Are you deficient? Knowing the signs of magnesium deficiency can make a huge difference in your health and you mood!
Here are just a few signs that you may be magnesium deficient:
- Muscle cramps
- High blood pressure
- Hormone problems
- Sleep issues
- Low energy
- Low vitamin D
- Low vitamin K
Magnesium is essential for proper brain function and mood regulation. Research indicates that without enough magnesium, you are more prone to depression. According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance , major depressive disorder impacts 14.8 million American adults.
In one study of over 8,00 people, researchers found that those 65 years old and under with the lowest intake of magnesium had a 22 percent increased risk of developing depression.
In a randomized controlled trial including older adults suffering from depression, a 450-milligram magnesium supplement improved mood just as effectively as an antidepressant drug.
No one likes being anxious. If you find you are frequently in this state, you may want to try increasing your magnesium. Low magnesium levels have been attributed to an increase in anxiety. According to research a diet low in magnesium changes the types of bacteria present in the gut and alters anxiety-based behavior.
Studies indicate that even having a slightly reduced level of magnesium can cause severe changes in how the heart, blood vessels, blood cells and other tissues function. Magnesium is critical for proper electrical and mechanical functioning within tissues such as nerves and muscles (such as the heart), and blood vessels.
Research has shown that low brain magnesium is evident during a migraine attack. One study found that a regular intake of magnesium reduced the frequency of migraine attacks by just over 41 percent. Another study found that taking a magnesium supplement daily can help prevent menstrual-related migraines.
According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, a magnesium expert and Medical Advisory Board member of the Nutritional Magnesium Association, magnesium could be the answer to a host of premenstrual symptoms. These include such things as mood swings, fluid retention, depression, breast tenderness, headaches, poor sleep and sugar cravings.
Research has shown that mice given extra magnesium had better working memory long-term memory and a greater ability to learn. According to head researcher Dr. Liu, “Magnesium is essential for the proper functioning of many tissues in the body, including the brain and, in an earlier study, we demonstrated that magnesium promoted synaptic plasticity in cultured brain cells.”
Good Dietary Sources of Magnesium
Magnesium-rich foods are found abundantly in nature. Try these delicious options:
Spinach is rich in many key nutrients for your health, including magnesium, protein, vitamin E and B vitamins. Raw spinach only has about 78 milligrams of magnesium per cup, but one cup of cooked spinach contains over 760 milligrams! That’s twice the amount from kale and collards, with only Swiss chard beating spinach as the top source from leafy greens.
Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, chia, hemp and flax seeds are all great sources of magnesium. Seeds are also rich in anti-inflammatory fats and high in protein. Try sprinkling a couple tablespoons of seeds onto salads, add them to a green smoothie, or toss a few in with some berries and organic Greek yogurt for a high protein, magnesium-rich breakfast or snack.
Cocoa ad cacao
Raw nibs and cacao powder are incredibly high sources of magnesium, along with dark chocolate and even cocoa powder. While you shouldn’t rely on chocolate alone for your magnesium intake, having a small square of dark or raw chocolate (or a couple tablespoons of cocoa) is certainly an enjoyable way to add more magnesium to your day!
Almonds are high in protein, vitamin E and the highest source of magnesium among all nuts, with cashews being a close second. Almonds contain roughly 76 milligrams per ounce (about 23 nuts), or 15 percent of your daily needs. For the best anti-inflammatory option, choose raw almonds (unroasted) or raw almond butter.
Bananas are often avoided for their high sugar content, but this fruit is actually the best source of magnesium among all common fruits. Bananas are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, vitamin B6 and manganese. A medium-sized banana contains 32 milligrams of magnesium.
Your morning cup of java just got a bit more exciting — coffee is the highest source of liquid magnesium you can consume! It’s also higher than any food source — just in case you were wondering. Espresso has a higher magnesium content, but all coffee comes in around 1000 milligrams or more in just one eight-ounce cup. Do keep in mind that calcium from milk and refined sugar can interfere with magnesium absorption, so drink your coffee black. Also use a raw, whole-food sweetener like honey instead of sugar.