Magnesium is by far one of the most important minerals in the human body. In fact, researchers have detected over 3,000 different magnesium binding sites on human proteins, which means that magnesium’s role in human health and disease processes may have been vastly underestimated.
It’s estimated that approximately 80 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium. Why? Well its simple, most Americans eat a highly processed refined diet that contains little to no magnesium.
In addition to our poor diets, many of our lifestyle factors actually decrease our body’s magnesium levels. Alcohol, salt, coffee, phosphoric acid in sodas, profuse sweating, chronic stress, diuretics, antibiotics and other drugs can all deplete magnesium stores. This is all further complicated by the fact that magnesium is often poorly absorbed from our diet. To properly absorb magnesium, we need adequate amounts of vitamin B6, vitamin D and selenium.
There are many symptoms and conditions associated with magnesium deficiencies, but if you suffer from one or more of the seven signs listed below you are in need of some extra magnesium!
1. Muscle cramps and spasms
Think of magnesium as the “relaxation” mineral. Anything that is tight, irritable, cramped or stiff is a sign of magnesium deficiency. It has been suggested that many individuals with muscle cramps, twitches or restless legs have low levels of magnesium.
Much like with our muscles, a magnesium deficiency can leave our minds unable to properly relax. Magnesium is also responsible for the release and binding of adequate amounts of serotonin and GABA in the brain, both of which are essential for proper sleep.
As with insomnia, anxiety can be a sign that the body does not have enough magnesium to regulate neurotransmitters like serotonin or GABA. Taking a magnesium supplement can often alleviate anxious thoughts or feelings.
Our body’s main energy currency exists in a molecule called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This omnipresent energy source must be bound to a magnesium ion in order to be biologically active. Thus, if a body is deficient in magnesium, it literally cannot produce energy! Now, fatigue is a common symptom that could be caused by many other conditions, but taking a magnesium supplement is a surefire way to make sure that it is not due to a magnesium deficiency!
5. Chocolate cravings
Chocolate contains high levels of magnesium so when you crave chocolate, your body is actually craving magnesium! Instead of reaching for a piece of chocolate try eating foods like a handful of nuts or an avocado – the magnesium levels in these foods should help control those chocolate cravings.
6. Sensitivity to being tickled
Being extremely ticklish can also be a sign of a magnesium deficiency. Without adequate magnesium, sensory receptors on our skin can become hyper-excitable, leading to sensitivities to certain types of touch.
Strangely enough, if you feel anxious when you are in tight spaces (or if you have anxiety in general) it may be a sign you have a magnesium deficiency.