• Kelly O'Donnell

Can magnesium solve your health problems?

Magnesium deficiency is fairly common, but is rarely looked for. If you eat a lot of processed food, sugar, drink a lot of alcohol or coffee, or take diuretics, you may be deficient.


Some signs of magnesium deficiency include fatigue, chronic pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, insomnia, PMS, muscle tremors or cramps. Other signs may be psychological: anxiety, irritability,confusion, poor memory, decreased learning ability, and confusion.


More serious problems have to do with the cardiovascular system. If you experience rapid heartbeat, numbness, and/or tingling they may be signs of a deficiency.


To function well, magnesium must be balanced in the body with other electrolytes such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium chloride and Vitamin D. The processed food that we eat has given us an artificial abundance of Vitamin D, Phosphorus, and Calcium. First, they eliminate all the naturally occurring Vitamins and Minerals, then add back in these select few to make the product “healthy”. In this process, magnesium is left out and that perfect balance that occurs in whole foods is destroyed. This imbalance may be contributing to this common magnesium deficiency.


If you are experiencing some of the symptoms listed above, you may want to ask your doctor for a magnesium test.


So, how do you increase magnesium in your body? I suggest supplementation since much of our food is grown in mineral deficient soil. But, to start, you should eat a diet full of these magnesium rich foods…

  • dark leafy greens – baby spinach, swiss chard, kale, collard greens

  • nuts and seeds – pumpkin seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pine nuts, flaxseeds, and pecans

  • fish – mackerel, wild salmon, halibut, and tuna

  • beans and legumes – soybeans, black beans, kidney beans, white beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, and lentils

  • avocados

  • certain fruits – bananas – strawberries, blackberries, grapefruit, and figs

  • dark chocolate – 70% cocoa or higher

  • yogurt – a great combination of magnesium and calcium

Well none of that is surprising! The bottom line is – if we eat a balanced diet of whole foods most of us don’t have to worry about vitamin and mineral deficiencies!


(Some material in this post was taken from, Staying Healthy With Nutrition, by Elson M. Haas.)