Magnesium: Are you getting enough?

May 26, 2023

The Benefits of Magnesium

Did you know that approximately 68-80% (depending on the study) of our population is deficient in magnesium? In fact, most adults don’t even get the minimum requirements. This can be due to a variety of different reasons.

Through the years magnesium has been farmed out of our soil; the increased use of pesticides and herbicides that bind with magnesium make it unavailable to our fruit and vegetable crops. Excessive use of alcohol, caffeine, and sugar along with eating a poor diet and processed foods can also reduce your body’s ability to absorb magnesium. Even stress (think HIGH cortisol levels!) and certain medications can reduce our ability to absorb magnesium.

How can you tell if you aren’t getting enough magnesium? Many people may experience widespread muscle pain sometimes diagnosed as myofascial pain syndrome or Fibromyalgia. Muscle cramps are another symptom of possible magnesium deficiency, especially leg cramps at night. Fatigue, sleep disorders, and anxiety are often associated with reduced magnesium. Studies have also shown that high blood pressure and Type II diabetes are also associated with magnesium deficiency.

Most adults need 300-400mg of magnesium per day. This can be achieved by eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Some of the best magnesium rich foods are as follows:

  • Dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens)
  • Avocados
  • Figs
  • Yogurt
  • Black beans
  • Buckwheat
  • Tofu
  • Dark chocolate
  • Nuts (almonds, cashews, brazil nuts)
  • Seeds (pumpkin, chia, flax)
  • Fish (salmon, halibut, mackerel)

Certain individuals may find that they need to add supplemental magnesium to their diet based on their needs and symptoms; for example, for their heart health, or to improve their sleep. There are lots of different types of magnesium that work best for different needs. In fact, there are 11 different types of magnesium to choose from. The ones listed below are a few forms commonly recommended by physicians:

  • Magnesium Glycinate – most easily absorbed for of magnesium, least likely to cause gastrointestinal distress
  • Magnesium Citrate – relieves constipation
  • Magnesium Potassium Aspartate – decreases heart palpitations and alleviates muscle cramps
  • Magnesium Malate – reduces muscle tension
  • Magnesium L-Threonate – promotes restful sleep

Magnesium helps regulate lots of different bodily functions and protects against certain health conditions. It helps to regulate neuromuscular function, promoting cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of heart disease. It improves digestion, supports bone health, protects against Type II diabetes, improves sleep, reduces muscle tension, relieves constipation, can reduce and prevent migraine headaches, reduces stress and anxiety, improves exercise performance, and can reduce inflammation. Magnesium is involved with many critical bodily functions and hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body. The benefits listed above are just a few things that magnesium supports.

If you feel that magnesium may be helpful to you, a conversation with your healthcare provider can help you determine what type of magnesium will be best.