Magnesium is a crucial mineral to nearly every organ, tissue, and function in your body, including:
- Energy production
- Keeps bones and teeth strong
- Muscle and nerve function
- Blood pressure regulation
- Helps keep heart rhythm steady
Where does magnesium come from? How do you know if you’re getting enough?
Signs You’re Deficient in Magnesium
An early sign of magnesium deficiency is often fatigue.
You may notice muscle spasms, weakness, or stiffness as well. Other common symptoms in this early stage include nausea and loss of appetite, but because these initial symptoms could indicate a wide variety of other health issues, a true magnesium deficiency can be hard to diagnose.
While fewer than 2% of Americans have been estimated to experience magnesium deficiency, one study suggests that up to 75% are not meeting their recommended intake.
A low magnesium level can weaken your immune system and plays a critical role in various acute and chronic diseases such heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Also, low magnesium appears to be a risk factor for osteoporosis.
Adults needs about 400mg of magnesium per day. The goods news is that magnesium can be easily incorporated into your diet.
- Green, leafy vegetables, like spinach
- Nuts — especially almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds
- Black Beans
- Whole Wheat Bread
- Dark Chocolate (look for 70% cacao and use sparingly)
Optimizing your diet by eating magnesium-rich foods is the best way to get this nutrient. However, if you are unable to increase your magnesium levels enough with diet alone, there are supplements you can use to bridge the gap.
Which type? Any type should be good. It’s controversial what type is the best (citrate vs. oxide, etc.) but there is no definitive scientific data to date proving which type is better than the other.
However, excessive use of any type of magnesium supplement can be toxic. In addition to what you eat, the highest magnesium dose you should take is 350mg/day for adults.
Something that is so intertwined into your health should not remain unchecked and deficient. Whether it is through diet or a supplement, maintaining a proper magnesium level is vital to your body’s health.
Anyone experiencing symptoms of deficiency should see a doctor.