heart attack victims to experience low levels of magnesium.
Magnesium deficiency can also contribute to the formation of kidney stones. The mineral allows the calcium to dissolve more efficiently in the urine. Without it, you can prevent painful kidney stones from forming. Some of the other diseases caused by magnesium deficiency include premenstrual syndrome, high blood pressure, menstrual cramps, insomnia, and cancer. Magnesium deficiency can lead to involuntary muscle twitching, including eyelid twitching.
How do you get enough magnesium?
The first step to maintaining healthy magnesium levels is to identify the root of the problem. For most people, this is part of a restricted diet. New developments in agriculture have depleted magnesium crops and spoiled foods that were once excellent sources. The water was also a good source of magnesium, but the added fluoride makes it harder for the body to break down the mineral.
There are also many habits that contribute to magnesium depletion. Drinking caffeine daily (especially with a lot of sugar), eating a lot of processed foods, and drinking a lot of alcohol are all habits that can reduce mineral levels. There are also certain types of medications such as birth control pills and diuretics that deplete magnesium. Consult your physician if you are taking medication and concerned about your magnesium levels.
What can you do
The best dietary sources of magnesium are usually vegetables and nuts. There are many fruits and whole grains that can also give you a magnesium boost. Next time you go shopping, keep some of the following items in mind for your list:
dark leafy greens (such as spinach and kale)
Lentils and beans
Dark or powdered chocolate bars