“Magnesium deficiency can produce symptoms of anxiety or depression, including muscle weakness, fatigue, eye twitches, insomnia, anorexia, apathy, apprehension, poor memory, confusion, anger, nervousness, and rapid pulse.”
Did you know that magnesium is responsible for over 600 cellular functions in the body every single day?
Did you know that Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body yet 70% of the population are magnesium deficient?
When I look at common ailments and symptoms that many of my clients present with, it is easy to assume that ye are all lacking in magnesium which is not surprising with the stressful, toxic environments our body has to deal with on a daily basis.
This article points out some signs that may suggest that you are low in magnesium and some simple dietary and lifestyle hacks that might make a huge difference to the way you feel and perform.
Some of the crucial functions that magnesium are responsible for
- Muscle and nerve function
- Cardiovascular health
- Energy production
- Protein synthesis
- Blood glucose control
- Blood pressure regulation
- Bone structure
Since magnesium deficiency can present itself as negative emotions and feeling low, things that lift you up emotionally can help at the same time as increasing your magnesium intake. For example, if you are dealing with a stressful environment, it is important that you make time to destress with exercise, mediation or an activity that you find joyful like reading or art. Remove yourself from the stressful environment as much as you can so that your body can recover. Stress affects us physically and emotionally and while low magnesium levels may be part of the issue, it is up to you to monitor and manage your own environment and take steps to alleviate stress.
Emotional signs of magnesium deficiency
- Lack of energy
- Adrenal fatigue
Sometimes it is difficult to identify emotional signals because you are so wrapped up in the moment of feeling. Physical signs of magnesium deficiency may be easier to identify and is your body’s way of communicating to you. Below are just some of the more common physical signs of magnesium deficiency and is not an exhaustive list but may give you some food for thought.
Physical Signs of magnesium deficiency
- Muscle twitches and cramps
- Eye twitches
- Muscle weakness
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heart beat
- Shortness of breath
- Restless legs
- Kidney stones
- Fluid retention
Other factors to magnesium deficiency
Magnesium deficiency could be multi faceted since magnesium is responsible for so many processes in our body but some of the most common ways we might end up deficient in magnesium are:
- Lack of Vitamin D – get out in the sunshine for 20 min every day without sunglasses or sunscreen
- Too many diuretics in your diet – coffee, tea and alcohol consumption can prevent magnesium absorption and increase excretion so no matter how much you are getting in, your body may not be utilising it.
- Some foods can block the absorption of magnesium, for example, high protein diets can decrease magnesium absorption. Tannins in tea bind and remove minerals including magnesium. Oxalic acid in rhubarb, spinach and chard and phytic acid in cereals and soy also block the absorption of magnesium.
- Saturated and trans fats alter cell wall integrity, making it more rigid, which affects receptor site function and prevents nutrients from getting into or out of the cell.
- Increased levels of stress can result in decreased levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which results in decreased absorption of magnesium.
- Fluoride in water and toothpastes, can interfere with the absorption of magnesium in the gut, as fluoride ions (F-) have a high affinity for magnesium.
“have your magnesium levels tested with a magnesium RBC test. If your levels are below 6.0 mg/dL, be sure to take 6 to 10 mg/kg/day of magnesium.”
Magnesium rich foods
When I think of magnesium I think of foods that are earthy in taste. Magnesium rich foods are generally not so sweet and are grounding to our system as magnesium helps regulate our emotions. So when we eat magnesium rich foods we are more grounded emotionally and function better physically. Magnesium rich foods should be eaten before and after exercise and to help regulate stress.
- Leafy greens
- Seeds and nuts
- Dark chocolate
- Flaxseed oil
Magnesium is present in wholefood form in some superfood sources. The chlorophyll component of these plant powders is packed with magnesium. You can easily make a green juice with one of these superfoods as an extra boost of magnesium if you are feeling low, anxious or exhausted, or if you are going through a period of extra stress.
- Wheat Grass
- Barley Grass
In the bath or on your plants, magnesium sulphate, otherwise known as epsom salts will enrich your soil with magnesium that It is most commonly applied to potted plants, or to magnesium-hungry crops such as potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, lemons, and roses. Soaking in a bath of epsom salts is an age old tonic for tired muscles, emotional exhaustion and general relaxation and your skin will soak up as much magnesium as you need in a 20 minute batch (knows as transdermal therapy). Adding an epsom salt or magnesium flake soak on to your weekly schedule is the perfect self care activity. We stock a range of epsom salts and magnesium flakes for you to take home during your next visit. The products we sell are certified organic, free of fillers and the best possible products on the market today. Grab a supply of magnesium salts and follow up your Pilates session with a relaxing bath or foot soak to increase your magnesium levels with immediate results.
Soil and magnesium levels
One of the reasons more than 70% of the population is low in magnesium is because our soils are so depleted of the mineral from years of chemical agriculture that has raped our land of life giving nutrients and replaced it with disease inducing poisons. If you’ve had any of my articles you know that I am a strong advocate of organic, locally grown produce and at home gardens that can produce food with less chemicals and more nutrients. Choose farmers markets over big supermarkets whose organic produce is often sourced overseas and lacks regulation. Choose locally grown, seasonal produce over non seasonal produce that is often stored for months or years before it gets to your plate at which stage it has such low nutrient density that you may as well eat the plastic it’s wrapped in.
Supplements can help get on top of things if you are low in magnesium. Choose the best quality supplement you can afford with the least amount of fillers. Ideally you buy supplements from a naturopath or herbalist who can source the best possible products with the least amount of unnecessary nasties. I prefer magnesium in a powder form which can be easier for the body to absorb quickly and added to water or smoothies.
More resources on magnesium
My favourite resource on magnesium is a well known book called The Magnesium Miracle. If you want to understand more about magnesium, the role it plays in your health and how you can take actionable steps to heal your body through magnesium, Dr Carolyn Dean is a wealth of information.