We know vitamins and minerals like magnesium are important. But how often do we really think about how a deficiency might effect us? Our bodies have complex needs – many of which we can’t appreciate without a bachelors degree on the subject. It’s easy to see how meeting our daily recommended intake for micronutrients might be something we take for granted.
Magnesium is one of those crucial elements that the body needs to function properly , and studies have shown that the majority of us are deficient in it. As our society has changed, our food has changed – and so have our diets.
Most North Americans rely heavily on refined foods. Unfortunately, those foods don’t supply a lot of vitamins and minerals needed for optimal health. On top of that, the damage being done to our digestive systems in eating a lot of these refined, sugar-heavy, inflammatory foods can make it difficult for our bodies to absorb what little is provided.
Long story short, this has had an effect on the amount of magnesium we take in, and our ability to retain it.
Magnesium has a few important functions, including:
- Creation of neurotransmitters
- Muscle and Nerve Function
- Energy production
The list of effects that a magnesium deficiency can have on your body is actually quite astounding! You never know: a magnesium deficiency may be the simple answer to explain some of your most mysterious health problems!
Symptoms of Deficiency Include:
- Depression/ Anxiety
- Blood Sugar Issues
- Gastrointestinal Issues/ Constipation
- High Blood Pressure/ Irregular Heartbeat
- Tooth Decay
With such serious symptoms, how could you be deficient in magnesium and not know it? Well, getting to the root of the problem can be difficult. Many of these health issues could be related to other causes. Additionally, magnesium deficiency is hard to test for, as most of the body’s magnesium is stored in the tissue and organs.
My suggestion? Go with your gut. If you’re having any combination of these symptoms, try adding a good quality magnesium supplement in your routine. I recommend magnesium citrate or magnesium chloride, both of which are highly bioavailable forms.
You could also try upping your consumption of magnesium through food: spinach, pumpkin seeds, and black beans are three foods that offer a high amount of this vital mineral per serving.
Magnesium deficiency seems to be the hidden culprit behind a range of symptoms. If you think that this could be affecting you, contact your health care professional and ask about supplementing with magnesium.