You’ve probably heard about iron deficiency, but what about magnesium deficiency? Magnesium is a mineral found in the body that is also present in many foods. It’s a co-factor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium is also required for energy production and the synthesis of DNA, RNA and the antioxidant glutathione, and it is imperative to maintain strong, healthy bones.

Sounds pretty important, right? That’s because it is!

An adult’s body contains about 25g of magnesium. About 50%-60% is present in the bones while the rest can be found in soft tissues. Some experts have labeled magnesium deficiency as the “invisible deficiency” because it’s often hard to spot and diagnose. But the scary truth is that more than 75% of the U.S. population has inadequate intake of magnesium. Here’s how to figure out whether you’re getting enough magnesium in your diet, and how to fix it if you’re deficient.

Early signs of a magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, headache, nausea, fatigue and weakness. While these may seem minor, the longer you are deficient, the more serious your health problems will become. An ongoing magnesium deficiency can cause or trigger:

  • Anxiety and Panic Attacks
  • Asthma
  • Blood Clots
  • Bowel Diseases
  • Cystitis
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Fatigue
  • Heart Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Insomnia
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Migraines
  • Nerve Problems
  • Osteoporosis
  • Tooth Decay

In its worst stages, a magnesium deficiency can cause seizures, change in personality and abnormal heart rhythms. It’s not difficult to provide your body with enough magnesium. The deficiency problem exists because many people don’t know to monitor levels. Certain foods can provide your body with magnesium, while others can negatively influence your body’s absorption of the mineral. The following are associated with lower magnesium levels:

  • Excessive Soda or Caffeine – Caffeine acts as a diuretic, which may mean that you’re flushing magnesium out of your body each time you consume it. Researchers caution that if you regularly consume caffeine, your body may be deficient in both magnesium and calcium.
  • Excessive Alcohol – Drinking too much alcohol can interfere with your body’s absorption of Vitamin D, which helps to absorb magnesium. Low Vitmain D levels can equal low magnesium levels.
  • Too Much Sugar – Sugar can cause your body to excrete magnesium through the kidneys.

You can take a magnesium supplement to ensure you’re getting enough.. If you are considering a supplement, talk to your doctor before taking one, and do not give a magnesium supplement to a child without a doctor’s supervision. You can also get the magnesium you need from the following common foods:

  • Tofu
  • Legumes
  • Whole Grains
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pumpkin and Squash Seeds
  • Pine Nuts
  • Black Walnuts
  • Spinach
  • Pistachio Nuts
  • Oatmeal
  • Bananas
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Dill Weed
  • Basil
  • Cumin Seed
  • Tarragon
  • Poppy Seed
  • Sage

h/t: healthy life vision