Lately, if you noticed a marked drop in your appetite and have been bothered by headaches, nausea, fatigue, and weakness, a magnesium deficiency could be the culprit. You’re not alone. About half of the US population consumes less than the required amount of magnesium. Essential for energy production, magnesium is an element without which your body cannot function. Here’s how to find out if you have a magnesium deficiency and what you can do to fix it.
Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium deficiency is rather complex. For the uninitiated, its symptoms can reflect the severity of the deficiency, which ranges from mild to life-threating. If you are affected by 4 or more of the following symptoms, you might be having a magnesium deficiency:1 2
- Gastrointestinal disorders: Diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, inflammation of the intestine, nausea.
- Renal disorders: Diabetes mellitus
- Muscle cramps and joint pain
- Fatigue and weakness
- Insomnia and anxiety
- Migraine and headache
- Heart problems
How To Fix Magnesium Deficiency
1. Eat Leafy Vegetables
This is rather obvious. If you have a magnesium deficiency, eat foods that are rich sources of magnesium. Leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale are good options. In fact, a cup of spinach carries about 157 milligrams of magnesium! Some of the other foods that you eat to up your magnesium intake include pumpkin seeds, black beans, avocado, figs, banana, and dark chocolate.3
A trick to reach your required daily consumption of magnesium is to add a handful of spinach to one of your meals. Additionally, you can also make yourself a delicious spinach-avocado smoothie instead of your evening coffee.
- Blend 1 cup of chopped mango and 1 cup of chopped avocado
- Add 1 cup of almond milk and 2 spoons of lime juice
- Add 1/2 cup spinach to the mixture
- Pulse until you get a smooth texture
- Serve cold!
2. Look For Magnesium In Your Sparkling Water
Another way to get enough magnesium in your diet is to drink sparkling water. But before buying your favorite sparkling water, look for magnesium in the ingredient list. Drink 1 liter of this water every day.
3. Take Magnesium Supplements
Consult your doctor and discuss the supplement that’s ideal for you. Magnesium supplements cannot be a pill by itself, as it needs another substance to stabilize it. Magnesium citrate, magnesium gluconate, and magnesium lactate are some of the popular supplements that are commercially available.
4. Avoid Consuming Certain Foods
If you’re a coffee lover, you might have to skip a cup or two to reduce the depletion of magnesium in your body. Soda, alcohol, and salty food (sodium-rich food) are some of the other foods that can lower magnesium levels.4
What You Need To Remember
The recommended daily requirement of magnesium intake varies based on your age and gender. The required magnesium dosage for males over the age of 31 is 420 mg and for males between 19 and 30 years of age is 400 mg. The required magnesium dosage for females over the age of 31 is 320 mg and for females between 19 and 30 years of age is 310 mg. If you are breastfeeding, consult your doctor for the ideal dosage.5
Before taking magnesium water on a daily basis, here are some things you need to remember:
- Make sure that you don’t overdose, as it could prove harmful
- If you have a kidney failure, you should avoid magnesium water
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consume magnesium only after consulting a doctor
- If you are on any other medication, don’t consume unprescribed magnesium supplements
|↑1||Rosanoff, Andrea, Connie M. Weaver, and Robert K. Rude. “Suboptimal magnesium status in the United States: are the health consequences underestimated?.” Nutrition reviews 70, no. 3 (2012): 153-164.|
|↑2||Magnesium. Oregon State University.|
|↑3, ↑4, ↑5||Magnesium. University of Maryland Medical Centre.|