The Magnesium Diet. Are You Deficient?

Many people in the U.S. are lacking one very vital mineral — Magnesium. Some numbers report as high as 80% of the population is deficient!

Even though it’s a very simple mineral for your body to regulate, its levels can be thrown off pretty easily by stress, alcohol use, and various medications. Also, as processed foods have become popular, magnesium levels have dropped because many people just don’t eat enough fruit, vegetables, and whole grains—all important sources of magnesium.  

Why Is Magnesium So Important?

Magnesium is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in our body!

To name a few, magnesium...

  • Regulates normal muscle and nerve function, blood pressure, and blood glucose control;
  • Ensures correct formation of teeth and bones;
  • Metabolizes carbohydrates, amino acids, and fats;
  • Keeps the immune system strong.

Are You Deficient in Magnesium?

The first symptoms of magnesium deficiency can be subtle. Most magnesium is stored in our tissues so leg cramps, foot pain, or muscle twitches and spasms can be the first sign, such as when the corner of your eye twitches.

Other early signs of deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. 

One effective way to ensure proper magnesium levels is to get a blood test, but another effective way is to take a magnesium supplement or apply it to your skin (transdermal) with a magnesium lotion, magnesium oil, or a mineral wellness bath.

Get The Right Amount of Magnesium

Eating these six food groups is an easy way to get started:

DARK-GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES: Look for spinach, kale, and chard the next time you grocery shop.

NUTS AND SEEDS:  Sesame seeds are super high in magnesium, but the two that take the top spot are squash and pumpkin seeds.

BEANS: white beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, and chickpeas all hit the high-magnesium mark.

CHOCOLATE: Sure, it can also satisfy a craving for sweets, but luckily chocolate has magnesium too. It’s best to look for dark chocolate to get the benefits.

FISH: Mackerel is one of the higher sources of magnesium in the fish department, but tuna is also a good option.    

WHOLE, UNREFINED GRAINS: brown rice and quinoa are good sources of magnesium, with grains like millet and bulgur following close behind.

Tip: Oral magnesium acts as a laxative by causing a more rapid gut transit time. Magnesium needs to travel through the intestinal system slowly. 

Women over the age of 30 typically need to take about 320 mg of magnesium daily.

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

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