Your body is more reliant on magnesium than you might have realized. According to a recent study published in The Journal of Intensive Care Medicine, a magnesium deficiency could make you twice as likely to die before other people. Magnesium deficiencies also account for a long list of symptoms, ailments and diseases. Simply adding magnesium to your diet might aid in abetting health concerns you hadn’t been able to tackle yet. Half of Americans have a magnesium deficiency and don’t even know it!
What is magnesium though?
Magnesium is the most powerful relaxation mineral available, which means it can act as an antidote to stress and improve your sleep. While you may not have heard much about it, magnesium is a very traditional way to treat a variety of things. Magnesium is commonly used by doctors for everything from constipation (milk of magnesia, anyone?) to life-threatening heart arrhythmias. Pregnant women can be given high doses of intravenous magnesium if they come into the hospital with pre-term labor or pre-eclampsia.
You don’t need a doctor to provide magnesium for you though. You can introduce magnesium to your lifestyle today and stat reaping the benefits.
Think of magnesium as the relaxation mineral. Anything that is tight, irritable, crampy, and stiff — whether it is a body part or an even a mood — is a sign of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is actually responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions!
While magnesium is found in all of your body tissue, it is mainly in your bones, muscles, and brain. Magnesium is necessary for your cells to create energy, for many different chemicals to pump, to stabilize membranes, and help your muscles relax.
- Unsure of whether you have a magnesium deficiency? Here are a few of the symptoms:
• Muscle cramps or twitches
• Muscle pain, tightness
• Sensitivity to loud noises
• Anal spasms
• Chronic fatigue
• Kidney stones
• High blood pressure
• Menstrual cramps
• Irritable bladder
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Trouble swallowing
• Insulin resistance
• High inflammation (e.g. CRP)
If that seems like a lot, it is! Magnesium deficiency is very common, but should still be taken seriously. Around 65% of people admitted to intensive care units have a lack of magnesium in their body tissue.
Why are so many people deficient in magnesium? Well, magnesium isn’t a huge part of most people’s go-to diets. Highly processed foods, like white flour, meat and dairy, all have almost no magnesium.
Looking for magnesium in your foods? Try some sea vegetables (like seaweed), nuts, greens, or beans. Your magnesium levels can also be depleted by drinking too much alcohol, coffee or soda or eating too much salt. Anything that can lead to profuse sweating, prolonged or intense stress, chronic diarrhea or excessive menstruation can also lower magnesium levels.
To further complicate things, our bodies tend to do a poor job absorbing magnesium. To make sure you absorb it, you do need a lot of it. Adding other vitamins like B6, D and selenium will also help!
Quick tips for increasing your magnesium levels:
• Limit coffee, soda, salt, sugar, and alcohol
• Practice meditation and try to avoid stress
• Ask your doctor if any medication you’re on might cause magnesium loss
• Eat lots of kelp, almonds, cashews, buckwheat, brazil nuts, dulse, filberts, millet, pecans, walnuts, rye, tofu, soy beans, brown rice, figs, dates, collard greens, shrimp, avocado, parsley, beans, barley, dandelion greens, and garlic
• Take a hot bath with Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate)