Magnesium Deficiency is also known as hypomagnesemia. Despite being essential for more than 300 bodily processes, magnesium is a commonly lacked nutrient.
Believe it or not, statistics shows that around 80 percent of the American population is magnesium deficient. Unfortunately, this nutrient deficiency causes a lot of unpleasant symptoms so it is vital to treat it timely.
Despite higher availability of different types of foods rich in magnesium today, people are frequently diagnosed with magnesium deficiency.
So, why is this happening?
Experts believe that this has to do with the depletion of magnesium from the soil caused by modern farming techniques.
Hundreds years ago, the average individual acquired around 500 mg of magnesium through their diet whereas today, this number has dropped to 200 mg.
Continue reading the article to learn more about the major functions that magnesium performs in the body:
Major Roles of Magnesium in the Body:
- Activation of the muscles and nerves
- Providing energy for the body through the activation of ATP
- Enhances the digestion of protein, carbohydrates, and fat
- Essential for cardiovascular health
- Magnesium Deficiencies on the Rise
- A building block for synthesis of the DNA and RNA
- A vital precursor for serotonin and other important neurotransmitters
Sign and Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency:
As a result; a lot of us need to resort to magnesium supplementation to reach the recommended daily intake.
In order to help you recognize timely if you are lacking magnesium, we will share 6 major symptoms that must never be ignored.
If you happen to notice them, consult your physician to discuss supplementation and elevate your intake of foods rich in this vital mineral.
1. Tiredness and Weak Muscles (Fatigue):
Fatigue is a condition manifested by mental and physical weakness that happens chronically may be an indicator of the magnesium deficiency.
Though the occasional tiredness is common in everyone and usually goes away with sleep and rest, severe tiredness may signalize a health problem that needs to be addressed.
Muscle weakness may also happen in magnesium-deficient individuals. This is believed to be a result of decrease of the potassium in the muscle cells, a condition linked to magnesium deficiency.
2. Mental Disorders:
Mental disorder is an another possible consequence of the magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium plays a crucial role in regulating the neurotransmitter balance. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals in our brain that regulate thought patterns and behaviors ranging from the motivation to sleep to focus.
It includes apathy, which is characterized by the mental numbness or lack of emotions. Worsened deficiency may even lead to Coma and delirium.
Additionally, observational studies also have associated low magnesium levels with an increased risk of depression.
Scientists have speculated that magnesium deficiency might promote the anxiety issues, but the direct evidences are lacking.
3. Muscle Twitches and Cramps:
Cramps, twitches or tremors in the muscles may happen due to insufficient magnesium. In severe cases, the deficiency may even trigger seizures.
This is believed to happen because of the increase in calcium flow in the nerve cells, which hyper-stimulates the muscle nerves.
This health problem is manifested by weak bones and higher risk of bone fractures.
The main contributing factors to osteoporosis include poor exercise, low levels of vitamins D and K, and magnesium deficiency.
Lack of magnesium directly weakens the bones and minimizes the calcium levels and calcium is a main building block of the bones.
Some studies on animals show that magnesium deficiency may increase the blood pressure and promote high blood pressure, which is a strong risk factor for the heart disease.
While direct evidence is lacking in humans, several observational studies suggest that low magnesium levels or the poor dietary intake may raise blood pressure issues.
Lack of magnesium may elevate the blood pressure and contribute to hypertension, a major risk factor of heart illness.
Magnesium supplements may be of aid in decreasing the blood pressure and consequently, minimize the risk of cardiovascular disease.
6. Irregular Heartbeat
It is also known as arrhythmia. This health problem may be caused by insufficient levels of magnesium in your body.
Some individuals may experience heart palpitations. Other accompanying symptoms of arrhythmia are shortness of breath, light-headedness, and pain in the chest.
This is considered to be a consequence of the potassium imbalance outside and inside of the heart muscle cells, a condition linked to magnesium deficiency.
Source of Magnesium:
It is widely found in both the plants and animal-sourced foods. Seeds and nuts are the richest source of magnesium.
But, beans, whole grains, leafy green vegetables are also magnesium rich sources.
Below is the magnesium content in 100 grams (3.5 ounce) of some of its best sources :
Almonds: 270 mg
Pumpkin seeds: 262 mg
Popcorn: 151 mg
Dark chocolate: 176 mg
Peanuts: 168 mg
Just one ounce (28.4 grams) of almonds provides you 18% of the Recommended Daily Intake for magnesium.
Other great sources include sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, cashew nuts, cocoa, coffee, hazelnuts and oats.
Magnesium Deficiency Treatment:
Magnesium Rich Food
By adding magnesium rich food into your diet, you can get rid of magnesium deficiency. Some magnesium rich foods are dark chocolates, avocados, nuts, legumes, tofu, seeds, whole grains, fatty fishes, leafy greens and bananas.
Epsom Salt Baths
Perhaps one of the most relaxing ways to get the more magnesium into your body is by taking an epsom salt bath.
Epsom salts are actually a form of the magnesium that can absorb into body through the skin while you soak.
Industrialization and poor attention to the soil quality has depleted our soil of vital nutrients that used to be passed into food we ate.
Although we are starting to wake up to this fact and make more conscious efforts to create the nourished farming conditions, our food is still lacking in nutrition our body need.
So we can take this in the form of supplements.
If you have a health disorder that causes a loss of the magnesium from your body, such as diabetes, you should make sure to eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods or take the supplements.
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