Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms and Magnesium Food Sources

magnesium deficiency symptoms

What is magnesium?

Magnesium is my favorite mineral because most of my clients exhibit magnesium deficiency symptoms and they respond incredibly well when more magnesium is added to their daily diet. It is estimated (USDA study) that 75% of the American population have a magnesium deficiency.

The body uses magnesium primarily for nerve and muscle function and the formation of bones and teeth, but magnesium is involved in several hundred chemical reactions in the body and is required by every cell.

This critical mineral is used to prevent heart disease, and in treating high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, kidney stones and gallstones, migraine headaches and asthma.

Some researchers believe that a magnesium deficiency is a cause of cardiovascular disease.

Do you have magnesium deficiency symptoms?

  • Muscle weakness, tremors, twitches, nervous tics
  • Muscle cramps- usually in your calves or feet
  • PMS cramps
  • Irritability, nervousness or anxiety, confusion
  • irregular heartbeat
  • Painful and cold hands or feet
  • Excessive body odor
  • loose or sensitive teeth
  • Nausea, dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Mental depression or apathy
  • Hypersensitivity to noise
  • Poor co-ordination
  • Cravings for chocolate
  • Insomnia, restlessness, hyperactivity
  • High blood pressure
  • This is a long list, review it carefully, if you have two or more symptoms then you need to add more magnesium foods to your diet and consider taking a supplement. As a nutritionist, I have learnt that if you listen carefully... your body always talks loudly and clearly.

    Magnesium is closely linked to other vital minerals: calcium, potassium and sodium. We need an adequate supply of all of these minerals to be healthy. Nature often supplies these minerals in perfect balance and in the same foods- so always think of improving your diet first.

    Magnesium Foods

    Magnesium is found in most foods especially dairy products, meat, fish, leafy green vegetables, unrefined grains, nuts, seeds, soybeans, legumes and tofu.

    magnesium deficiency symptoms

    The current recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 350 mg of magnesium daily but many experts believe the RDA should be at least 600 mg. Pumpkin seeds are one of the richest sources of magnesium at 152 milligrams of magnesium per ounce of pumpkin seeds.

    magnesium deficiency symptoms Healthy tip: Spread pumpkin seeds on a baking pan and spray with Tamari sauce or Braggs amino acids, bake at 375 degrees for 5-10 minutes. Let cool and eat as a snack or add to a trail mix. Delicious!

    What factors deplete our magnesium levels?

    Excessive intake of phosphorus, calcium, saturated fat, sugar, caffeine and alcohol deplete magnesium levels. Eating processed foods can also create magnesium deficiency symptoms since minerals are lost in processing.
    In Dr. Cass Ingram’s book: ‘How To Eat Right and Live Longer’, he confirms that most minerals are lost in the food refining process. For example, when whole wheat flour is refined into white flour the following percent of minerals are lost:

    87% of chromium, 90% of manganese, 83% of magnesium, 82% of zinc, 81% of iron, 66% of copper.

    Certain drugs are known to deplete magnesium including furosemide, hydrochlorothiazine, cholestyramine and oral contraceptives.

    Dr. Ingrams says that diuretics are very dangerous since they ‘wash out’ valuable heart healthy nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, chloride, sodium and zinc. Ingrams goes on to say “…if tissue levels of any of these minerals become too low, sudden death or stroke can occur”.

    There are in fact many natural diuretics found in nature such as watermelon, parsley, and chlorophyll found in dark green vegetables. The minerals magnesium and potassium are also mild diuretics. Cutting back on sodium in your diet and drinking more water are also sensible solutions.

    Please note: always discuss medical concerns with your health provider.

    Final thoughts:

  • Magnesium and calcium are intimately related, when magnesium levels are low the blood becomes saturated with calcium which the body deposits in muscles or kidneys. This can lead to those painful kidney stones.
  • Magnesium is concentrated 18 times greater in the heart muscle than in the blood stream.
  • Magnesium supplements are often sold with the co factors calcium and vitamin D. I personally like the calcium magnesium formula from Douglas labs. This company is ranked very highly by the authoritative book 'Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements'.

    If you take a good quality multi vitamin, it should have additional magnesium in it. You may choose to increase your magnesium foods and take an additional magnesium supplement depending on the severity and number of magnesium deficiency symptoms you exhibit.

  • Douglas labs. manufactures an excellent quality multi vitamin: Ultra Preventative 1X , which is ranked as one of the top supplements in North America. This supplement was evaluated on 18 critical health support criteria and scientifically compared with 1500 multi vitamins in North America.
    Ultra preventative 1X scored 5 out of 5 and a gold star ranking along with three other companies in North America: Usana, Creating Wellness Alliance and Truestar Health.

    If you are going to take supplements, it really is worth taking the best.

  • To prevent magnesium deficiency symptoms, make sure you are eating a diet based on whole, unrefined, natural foods. See food substitutions for some great tips and ideas on improving your diet.

    calcium deficiency symptoms

    Magnesium deficiency symptoms