Magnesium deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in western society, yet magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body. It’s essential for maintaining normal muscle and nerve function, as well as keeping a healthy immune system, maintaining heart rhythm, and building strong bones. 

Over 90% of Americans do not meet their recommended intake of magnesium. (1) If the symptoms of magnesium deficiency mentioned in this article resonate with you then I suggest contacting your healthcare provider to take a detailed magnesium test. 

If you answer yes to a majority of the below questions, have multiple symptoms, and notice that you don’t eat consume the mangesium rich foods below, then you may be suffering from a magnesium deficiency.

How many of the below questions do you answer YES to?

Do you consume carbonated drinks on a regular basis?

 Soda usually contains phosphates. Phosphates bind with magnesium in your digestive tract, making the mineral unavailable to your body.

Do you regularly eat cakes, desserts, candies or other sweet foods? 

Refined sugars force magnesium to excrete through the kidneys. Sugar filled foods absorb vital nutrients from your body, so the more sugary sweets you have in your body, the more likely you are to be deficient in magnesium and other vitamins and minerals.

Are you regularly stressed? 

Stress is a direct cause of magnesium deficiency, and magnesium deficiency magnifies stress. Stressful situations cause your body to use more magnesium than necessary to handle regular bodily functions.

Do you drink multiple caffeinated drinks daily? 

Caffeine causes your kidneys to excrete extra magnesium.

Do you take a diuretic, heart medication, asthma medication, birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy?

These drugs have been shown to increase magnesium loss through excretion by the kidneys.

Do you drink more than 7 alcoholic beverages a week? 

Alcohol affects the body in a similar way to diuretics, as in it lowers the magnesium available to the body by causing an increase of excretion through the kidneys.

Signs of magnesium deficiency

  • Muscle twitches and cramps
  • Chocolate cravings
  • Mental disorders: anxiety, mental numbness & lack of emotion, delirium, and depression
  • ADHD
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness
  • Difficult sleeping / Insomnia
  • Constipation
  • High blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Acid reflux, (2) 

Adequate intake in adults (3)

Adult males : 400-420mg

Adult females : 310-320mg

For those with a more severe deficiency, magnesium supplements and magnesium oil are options as well. 

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  • Spinach, cooked (157 mg per cup)
  • Swiss chard, cooked (150 mg per cup)
  • Quinoa, cooked (118 mg per cup)
  • Sunflower seeds (114 mg per 1/4 cup)
  • Edamame, cooked (99 mg per cup)
  • Pumpkin seeds, dried (98mg 1/8 cup)
  • Dark chocolate (95 mg 1 square)
  • Cashew (83 mg per ounce)
  • Almonds (75 mg per ounce)
  • Black beans (60 mg 1/2 cup)
  • Figs (dried) (50 mg 1/2 cup)
  • Avocado (58 mg 1 medium)
  • Peanuts (49 mg per ounce)
  • Chia seeds (40.2 mg per tbsp)
  • Banana (32 mg 1 medium)
  • Sesame seeds (32 mg per tbsp), (4)

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