How Magnesium Deficiency Affects Almost Every Area of Health (and What You Need to Do)
By Joanne Beccarelli
Do you often crave chocolate?
Are you prone to muscle cramps, aches, pains or tics?
Have you ever had cluster headaches or migraines?
Maybe you have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or high cholesterol?
If you nodded once or even more to these questions, then there is a good chance you have a magnesium deficiency.
As many as 50% to 80% of Americans today are deficient in magnesium and hardly anybody knows about it.
Is This A Deficiency That You Could Have?
When you believe you eat well and have a full check-up with your doctor annually, it is hard to fathom having any deficiencies.
The truth is that magnesium intake has dwindled to less than half of what it used to be and now falls far short of the current U.S. RDA recommended amount of 320 mg per day for women and 420 mg per day for men.
There are many reasons for this, but the top one on the list is the foods many people now eat. Processed foods, high sugar foods, sodas and alcohol all deplete magnesium levels since magnesium is used to detoxify and neutralized acidic conditions in the body.
Further complicating matters, the quality of whole foods is diminishing as mineral depleted soils do not pass along essential elements that plants once absorbed abundantly. Magnesium is one of the reducing minerals in farm soils. This affects the value of your food and contributes to the challenges of getting enough magnesium.
Why Your Doctor Never Noticed This Deficiency
Even if you have regular annual exams with full blood work done, a magnesium deficiency is hard to detect. The challenge arises because magnesium is stored primarily in your skeleton and teeth, but is also in your muscle tissue and cells. That leaves only about 1% circulating in your blood. Therefore, blood testing will rarely (if ever) tell you what is going on.
Here’s Why You Need Magnesium:
- Magnesium is needed for more than 400 biochemical reactions in the body.
- Every single cell in the human body needs magnesium to function properly.
- Magnesium along with calcium regulates electrical impulses.
- Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function.
- It helps to keep your brain and heart working properly. These two key organs are especially at risk, since they function on electrical impulses that rely on magnesium.
- Proper levels of magnesium help to protect against getting cluster headaches and migraines.
- Magnesium can help you avoid painful menstrual cramping, muscle aches, pains and twitching and even spasms associated with asthma.
Here Are 6 Simple Ways To Fix Your Magnesium Deficiency:
- Stop Depleting Your Body Of Magnesium. Eliminate processed foods and limit soda, coffee, sugar and alcohol. Practice meditation or other means of destressing. If you are taking prescription medications, ask your doctor if they deplete magnesium.
- Ensure That Your Body Fluids And Electrolytes Stay Balanced. Replenish fluids and electrolytes lost through sweat, diarrhea, or vomiting.
- Soak In An Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) Bath. This is a good way to absorb magnesium. It is easily found in pharmacies or online.
- Use Magnesium Oil Spray. It can usually be purchased at a health food store or online. Spray application is highly absorbed.
- Eat Magnesium Rich Whole Foods:
- Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, flaxseed, quinoa)
- Nuts (almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts)
- Sea vegetables (kombu/kelp, dulse)
- Grains (brown rice, millet, buckwheat, wheat bran/germ, barley, rye)
- Organic soy (edamame, tofu)
- Vegetables & fruits (greens, avocado, corn, artichokes, banana, dates)
- Beans & lentils
- Fish (halibut, salmon)
- Dark chocolate! Aim for over 70% cacao.
It is safe to say that most people would benefit by adding magnesium to their lives and it may be discovered to be the missing link to some common but inexplicable ailments. Pay attention to your symptoms and up your magnesium intake, then begin to notice how your health and energy improves.
Note: People with kidney disease or heart disease should take magnesium only under a doctor’s supervision.
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Joanne Beccarelli is a holistic health coach, juicing junkie, writer, soon to be cookbook author and recovered emotional eater. Inspired by many great voices in the health-thru-food revolution, Joanne found her way out of hiding in shame (losing almost 100 lbs in the process) and stepped away from the corporate world. She now dedicates every day to helping others who are overwhelmed, overworked, and overstressed, find awareness, fulfilment and better health.
Joanne has a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from eCornell/T. Colin Campbell Foundation, and became a Certified Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She is also a member of American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP), and the International Association of Health Coaches (IAHC).
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