You’ve probably heard of magnesium and you’ve probably seen it mentioned as part of a list of the good things found in some fruit or vegetable, but it’s calcium and vitamin C that get most of your attention. Those you recognize and know more about. Most of us don’t yet realize how vital this little mineral truly is to our health and well-being. Magnesium is essential to life, a part of over 300 biochemical reactions throughout the body, including the synthesis of ATP, a molecule highly involved in cellular energy.
This mineral is important to healthy nerves, muscle function, bones, teeth, heart rhythm, immune function, blood sugar, blood pressure, and metabolism. It’s being heavily studied for its role in preventing or controlling hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and cancer.
Magnesium deficiency is a growing problem due to filtered and processed water, poor diet, and soil depletion by modern agricultural processes that reuse soil over and over again and rely on only a few elements in fertilizers. When we start feeling poorly or just plain tired, we think of so many other nutrients before magnesium, but it just may be what you’re missing. Magnesium is needed by every cell, including the brain cells, to draw energy out of carbohydrates and fats and produce proteins.
Deficiency is caused or augmented by an unhealthy digestive system, alcoholism, kidney problems, diabetes, age, poor diet, and medications. A deficiency in magnesium results in a diverse mix of symptoms and not all of these symptoms will occur at once or together, but many do overlap and combine. If you are experiencing a few of these, you may not be getting enough of this essential mineral from your food and should look at altering your diet or supplementing. Blood tests are usually inconclusive since only about 1% of the body’s magnesium is kept in the blood and the body will try to keep these levels consistent even if it means the bones and organs aren’t getting all they need. Here’s a list of symptoms to look out for, though many of these can be associated with other illnesses and you should consult a health care professional before adding any supplements or drastically changing your diet:
Dizziness Fatigue Muscle Weakness Headaches Nausea Twitching Tremors Muscle Cramps Calcium Deficiency Potassium Deficiency High Blood Pressure Type II Diabetes Loss of Appetite Vomiting Irregular Heart Beat Anxiety Nervousness Personality Changes Confusion Memory Problems Disorientation Depression Hallucinations Respiratory Problems Back Pain Constipation Menstrual Cramps Difficulty Swallowing Light Sensitivity Insomnia Numbness or Tingling in Extremities Salt Cravings Sensitivity to Sound Seizures
There are many more symptoms, but these cover the ones most people experience. There is also some debate over the symptoms that appear with chronic long-term slight deficiencies. Many nutritionists attribute chronic fatigue and heart disease to a low-level deficiency of magnesium, vitamin C, or both. You may want to look into eating whole foods that contain these vitamins. Think whole grains, dark leafy greens, sea vegetables, beans, legumes, seeds, nuts, herbs, and spices. The better you eat, the more natural vitamins and minerals you will get. Greens are especially good for magnesium deficiencies as they contain chlorophyll. This light-capturing molecule resembles hemoglobin except it has magnesium at its center instead of iron.
Supplements can help too, but you want to look for the more natural forms of magnesium like those found in liquid minerals from ancient plant-based mineral deposits or whole-food multivitamins without the synthetics that can interfere with nutrient absorption. Sunwarrior’s Liquid Light is a perfect example. This contains raw, plant-based minerals (including magnesium) that the body recognizes and puts to use. Liquid Light is all-natural, relying on organic minerals that plants create once they pull them from the soil, combined with fulvic acid to aid absorption. For a serious boost to your energy levels and your cellular nourishment, check this one out.
Food based magnesium is the safest course since it is nontoxic. If you can’t find enough magnesium for your needs in natural supplements, you may want to look into magnesium chelates, magnesium orotate, and magnesium citrate. These are the more bioavailable forms. A few other forms of magnesium are used as laxatives. When used properly, these laxatives can be safe, but they are much easier to overdose on than other forms of magnesium.
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