90% of us are magnesium deficient. Here are 10 signs you’re not getting enough…
By Kirsten Cowart
Magnesium is an essential mineral that your body needs in order to have a healthy immune system, regulate blood pressure, process stress, maintain healthy bones, balance your hormones and so much more.
Unfortunately – it is estimated that over 90% of people in the U.S. are magnesium deficient!
So unless you don’t suffer from stress, live by the ocean, eat food from magnesium rich soils, and drink magnesium rich water then you may need to read this.
Magnesium Deficiency- A New Problem
Unfortunately, because of the way we farm the land today many of our magnesium rich soils have run out of essential minerals. This means that fruits, veggies and even many animals that graze on plants are not as healthy as they once were.
What makes this problem worse is that when we add harmful chemicals to our water such as chlorine and fluoride it will bind to the magnesium making it much harder for our bodies to absorb.
Diet is Also an Issue
If you consume high levels of sugar or caffeine then you are actually causing issues with your body’s magnesium supply. These chemicals can deplete the natural magnesium in the body while making it hard for us to regular our calcium levels.
Though a lot can go wrong when you have low amounts of such an important mineral as magnesium here are 10 of the biggest issues that can come about.
1. Anxiety & Depression
No one likes being depressed and trying to deal with anxiety is terrifying to say the least. Though there can be many factors to cause these common issues it is important to make sure that your body has everything it needs to heal.
Magnesium deficiency has been linked to many mental health issues and Psychology Today thinks they may know why:
MAGNESIUM HANGS OUT IN THE SYNAPSE BETWEEN TWO NEURONS ALONG WITH CALCIUM AND GLUTAMATE. IF YOU RECALL, CALCIUM AND GLUTAMATE ARE EXCITATORY, AND IN EXCESS, TOXIC. THEY ACTIVATE THE NMDA RECEPTOR.
MAGNESIUM CAN SIT ON THE NMDA RECEPTOR WITHOUT ACTIVATING IT, LIKE A GUARD AT THE GATE. THEREFORE, IF WE ARE DEFICIENT IN MAGNESIUM, THERE’S NO GUARD. CALCIUM AND GLUTAMATE CAN ACTIVATE THE RECEPTOR LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW. IN THE LONG TERM, THIS DAMAGES THE NEURONS, EVENTUALLY LEADING TO CELL DEATH. IN THE BRAIN, THAT IS NOT AN EASY SITUATION TO REVERSE OR REMEDY.
Protecting our brain cells is extremely important for long term health and function in day to day life. That is why we strongly recommend if nothing else you protect your brain by getting enough magnesium. If that isn’t enough to convince you we ask you to consider the following as well.
2. Calcification of Your Arteries
When your magnesium levels are out of whack your calcium levels often get too high. Calcification of the arteries is another way of saying that the walls of your flexible and life giving arteries are suddenly as rigid as bone.
This rigidity makes it really easy to have further complication including heart attacks.  If you show up to a hospital because of a heart attack the doctors will quickly give you a shot to help prevent calcification and blood clotting which is made out of magnesium chloride.
According to a study done by Framingham you can even lower your long term risk of coronary heart disease by making sure that you get enough magnesium. 
3. High Blood Pressure & Hypertension
While we are on the topic of the heart and blood vessels it is important to understand the importance of magnesium when it comes to hypertension and high blood pressure.
One Harvard study found that people with healthy blood pressure also had the best magnesium intake. Another study done by the University of Minnesota found that women who ate plenty of magnesium could reduce their risk of hypertension by up to 70%!
People with high blood pressure can help reduce that number by taking supplements with magnesium or making sure to increase foods high in magnesium. 
4. Cramps & Muscle Spasms
Since magnesium helps to regulate so much within the body while also helping to keep calcium in check it is no wonder that having a low level of magnesium can cause muscle spasms, cramps and stiffness.
In fact, the next time you are having these symptoms try adding potassium to your diet such as a banana or avocado and if that doesn’t relieve the symptoms I recommend getting some magnesium.
5. Low Energy
Without the right amount of magnesium in your body the cells don’t get the right amount of energy. In order for your cells to consume energy they need a magnesium ion. This means that you aren’t just tired, your cells are exhausted and starving for energy.
This unfortunately can lead to many different problems from stress all the way to a weakened and sluggish immune system.
6. Problems Sleeping
If having low energy wasn’t enough, someone who is low in magnesium may also have problems getting enough sleep. Magnesium is very important when it comes to being able to relax both your mind and your body. It specifically works by making sure your GABA neurotransmitters allow your brain to slip into a restful level of sleep. It also helps your body absorb vitamin D which is important for making melatonin and getting proper rest.
If you feel restless and what I often call ‘too tired to fall asleep‘ then you may want to add magnesium into your daily life. Trust me you will be grateful in the morning.
7. Hormone Unbalance
If you have high levels of progesterone or estrogen which is common during pregnancy then you most likely have low levels of magnesium in your body. This can lead to common muscle complaints such as leg cramps.
During menstrual cycles and pregnancy it is very common to crave chocolate which is actually a decent source of magnesium. The next time you find your self craving chocolate you may want to also load up on the common foods that are packed with magnesium that we will share with you below.
8. Other Pregnancy Complaints
Your mood, morning sickness, and health during pregnancy is often linked with magnesium levels. In fact, if you are wanting to stay balanced and reduce your nausea then make sure you have a healthy amount of magnesium rich foods in your diet.
Transdermal Magnesium is common during pregnancies to help keep away hypertension, muscle cramps, headaches and even preterm labor making it extremely important.
9. Healthy Bones
While we have all been taught that calcium is good for our bones we often are not taught that magnesium is essential also. This simple mineral is needed for your body to absorb vitamin D, and properly use calcium. This means that magnesium’s job in your body is to get the hormone known as calcitonin to pull calcium out of your tissue and muscles and make sure it gets back into your bones where it belongs.
10. Other Mineral Deficiencies
Without magnesium doing its job your body cannot keep a normal amount of vitamin D, calcium, vitamin K, potassium or other essential nutrients. So much of your body is dependent upon this simple mineral that it is crucial that you make sure that you have enough of it in your diet.
How to make sure your are getting enough Magnesium
You can get magnesium from specific organic foods that were grown in magnesium rich soils such as spinach, avocados, chard, bananas, black beans, pumpkin seeds, almonds and figs. You can also get magnesium from chocolate (I prefer cacao) and yogurt.
Magnesium can also come from supplements and many doctors recommend that adults take 1,000 mg/day and children take 400-500mg/day. However, if you find that these supplements irritate your stomach you can get them in the form of transdermal injection from a doctor or there are even magnesium sprays you can use on your skin before bed each night. Just make sure that whatever you do you are getting enough to keep your body in balance.
Image by wikihow under a Creative Commons license.