Magnesium and the lack of

I keep hearing how most people do not have enough magnesium in their bodies, that their levels are too low. Whether that be accurate or not, I wondered why this might be.

Magnesium is a vital ion needed in the body to aid nerve transmission, muscle contraction, blood coagulation, energy production, nutrient metabolism and bone and cell formation. It is found in many common foods but is also available as a supplement, I take one daily. Low magnesium can lead to inflammation in the body which could further lead to health problems including anxiety and depression, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers.

A reason why we may be lacking in magnesium is simply our diet. Eating foods high in saturated-fat such as processed or fast-foods, consuming high sugar foods and even drinking soda can cause a depletion of magnesium in the body. Not only can it be your diet, but common over-the- counter medicines can be responsible. Certain antibiotics, birth control pills, diuretics and some asthma medications.

Symptoms you may experience if you have a deficiency can include: 

Parkinson’s disease
Migraines and headaches
Chest pain
High blood pressure
Type II diabetes
Sleep problems

It appears most if not all of these symptoms would not have you immediately suspecting your magnesium levels are too low, they could be caused by a large number of other factors too. Without testing our levels and consuming enough of the mineral to keep the levels up, how would we know that is the problem?

I have not had my levels tested, but as I take Omeprazole daily for GORD (gastro-oesophageal reflux disease) and this being one of the known medications to cause a depletion, along with other brands of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), I will continue to take a daily supplement – you know, just in case.

Foods rich in magnesium includes: yogurt/kefir, nuts, seeds, avocado, dark leafy greens, avocado, bananas, dark chocolate and black beans.

Perhaps back in the day we consumed more of these natural foods as opposed to fast-foods or foods high in saturated-fat and sugar, and we didn’t have access to the medicines we do now, so it is no wonder we are lacking in magnesium.

I am not a health professional so cannot give advice on the matter, but research suggests this is an important nutrient needed in our diet.

Personally, I will continue to take my daily supplement as I am on a medicine known to cause a deficiency, but will make an effort to consume more naturally occurring foods. Hopefully I get my levels in a good enough range to benefit my health and contribute to me feeling happier and healthier.

How about a smoothie? 1/2 cup low fat yogurt, 1/2 banana, 1/2 avocado, handful of spinach, add some pineapple chunks to heighten the taste, blend all ingredients together and enjoy. Why not add some ice to the recipe and enjoy your drink cold refreshing ?



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