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James Colquhoun, Filmmaker (Food Matters & Hungry For Change)
Have you got cravings for chocolate so intense that you can’t think about anything else? What about those muscle cramps that keep you up at night? Or your trips to the bathroom are a bit of a struggle? Chances are you’re deficient in magnesium!
Magnesium is essential for over 300 different enzymatic processes to help your body function properly. It’s a common mineral to be deficient in, yet most people have no idea they’re lacking this vital nutrient!
Here are seven key signs that you may be deficient without even realizing:
1. Chocolate Cravings
Your body knows best. When you truly listen closely to your body, it will tell you what it needs. Dark chocolate is actually a good source of magnesium, containing 24% of your daily needs in just one square. If your body is desperately calling out for a chocolate fix, it may be just what you need!
2. Muscle Cramps
Involuntary muscle spasms can be incredibly painful! Magnesium helps to relax your muscles, so when you’re running low on this mineral, you’re likely to find your muscles contracting involuntarily, causing you painful spasms!
Feeling anxious? A deficiency in magnesium can have your central nervous system sending you early warning signs by increased anxiety. Supplementation with 200mg of magnesium may help keep your adrenal hormones under control when anxiety kicks in.
4. High Blood Pressure
Have you been eating well and exercising regularly yet still getting high blood pressure? It could be a lack of magnesium and electrolytes. Magnesium helps to dilate and relax your blood vessels so when you’re low on this critical mineral, your blood vessels tend to constrict more resulting in higher blood pressure. When your electrolyte levels are also unbalanced due to a lack of magnesium, this can create high blood pressure too!
If your digestive system isn’t quite working as well as usual, it may be because of magnesium. Your intestines tend to contract more when you’re low in magnesium making it harder for waste to pass through. Ensuring you have enough magnesium is important for your bowels for two key reasons. One, it helps to relax your bowels, and two, it pulls water into your bowels creating an osmotic effect that makes passing waste easier.
6. Sleep Troubles
Did you know magnesium levels drop in your body at night? That means if you’re low in magnesium you may have trouble sleeping! So many of us have difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep. A deficiency in magnesium may be a contributing factor as it plays such a key role in the function of your central nervous system.
7. Irregular Heartbeat
If you have a magnesium deficiency, the muscles in your body can’t function optimally. Your heart is also a muscle! Without adequate magnesium it may struggle to contract properly with low levels of magnesium, leading to irregular heartbeats.
If you’ve got one or more of the symptoms listed then you may like to try increasing your magnesium intake.
What zaps my magnesium levels?
These factors are key influencers on your magnesium levels:
- Food and drink high in salt, sugar, caffeine and alcohol should be limited.
- Stress also plays a role, so try implementing relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga as much as possible.
- Check with your doctor to see if your medication is causing magnesium loss – many high blood pressure medications may be contributing to your problems rather than helping!
How can I get more magnesium?
Foods that are high in magnesium include:
- Leafy greens
- Beans and lentils
- Nuts and seeds
- Quinoa and other unrefined grains
- Dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa)
Try consuming more of these foods to help reduce symptoms of magnesium deficiency. You may be surprised to find out that it’s all you needed to feel better!
Looking for a supplement? Try magnesium glycinate or magnesium citrate, they’re two of the most readily absorbed. Just avoid overdoing it as they have a laxative effect when consumed in high doses!
Have you found relief by consuming more magnesium-rich foods?
Supplements available: Bioceutical Magnesium Blends