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Magnesium is much more than just an element on the periodic table. It is an essential mineral that directs and coordinates many processes in the body. From nerve function to digestion, it holds many benefits to your health. Eating a magnesium rich diet, therefore, can improve your health significantly and prevent the harmful symptoms that are commonly associated with a deficiency.
What is the Purpose of Magnesium?
Magnesium is one of the most prevalent minerals in the body, provided you regularly eat a magnesium rich diet. It is instrumental to many bodily processes, but is best known for its ability to strengthen bone and muscle. It also plays a vital role in digestion and has been linked to immune system function as well. Magnesium supplements have become popular over the years. However, making adjustments to your diet is perhaps the easiest and most beneficial way to receive a healthy dosage.
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
Having low levels of magnesium can produce several symptoms. Some of the most obvious indicators of low magnesium levels are muscle weakness and twitching, leg cramps and pain the feet. It is also possible to experience fatigue, low appetite, headaches, vomiting and nausea. Having pain the neck and back can also be signs.
When symptoms become worse, you might experience numbness in the limbs, unusual heart rhythms, seizures and sometimes changes in personality. Only a small percentage of magnesium is stored in the blood. This is why it is often challenging for physicians to diagnose a deficiency. It is therefore advisable to change to a magnesium rich diet and see if these symptoms improve.
Foods in a Magnesium Rich Diet
Fruits and vegetables are sources of many nutrients, one of which is magnesium. Fresh produce, particularly leafy greens and dried fruit, contains anywhere from 80 to more than 500 milligrams of magnesium. Spinach, kale, chard, bananas and figs can enrich your mineral intake.
Instead of just eating the flesh of vegetables and fruits, you should also look for seeds as well. Pumpkin and squash seeds have long been reliable suppliers of magnesium. Other seeds include sesame, flax and sunflower seeds. Fish like mackerel and tuna provide both magnesium and protein, while beans make great side dishes and ingredients for meals. For snacks that complement your magnesium rich diet, choose mixed nuts and delicious dark chocolate.
Supplements versus Magnesium Rich Diet
If your magnesium levels are dangerously low, your doctor might recommend supplements in addition to a magnesium rich diet. Avoid self-medicating at all costs. An overdose can cause diarrhea, nausea, dehydration and in serious cases, kidney problems. Unless advised otherwise by a doctor, aim to increase intake through a magnesium rich diet rather than through supplements. Magnesium should not be increased in isolation. Include as many vitamins and other minerals in your meal plan as possible.
Increasing your mineral intake can be as simple as switching to a magnesium rich diet. Although cases vary from person to person, adopting a healthy meal plan is always advantageous. Speak to your physician about your magnesium needs, and determine a dosage that is safe and effective.