Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps maintain healthy muscle and bones. Here are 6 huge magnesium deficiency symptoms you should be looking for when evaluating your health.
6 Huge Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
Magnesium is a mineral and important nutrient that your body needs to function. It is responsible for helping with over 300 processes within the body. Magnesium helps muscles and nerves work efficiently, helps to regulate blood sugar levels, assists in keeping bones strong and helps your body maintain a steady heart rate. It is known for having a calming and relaxing effect on body systems.
You can get magnesium through eating foods rich in the nutrient or dietary supplements. Foods rich in magnesium include green leafy vegetables, nuts, avocados, pumpkin seeds, salmon, grass-fed dairy and dark chocolate. Below are some common signs of magnesium deficiency symptoms.
Problems with Cognition
A deficiency in magnesium can result in a number of cognitive difficulties, such as brain fog, memory problems and difficulty concentrating. This is because magnesium plays a vital role in helping your mitochondria function. Mitochondria are structures within the body’s cells that are responsible for producing energy.
Without enough magnesium, the mitochondria in brain cells have difficulty producing enough energy to power thinking processes.
MIT researchers found that magnesium plays a pivotal role in regulating brain receptors needed for learning and memory function, and that supplementing with magnesium helped clear so-called “brain fog.”
Headaches and Migraines as a magnesium deficiency symptom
If you suffer from chronic headaches or migraines, low magnesium may be playing a role in keeping your head pounding. Some studies have shown that people who get migraines tend to have lower levels of magnesium in their bodies. Low magnesium is thought to contribute to headaches and migraines because of its role in supporting healthy neurological function and neurotransmitter production.
The American Migraine Foundation suggests taking a 400–500 milligram (mg) supplement of magnesium oxide daily to prevent migraines. They also say that daily oral magnesium has also been shown to be effective in preventing menstrually related migraine, especially in those with premenstrual migraine.
Research on magnesium has found it to be a well-tolerated, safe and inexpensive option for migraine prevention, while it may also be effective as an acute treatment option for headaches including migraines, tension- type headaches and cluster headaches.
Constipation is a sign of magnesium deficiency
Low magnesium can often lead to bouts of constipation. Magnesium works to keep you regular in a couple of ways. By helping to draw water into the intestines, magnesium plays a role in keeping stools soft for more efficient elimination. It also helps by keeping the muscle contractions of the intestinal track regulated and working optimally.
We don’t eat enough magnesium-rich foods. Plus things like chronic stress, too much caffeine and sugar and toxic overload often deplete magnesium levels and can make you constipated.
Muscle Cramps and Spasms
Because of the important role it plays in supporting your muscles, not having enough magnesium can lead to painful muscle cramps and spasms. Your muscles work by contracting and relaxing.
Without enough magnesium, these contractions and relaxations can become difficult and uncoordinated. Muscle spasms and cramps are often early signs of magnesium deficiency. Muscle spasms due to low magnesium are often felt in the feet and legs.
According to this 1996 study, magnesium deficiency should always be included in the diagnosis of patients who present with persistent or severe muscle pain.
Anxiety and Stress from lack of magnesium
Because of its important role in the production of neurotransmitters, low magnesium can leave you feeling anxious, stressed and irritable. Neurotransmitters are chemicals found in the brain that help your nerves communicate with each other so anxiety is one of the biggest big magnesium deficiency symptoms.
They help your body regulate a variety of behaviors, such as sleep, thought patterns, moods and more. Low magnesium can result in a variety of mood disorders, including anxiety, depression, irritability and confusion.
If you suffer from sleepless nights, you may be low in magnesium. The neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) plays a role in helping the body to relax. GABA is the neurotransmitter responsible for quieting down nerve activity and magnesium plays an important role in helping GABA production in the brain.
Being low in magnesium can lead to low GABA production. And, without proper amounts of GABA, getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult. By helping to quiet the nervous system and promote GABA production, magnesium may help prepare your body and mind for sleep.
Read more about How to Use Magnesium to Sleep Better.
How Can You Get More Magnesium from Your Diet?
Magnesium is an essential mineral that performs a host of necessary functions. It helps your body utilize other minerals and vitamins and is vital for the right functioning of muscles and nerves, including the heart.
Studies show that people who live in areas with hard water have less cardiovascular disease, and hard water is the result of high levels of magnesium and calcium. It helps the body turn glucose into energy and helps
regulate body temperature. Magnesium is used as a laxative, a sleep aid and an antacid.
About 50 percent of the magnesium people get in your diet is absorbed by the small intestine, and the rate goes up if you’re deficient in the mineral. Another good thing about magnesium is that it’s found in a variety of foods.
Here are some foods that contain magnesium
Green Leafy Vegetables
Nearly all green vegetables have a good amount of magnesium, because magnesium is an essential component of chlorophyll. This is the green pigment that lets a plant convert sunlight into energy.
Beet greens are especially rich in magnesium, and a cup has 106 milligrams of the mineral. Other vegetables that are good sources of magnesium are steamed collards and steamed mustard greens.
Sunflower seeds have a good amount of magnesium, and sesame seeds have even more. Other seeds that provide good amounts of magnesium are pumpkin seeds and chia seeds.
Wheat germ is the embryonic form of the wheat plant, and it is full of nutrients besides magnesium. Two tablespoons of wheat germ delivers a little over 11 percent of the daily value of magnesium.
Some fruits also bring a lot of magnesium, including dried apricots, avocados, dried, pitted dates, raisins, prunes and a good sized wedge of watermelon.
Types of seafood that are good sources of magnesium include cooked crabmeat, baked flounder, pink, canned salmon, cooked shrimp, canned shrimp and canned tuna. But few things beat seaweed when comes to magnesium. A cup of kelp has 1670 mg of magnesium.
Almonds and Brazil nuts have whopping amounts of magnesium. A cup of almonds has 378 mg of magnesium, while a cup of unsalted Brazil nuts has 558. Other nuts that have high levels of magnesium are pistachios and roasted peanuts.
Whole milk is a good source of magnesium, though dry skim milk has over twice as much per cup. Canned, evaporated milk is also high in magnesium.
Among meats, fried beef and calf liver has a lot of magnesium, as does oven roasted rump roast and pot roast. Beef steaks are good sources of the mineral, as are roasted leg of lamb, lamb shoulder, bacon, pork chops and cured, roasted ham. The light meat of a roasted turkey has a good percentage of magnesium.
Tofu is soybean curd pressed into forms. Depending on how much liquid is taken away, it can be silken, soft, firm or extra firm. Some types of tofu are dehydrated. An extra firm, 122 gram block of tofu has 65 mg of magnesium.