Americans have a big problem. Even worse, most individuals don’t even know this problem exists.
Magnesium is a critical mineral used in the human body, but nearly three-quarters of Americans aren’t getting enough of it. Most nutrition organizations recommend 420 mg of magnesium per day for males and 320 mg per day for females. Unfortunately, the average daily intake is roughly 160 mg.
As our society has seen an increase in processed, convenience foods, magnesium levels have dropped. That’s because the mineral is most abundantly found in natural foods that aren’t too popular with today’s Americans—green vegetables, milk, whole grains, and nuts.
Why You Need Magnesium
Magnesium is used in more than 300 metabolic functions of the body. It’s especially critical to the heart, muscles, and kidneys. Magnesium plays a role in:
- Structure of cells, chromosomes, and bones
- Energy production at a cellular level
- Conducting nerve signals and muscle movements
- Regulating heart rhythm
- Neutralizing stomach acid and promoting proper digestion
- Regulating blood sugar
The Dangers of Magnesium Deficiency
The symptoms of low magnesium are often non-specific and ignored. They include anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, weakness, and irritability.
Although an improper diet can be the sole cause of low magnesium, some specific ailments can aggravate the condition. Irritable bowel syndrome, hyperthyroidism, pancreatitis, diabetes, and
kidney disease can also cause magnesium deficiencies.
The World Health Organization recently outlined several complications related to magnesium deficiency and the facts are startling. Research has confirmed links between low levels of magnesium and many health conditions, such as:
- Coronary Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Migraine Headaches
- Premenstrual Syndrome
- Restless Leg Syndrome
How to Boost Magnesium Levels
As you may suspect, the best way to raise your magnesium levels is by eating healthy food. Below is a list of magnesium rich foods that can give a deficiency a serious punch. (Magnesium content per serving is listed in parentheses.)
- Black beans (120 mg)
- Kidney beans (70 mg)
- Brown rice (84 mg)
- Oatmeal (61 mg)
- Whole-wheat bread (46 mg)
- Bananas (32 mg)
If eating foods like these just isn’t possible, several types of magnesium supplements are available. Magnesium citrate is an especially beneficial form of the mineral. Its composition allows for maximum adsorption in the body.
Be sure to consult a doctor before starting a magnesium supplement. A slight overdose of magnesium citrate can cause diarrhea and more serious overdoses have been known to cause low blood pressure, heart attack, and a host of other no-fun complications.
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