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Magnesium Deficiency: 9 Symptoms And 9 Necessary Foods

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Though everyone knows what magnesium is, many are unaware of how important a mineral it is to the human body. Involved in over 300 metabolic processes in your body, more than 3,750 magnesium-binding sites have been found in human proteins. Magnesium also plays a crucial role in the transportation of calcium across your cell membranes. Your body will display numerous symptoms when it is low on magnesium. Here are 9 major red flags you should watch out for.

1. Constant Muscle Aches And Cramps

1-Muscle-Cramps-and-Spasms

Low levels of minerals in your body can cause cramps and spasms. Magnesium is very important for muscle relaxation. When your body lacks magnesium, it can involuntarily contract, which can cause painful spasms. If you constantly face muscle tension and aches, then it might be a good idea to up your magnesium intake through foods or supplements. 1

2. Unending Chocolate Cravings

2-Cravings-for-Chocolate

Do you find it difficult to put an end to your chocolate cravings? When we crave for foods, our body is basically trying to tell us that it needs a certain nutrient out of it. You have to listen to your body and interpret what it wants exactly.It’s completely normal for anyone to crave for chocolate once a while. But if you constantly feel the need to satisfy your sweet tooth with chocolate, it might be because you are deficient in magnesium. 2 Dark chocolate contains around 24% of your daily requirement.

3. Perpetual Anxiety

3-Anxiety

Have you been feeling constantly stressed out and anxious lately? Do you keep worrying and obsessing over even the most trivial things in life? The fact that your body is low on magnesium could be the culprit behind your predicament. As magnesium happens to be a relaxation mineral, a lack of it could impact the way your brain processes thoughts and emotions. 3

4. Sleeping Disorders

4-Insomnia

Another common symptom of magnesium deficiency is insomnia. Do you keep tossing and turning in your bed night after night, not able to figure out why you can’t fall asleep despite the fact that you are tired? If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, then it could be a sure sign that your body is running low on magnesium. Even a minor dip in your body’s normal magnesium levels can stop your brain from relaxing at night. 4

5. Digestive Problems

5-Constipation

The relaxing effect of magnesium applies to the digestive tract as well. It is important that your body maintains optimum levels of magnesium so that the digestive processes are carried out without any hiccups. When your body is low on magnesium, your intestines contract more, making it more difficult for your body to pass waste. Your unexplained bouts of constipation could be because you direly need more magnesium in your body. 5

6. Surging Blood Pressure Levels

6-High-Blood-Pressure

As discussed earlier, magnesium is a major mineral that your body requires to stay calm and relaxed. Magnesium helps relax your blood vessels and helps regulate your blood pressure levels. If you have high blood pressure, one of the reasons could be magnesium deficiency. Pay a visit to your doctor and find out if all you need to do to control your blood pressure levels is a little bit of magnesium. 6

7. Constant Headaches And Migraines

7-Headaches-and-Migraines

Your never-ending trysts with migraines and headaches could be your body’s way of telling you that it is hungry for magnesium. Next time you get a headache or migraine, try eating some chocolate instead of popping a painkiller. The calming effect of magnesium would release the tension headaches and tense muscles in your upper neck, which usually is the cause of migraines.7

8. Unsteady Heartbeat

8-Irregular-Heartbeat

This miracle mineral also plays a part in keeping your heart healthy by helping the heart muscles relax. When your body is low on magnesium, your heart starts to beat irregularly, leading to a condition that the experts refer to as  ‘arrhythmia’. An irregular heartbeat is never a healthy symptom and should be rectified as soon as possible. Most often than not, a higher dose of magnesium-rich foods is all that would take to bring your heartbeat back to normal. 8

9. Frequent Heartburn And Acid Reflux

9-Acid-Reflux

Are you a victim of frequent bouts of heartburn or acid reflux? Are your meal times always followed by painful spasms and nausea? These symptoms could mean that you require to consume foods that are rich in magnesium so that your body could function smoothly once again. Next time you are troubled by heartburn or acid reflux, try having a bar of chocolate or some other magnesium-rich foods instead of medication. 9

Foods Rich In Magnesium

Take a look at some foods that can help you maintain your normal magnesium levels:

1. Brazil Nuts: These are an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, B vitamins, and magnesium. A handful of Brazil nuts thrice a week can keep you super healthy.

2. Halibut: Halibut is an abundant source of high-quality protein and an excellent source of magnesium too. It lowers the risk of certain types of stroke.

3. Cocoa: Cocoa is full of antioxidants that may prevent many cancer and heart diseases. Cocoa is also rich in vital minerals, including calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.

4. Rice Bran: Low in sodium and an excellent source of dietary fiber, rice bran is also rich in magnesium. The magnesium in rice bran is important for kidney function, heart health, and critical brain and nerve function.

5. Cashew Nuts: Cashews are loaded with antioxidants, which are important in diseases resulting from oxidative damage and stress. High in magnesium content, they are also a good source of copper, which is a key mineral in making melanin.

6. Quinoa: A gluten-free superfood, a valuable source of protein, and also a source of all essential amino acids, quinoa also contains magnesium, which encourages the secretion of serotonin, a critical neurotransmitter for happiness.

7. Pumpkin Seeds: Along with being rich in zinc, pumpkin seeds are also rich in magnesium. The high amount of nutrients and minerals give it anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties.

8. Almonds: Almonds are high in good fats, i.e., monounsaturated fats. Eating almonds reduces the risks of heart disease and lowers cholesterol. The level of magnesium and other minerals makes almond essential for maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

9. Spinach: Spinach is rich in magnesium, calcium, potassium, and zinc. It is also loaded with vitamin K, A, C, folates, and many more. All these nutrients promote a healthy heart and longevity.

References   [ + ]

1. Bilbey, D. L., and Victor M. Prabhakaran. “Muscle cramps and magnesium deficiency: case reports.” Canadian Family Physician 42 (1996): 1348.
2. Bruinsma, Kristen, and Douglas L. Taren. “Chocolate: food or drug?.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 99, no. 10 (1999): 1249-1256.
3. Grases, Gloria, J. A. Pérez-Castelló, P. Sanchis, A. Casero, J. Perelló, B. Isern, E. Rigo, and F. Grases. “Anxiety and stress among science students. Study of calcium and magnesium alterations.” Magnesium research 19, no. 2 (2006): 102-106.
4. Hornyak, Magdolna, Ulrich Voderholzer, Fritz Hohagen, Mathias Berger, and Dieter Riemann. “Magnesium therapy for periodic leg movements-related insomnia and restless legs syndrome: an open pilot study.” Sleep 21, no. 5 (1998): 501-505.
5. Bernard, Chris. “MAGNESIUM FOR CONSTIPATION.”
6. Cappuccio, F. P., N. D. Markandu, G. W. Beynon, A. C. Shore, B. Sampson, and G. A. MacGregor. “Lack of effect of oral magnesium on high blood pressure: a double-blind study.” Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 291, no. 6490 (1985): 235-238.
7. Weaver, Kenneth. “Magnesium and migraine.” Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain 30, no. 3 (1990): 168-168.
8. Hamid, Mohammad, Rehana Shafi Kamal, Shahid Ahmed Sami, Farouk Atiq, Azam Shafquat, Hamid Iqil Naqvi, and Fazal Hameed Khan. “Effect of single dose magnesium on arrhythmias in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery.” JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association 58, no. 1 (2008): 22.
9. Mandel, K. G., B. P. Daggy, D. A. Brodie, and H. I. Jacoby. “of heartburn and acid reux.” Aliment Pharmacol Ther 14 (2000): 669-690.