A whopping 80% of Americans are believed to be magnesium deficient but what is it, and why magnesium is essential? Calcium was considered to be the most important element in our bodies, second to air (oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen). Only in recent years, the medical industry is understanding how important the element magnesium is, labeled ‘macro mineral’, which the body requires in order to function to its maximum capabilities. Magnesium helps turn the food into energy, keeping muscles, heart and nervous system all in check, while also maintaining bone strength and improving the immune system.
Benefits Of Magnesium
Today’s society is experiencing a decline of magnesium in the body due to present lifestyle influences like diet, environment, and certain medicines. Many don’t recognize they are deficient blaming the symptoms on stress, fatigue or anxiety. The assistance of magnesium in the body is essential for the following reasons:
- Regulates insulin levels and the response of sugar in the body
- Magnesium paired with zinc, copper and vitamin D all help strengthen bone density, assisting keeping osteoporosis at bay.
- Helps keep the heart rhythm regular and guards the heart from muscle stress caused by sickness, constipation or indigestion.
- Reduces lactic acid which causes pain after exercising.
- Lowers blood pressure
- Assists with energy
Are You Lacking?
There are a number of symptoms that may suggest a lack of magnesium including:
- sleep problems
- Mood swings
- Skin problems
- Irregular heartbeat
- Food cravings
There are several indicators, and in these cases, visiting a doctor is advised. They include, extreme thirst and hunger, frequent urination, dry skin, blurry vision and tingling in hands and feet as well as muscle spasms.
Magnesium In Food
If the symptoms are not severe, promoting magnesium naturally, by consuming certain foods, will help with the milder symptoms.
Some of these foods include:
- Green leafy vegetables like spinach or Kale
- Dairy foods
- Whole grain bread
- Brown rice
- Dark chocolate
Taking an oral magnesium supplement may also help a magnesium deficiency, but it can have side effects on the stomach and may not be recommended for someone with a digestive issue like IBS or acid reflux. There is an alternative that comes in a cream form (magnesium chloride cream), and this bypasses the digestive tract and enters the blood stream more directly. In a recent study scientists have suggested that people with higher than average blood pressure may be magnesium deficient and will benefit from this cream.
Making sure enough magnesium is present is imperative, but if any symptoms suggest a deficiency, then enhance the leafy greens and visit a doctor for further advice. A doctor can give a blood test to see if a lack of magnesium is obvious. It is important to remember that unless a severe deficiency exists, a serum blood test may not recognize the shortage of magnesium. A RBC test is thought to be more precise, checking magnesium levels in your red blood cells. The third test is an ionized test which uses a machine that isolates the magnesium ions. This is the most accurate test, allowing doctors to get a truthful reading of magnesium levels. The last test is a EXA test, which is basically a cheek swab using tissue gathered from the mouth.
So whether leg cramps, migraines, cravings, insomnia or heart irregularity, take magnesium seriously as there is one thing for certain, it’s a critical macro mineral we can’t live without.