Magnesium rarely gets credit where it’s due. This unsung hero of your body plays a role in more than 300 enzymatic reactions and has been shown to help heart health, build strong bones, regulate blood sugar levels and even reduce anxiety and stress. But despite all of this – and more – many people are not getting their full fix of this amazing mineral.
Women should be getting approximately 310 to 320mg a day and since the likes of dark leafy greens, nuts, seed, avocados, bananas, beans and dark chocolate contain magnesium, you wouldn’t think it would be that hard to ensure you’re getting your daily dose.
However poor lifestyle choices, such as an unhealthy diet and too much alcohol up the chances of magnesium deficiency.
While the not so pleasant symptoms don’t show themselves immediately, a continued deficiency can lead to some nasty side effects which you should definitely see your doctor about.
The first symptoms to appear can often be mistaken for the flu. Nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness and loss of appetite are typical symptoms. If they haven’t disappeared after five days it might be time to check in with your GP.
We’re not talking about the odd cramp at night from eating too many salty snacks. If you keep getting cramps in your arms and legs which make them feel stiff and hard to move it could be that your magnesium levels are too low. Magnesium loosens muscles by blocking the effect of calcium which tightens the muscles. Magnesium supplements are often prescribed for people suffering from such cramps.
Your heartbeat can be thrown off rhythm with a magnesium deficiency and can beat faster or sometimes slower because of it. Low magnesium levels can cause a drop in potassium which affects your heart muscle cells.
Tingling or numbness in fingers and toes can be caused because magnesium plays a role in nerve impulses. A lack of it can cause a loss of feeling in the extremities.
Low magnesium levels have been linked to increased risk of depression. This may be because a deficiency can lead to a change in your mood and personality. Mental numbness, increased anxiety and lack of emotions could all be a sign you need to boost your magnesium intake.
Studies have linked magnesium deficiency to increased blood pressure and high blood pressure which in turn increases the risk of heart disease.