There are many important and essential minerals that the body needs for different metabolic processes and to function. One of them is magnesium and many people have a magnesium deficiency- an estimated 80 percent of the population!
What Is Magnesium?
Magnesium is an element on the periodic table and a mineral found in nature. It acts as an electrolyte in the body and is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. It is very crucial to many aspects of the health of our bodies.
You can find about 99 percent of the total magnesium in your body stored in your bones while the other one percent is in the blood.
What Happens When You Are Deficient?
Unfortunately, even if you eat a very healthy diet, it is still possible to be deficient in
magnesium. The soil we use to grow our food has been so depleted of nutrients that we can no longer get the nutrients our body needs to function. Magnesium deficiency has been associated with diseases like Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, migraines, hypertension, heart disease, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. This is why it is so important to know your magnesium levels. I recommend a simple blood test so you can keep track of your biomarkers to make sure they are in the healthy range. I like this one as the test is very cost effective and the report and information your get is very detailed.
Top 10 Magnesium Rich Foods
1. Spinach (cooked): 1 cup = 157 milligrams, 39% DV
2. Swiss Chard (cooked): 1 cup = 150 milligrams, 38% DV
3. Dark Chocolate: 1 square = 95 milligrams, 24 % DV
4. Pumpkin Seeds (dried): 1/8 cup = 92 milligrams, 23 % DV
5. Almonds: 1 oz = 75 milligrams, 19% DV
6. Black Beans: 1/2 cup = 60 milligrams, 15% DV
7. Avocado: 1 medium = 58 milligrams, 15% DV
8. Figs (dried): 1/2 cup = 50 milligrams, 13%DV
9. Yogurt/Kefir: 1 cup = 46.5 milligrams, 12% DV
10. Banana: 1 medium = 32 milligrams, 8% DV
Other great sources are wild caught fish, grass-fed dairy, sea vegetables, pink salts, and sprouts.
Benefits of Magnesium
One of the benefits of eating some of these magnesium-rich foods is that it can help reduce complications associated with metabolic and inflammatory issues. Blood sugar imbalances and chronic stress are the top culprits for draining magnesium in the body. If you find you have eaten high carbs/sugary dessert, or you have chronic stress, look to consume more of the magnesium-rich foods as well as use a supplement. I will address the supplements below.
Some other benefits of magnesium include:
• Alleviating PMS
• Boosts exercise performance
• Enhances sleep quality by helping to calm the body
• Help fight depression
• Reduce migraines
• Relieve inflammation
• Reduce blood pressure
• Improve your blood sugar levels, helping to prevent insulin resistance
Magnesium helps your nervous system and your muscles.
Why Do You Need Magnesium?
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for health as it is involved in over 300 reactions in the body. It is also needed for many bodily functions including:
• DNA synthesis
• Muscle contractions
• Blood pressure regulation
• Protein synthesis
• Insulin metabolism
• Nerve transmission
As you can see, there are many important functions that magnesium is involved with so it is critical to make sure you are in the healthy range.
Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency
Some symptoms that you may be deficient in magnesium are:
• Muscle cramps or twitching
• Loss of appetite
• Memory problems
• Difficulty swallowing
• Irregular/rapid heartbeat
Which Magnesium Supplement?
There are several different forms of magnesium to supplement with. Below are the differences between some of them so you can decide what is best for you!
• Magnesium Citrate: magnesium with citric acid, often used for constipation
• Magnesium Glycinate: a chelated form of magnesium, usually has high absorption/bioavailability, good for neuro-inflammation and muscle inflammation
• Magnesium Taurate: magnesium salt of taurine, calms and restores the nervous system
• Magnesium Chloride Oil: magnesium in the form of oil, can apply to skin, great for malabsorption issues
These are a few of the most common magnesium supplements on the market. As a reminder, there can be some concerns with getting too much magnesium so be sure to talk with a qualified health professional and get your levels tested.
By: Heather Dody