Magnesium is an incredibly important mineral for the overall health of the human body; it is essential for cellular health, the production of energy and over 300 other biochemical functions in the body.  While much of the emphasis in the last decade has been on calcium intake and supplements, the role of magnesium is arguably more essential for human nutrition.  Unfortunately, roughly 80% of Americans may have a magnesium deficiency, so there is a likely chance you may have low levels and not even realize it.  In fact, some experts claim that magnesium deficiency is the single largest health problem in our world today.

So, how do you recognize if you may be suffering from magnesium deficiency?  Common symptoms include leg cramps, anxiety and depression, insomnia, high blood pressure or hypertension, low energy or fatigue, migraines and constipation.

How to Increase Your Intake of Magnesium

The easiest way to address the deficiency is to increase your intake of foods that are rich in magnesium.  Ideally, the food sources should be organic, which will signify they were grown in quality soil (soil from conventional farms is often stripped of magnesium due to over farming).  The top 10 magnesium rich foods are:

  1. Spinach
  2. Chard
  3. Pumpkin Seeds
  4. Yogurt or Kefir
  5. Almonds
  6. Black Beans
  7. Avocado
  8. Figs
  9. Dark Chocolate
  10. Bananas

The benefits of magnesium are numerous:

  1. Better sleep.  Melatonin (the sleep-regulating hormone) is disturbed when you are deficient in magnesium.  Magnesium also helps to balance stress hormones, which are a major reason you may suffer from sleeplessness.
  2. Relieves constipation.
  3. Increased flexibility.  Magnesium relaxes tight muscles and alleviates cramping.
  4. Elevates mood.  Serotonin, the hormone that helps to regulate mood, is dependent on magnesium.

Magnesium supplements are available if you feel you may be severely deficient or want to improve your levels quickly.  There are many forms of available supplements, and it is best to consult with your physician to determine which one will work best for you.