Why magnesium matters and why you are likely deficient in it

Why magnesium matters and why you are likely deficient in it

Why magnesium matters and why you are likely deficient in it

Magnesium is a big deal, it is responsible for over 300 reactions in the body. It’s involved in everything from metabolism to immune function. It helps reduce stress, improve sleep, build strong bones and balance blood sugar levels. Some experts claim that magnesium deficiency is the single largest health problem today.

Why are we deficient?

The reasons are varied. Food is our main source of magnesium however the standard persons diet is high in processed food, sugar and bad fats, contributing to reduced intake. Additionally these substances increase the body’s need for more magnesium. Furthermore stress reduces our magnesium levels, something we all experience daily. Additionally the soil our food is grown in is depleted of many essential minerals including magnesium. Industrial agriculture has played a major role in this depletion with sprayed fertilisers disrupting the natural balance of healthy soils. Also many medications can also cause low levels such as diuretics, asthma medications, certain antibiotics and oestrogen (OCP).

Conditions associated with magnesium deficiency

  • Hyperactivity
  • Noise sensitivity
  • Allergies
  • Thyroid issues
  • Seizures
  • Epilepsy
  • Kidney dysfunction
  • Colitis
  • Diabetes
  • Alcoholism
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Muscle spasms and cramps
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Fatigue
  • Hypertension
  • Hormone problems

These are just some examples, but the impact of deficiency is far reaching.

Foods high in magnesium

  • Spinach – 1 cup = 157mg
  • Chard – 1 cup = 154mg
  • Pumpkin seeds – 1/8 cup = 92mg
  • Yoghurt – 1 cup = 50mg
  • Almond – 1 cup = 80mg
  • Blackbeans – ½ cup = 60mg
  • Avocado – 1 medium = 58mg
  • Figs – ½ cup = 50mg
  • Dark chocolate – 1 sq = 95mg
  • Banana – 1 medium = 32mg
  • ALSO kelp, tofu, walnuts, millet, pecans, buckwheat, brazil nuts, parsley, dates, rice, garlic, sesame seeds, quinoa

While increasing these foods, reduce your intake of processed food, alcohol, caffeine and other toxins. In addition to having no nutritional benefit these substances increase excretion of magnesium and reduce absorption, leading to increased requirements.

How much?

While the RDI for magnesium ranges from 300mg-400mg, very few people achieve this. Furthermore everyone’s needs vary depending on stress, health, coffee/alcohol intake, diet and medications. Dr Mark Hyman recommends up to 1000mg/day for adults.

Eating magnesium rich food is a great way to increase intake, however sometimes supplementation is necessary. If supplementing choose a highly absorbable form such as magnesium citrate or glycinate.  Another great source for increasing intake is an Epsom salt bath. Also Wellness Mama has a simple recipe for making your own magnesium oil here.

Most importantly if you have kidney disease or severe heart disease you consult a trained health professional before commencing magnesium supplementation.