Magnesium is a vital nutrient in the body that is needed for more than 300 different biochemical reactions in your body and is crucial for optimum health. Research studies have shown that magnesium can help prevent cardiac arrest, heart attack, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and is a nutritional powerhouse that helps create the energy molecules in the body known as ATP.
80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium
Lifestyle choices such as alcohol, coffee, and soda consumption, processed food diets, excess calcium supplementation, stress, and prescription and illegal drugs can severely impact your magnesium levels. Studies have shown that almost 80% of Americans are deficient in this important nutrient. Long-term deficiency of magnesium can lead to increased disease risk and other ailments such as asthma, anxiety, and heart disease (among many others).
Magnesium deficiency can cause a number of symptoms, 5 of them being:
Even a mild deficiency in magnesium can cause fatigue and if you are deficient in magnesium then your fatigue will not be cured by anything other than an increase in magnesium. Caffeine and prescription medications will only mask the fatigue and not get to the root of the problem.
Red overlay to the face
In ‘Facial Diagnosis of Cell Salt Deficiencies,’ David Card outlines the 12 cell salts that are crucial for human health and the symptoms associated with each deficiency. A physical symptom of a magnesium deficiency is a red overlay to the face. If you are experiencing a chronic red pigment on your cheeks and forehead then most likely you need to get your magnesium levels up.
Our bodies are highly intelligent and know what to crave based on a nutrient deficiency. If you are craving chocolate constantly, most likely you are deficient in magnesium and need to supplement. Cocoa powder is full of magnesium. Add raw, organic powder to your smoothies and desserts for added magnesium in your diet.
Flushing red in uncomfortable situations
If you typically flush red in an uncomfortable situation then this is a sign of a deficiency in magnesium as spelled out in the book ‘Facial Diagnosis of Cell Salt Deficiencies’ by David Card.
Cramping (especially menstrual cramping and leg cramping)
Menstrual cramps and cramping in general are associated with a magnesium deficiency. Leg cramping is also a typical sign of magnesium deficiency. In fact, studies have shown that 78% of leg cramp sufferers are deficient in magnesium. By taking magnesium you will loosen muscles and help prevent leg cramping. It also increases the absorption of potassium, decreases pain by blocking pain receptors, dampens inflammation in the muscles, and relaxes blood vessels.
How to increase your magnesium levels
Magnesium deficiency is very hard to test for because only 1% is stored in the blood. Millions of people are suffering from this deficiency. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then speak to your doctor or purchase a high-quality magnesium supplement. Magnesium glycinate and liposomal magnesium are some of the best choices for those that are experiencing a deficiency. The typical recommended daily allowance by the world health organization is 400-500 mg daily, although most experts are recommending as high as 1,000 mg. Dr. Carolyn Dean, magnesium expert and the medical director of the Nutritional Magnesium Association, recommends taking a 1:1 ratio of magnesium and calcium to ensure the absorption and metabolism of both calcium and vitamin D.
To increase your intake, choose foods that are naturally rich in magnesium such as pumpkin seeds, spinach, black beans, quinoa, cashews and sunflower seeds. Be careful when taking magnesium, as an excess of this in the diet can cause gastrointestinal issues. If you experience diarrhea after increasing your intake then reduce the amount taken to cure this issue.