Magnesium deficiency is an overlooked health problem. Statistics show that 75% of Americans are not meeting their daily recommended intake .
Yes, magnesium deficiency is a condition just 2% of Americans have it, but not meeting the daily value is just as bad.
The bad news is that symptoms and signs of magnesium deficiency do not appear until the condition is severe. But the good news is that there are a lot of magnesium-rich foods on the market that can help you up to your consumption.
It is wise to look at magnesium deficiency as a serious concern, as there are many health problems associated with magnesium, including diabetes, celiac disease, chronic diarrhea, and much more.
What happens if you do not meet magnesium RDV?
Before we take a look at the magnesium-rich foods, let’s discuss why it is important that you keep your magnesium levels high.
The question on your mind is probably how much magnesium you need?
The National Institutes of Health recommends the following daily value :
- Children aged between 1 and 3 years– 80mg
- Children aged between 4 and 8 years – 130mg
- Children aged between 9 and 13 years – 240mg
- Teenagers – 410mg for boys and 360mg for girls
- Young adults between 19 and 30 years old – 400mg for men and 310mg for women
- Adults over 30 – 420mg for men and 320mg for women
Magnesium deficiency is rare, and most Americans get up to 60% of their daily recommended value through normal diet.
With that in mind, here are some signs of magnesium deficiency that you should look at.
Magnesium is responsible for many things in our body, but one of the key functions of magnesium is keeping our muscles healthy. In some severe cases of magnesium deficiency, you might even experience seizures or convulsions.
And while involuntary muscle twitches can be caused by stress and too much caffeine as well, it is worth checking your magnesium levels.
Another common sign and symptom of magnesium deficiency are mental disorders like apathy. They are characterized by a lack of emotions and mental numbness.
What people do not know is that magnesium is directly linked with calcium. With low magnesium levels, your body does not get enough calcium, which is the main building block of healthy bones . The result is bone fractures and weak bones.
And while there have been no human studies, animal studies show that magnesium deficiency leads to reduced bone mass .
When you experience muscle cramps and muscle weakness, usually the next stop is fatigue. A condition characterized by mental and physical exhaustion, fatigue is tricky and challenging as a symptom of magnesium deficiency. The trick is that many conditions can lead to fatigue.
And because it is a non-specific symptom, it is even more challenging to identify it unless it is followed by other signs of magnesium deficiency. But keep in mind there are studies showing that magnesium plays a role .
There are mild, and then there are severe signs of magnesium deficiency. One of the key reasons why you need to consume more magnesium-rich foods is your heart health.
A deficiency can lead to irregular heartbeat, or often called heart arrhythmia. Heart problems can be severe and in some cases even life-threatening .
High blood pressure
We have to note that there are no human studies showing a link between high blood pressure and magnesium deficiency.
However, there are a few animal studies. And most of the evidence comes from controlled studies .
Whatever the case, it is worth taking care of your magnesium consumption by getting more magnesium-rich foods.
What to eat to up your magnesium?
There are always good reasons to eat some chocolate. And getting some magnesium is definitely one of the best reasons.
Of course, we are talking about dark chocolate here. Just look at the nutritional value of dark chocolate, and you’ll notice it packs 64mg in 1 ounce . You will also get a lot of iron, manganese, copper, and some small amounts of other important minerals as well.
And in terms of health benefits, dark chocolate also has antioxidants, which means you can use it as your asset in the fight against free radicals.
Different nuts contain different amounts of magnesium. But generally speaking, nuts are a great source of magnesium. If you like to stick to the best, cashews contain 82mg of magnesium, which is 1/5 of the daily recommended value .
In addition, nuts are also a good source of fibre and monounsaturated fat. With that in mind, consuming nuts will help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
One of the most important health benefits of nuts is they are anti-inflammatory foods. That means you can fight off any disease caused by inflammation.
One quick look at any healthy diet, and you’ll notice there are two staple products. Those are nuts and seeds.
We talked about nuts previously, so now let’s take a look at seeds and their nutritional value. Flax seeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds are best when you need to load up on magnesium-rich foods.
If you want to up your magnesium levels, and reduce cholesterol, load up on flaxseeds .
One of the most popular fruits in the last several days, avocado is extremely easy to add to your daily diet.
In terms of magnesium, one medium avocado contains almost 60mg of magnesium or 15% of your daily need.
Studies show that consuming avocado can lower cholesterol level, reduce inflammation, and make you feel fuller after a meal .
A family of nutrient-dense plants, legumes are also part of the magnesium-rich foods list. You can choose from beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, and soybeans. You won’t make a mistake with either of them.
For those of you that need to improve magnesium levels, we recommend black beans. Just one cooked serving contains more than 120mg of magnesium .
We talked about soybeans as a great source of magnesium, so that means soy products are good as well.
Tofu or natto, both these are great for upping your magnesium levels. Tofu, the staple in vegetarian diets, is mostly used as a protein alternative. But that doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy the magnesium benefits as well.
One serving of tofu contains 53mg of magnesium. Studies also show that consuming tofu can protect the cells lining your arteries .
Arguably the most popular fruit in the world. Banana is a staple you just cannot ignore. Known for their fibre and high potassium content, bananas help lower blood pressure.
Studies have also shown that bananas can reduce the risk of heart disease .
And while they do not contain much magnesium, just 37mg per one banana, they are still good to go. And besides, bananas are basically a snack. Get two bananas per day, and you are up to 20% of your daily magnesium recommended consumption.
Bear in mind, ripe bananas are higher in sugar. And while they are also higher in healthy nutrients, ripe bananas might not be suitable for people with diabetes.
Consuming fish has been proven to be extremely beneficial . Fatty fish is one of the most nutritious meals you can get.
Fishes high in magnesium include salmon, halibut, and mackerel. For example, one fillet of salmon contains 53mg of magnesium.
Most people consume fish for the protein and omega-3 fatty acids content. But magnesium is right up there on the list as well.
When we talk about magnesium-rich foods, we just cannot ignore leafy greens. Particularly, let’s talk about spinach, which delivers almost 160mg of magnesium in a cooked cup.
That is almost 40% of the RDV. Leafy greens are also high in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and iron. You just cannot go wrong with leafy greens. They also lover the risk of cancer .
One of the key lifestyle changes you need to make for a healthy lifestyle is to switch to whole grains and whole grains products. That means more oats, barley, quinoa, and buckwheat.
These whole grains are a great source of many nutrients, magnesium included. Whole grains are also high in vitamin B, fibre, selenium, and manganese.