5 telltale signs that you might have a magnesium deficiency
By Lisa Salmon. Published 2020-08-31BOLD-Wellbeing
From muscle cramps and migraines to chocolate cravings, these could all be signs you’re lacking in this important mineral
Muscle crampsEver lie in bed at night and get painful cramps in your feet or legs? Remember, cramps are very common, especially if you’re cold, but they can also be down to lack of magnesium.Magnesium is an important tool for muscle relaxation, so when your body is depleted of it, your muscles can involuntarily contract. Twitches, tremors and cramps are all signs that you’re not getting enough, and in some severe cases, deficiency may even cause seizures or convulsions. If you’re experiencing muscle contractions more often than usual, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor to see whether you might need your magnesium levels tested.
Chocolate cravingsIf you’re constantly hankering for a chocolate fix, it might not just be down to your sweet tooth. When our bodies crave foods, it’s often because they’re telling us that we’re lacking in a certain nutrient, and dark chocolate just so happens to be a brilliant source of magnesium; just one square contains about 24% of your daily requirement. To reap the benefits however, skip the sugar-laden milk chocolate and opt for a bar that’s contains at least 65% cocoa. The darker the chocolate, the better the magnesium benefits.
HeadachesOne in seven Brits suffer with migraines, but few of us know that supplementing with magnesium could help. Studies have shown that low brain magnesium levels could be related to migraine attacks, as magnesium is needed for proper nerve function. If you regularly suffer from migraine-like headaches, it could be a good idea to invest in a daily magnesium supplement – but speak to your doctor first if you’re already on any medication, and if your headaches are ongoing.
Trouble sleepingEven a small lack of magnesium can prevent you from nodding off at night, because it plays an important role in your central nervous system. Magnesium can help to relax our muscles, while also stimulating a neurotransmitter in our bodies called GABA, which has a naturally calming effect on the brain. Next time you feel a bout of insomnia coming on? Try soaking in a magnesium-rich bath of Epsom salts to reap the full relaxation benefits.
AnxietyMental health issues affect one in four of us, so it’s difficult to tell whether your anxiety is linked to a lack of magnesium. However, getting more of it in your diet could help ease the symptoms. A study in France of 264 patients with generalised anxiety disorder found that a statistically significant number of men and women reported improvements in their symptoms on a magnesium regimen. While magnesium won’t cure your anxiety overnight, making sure you get enough into your diet will ensure that the 300 processes it affects are running correctly – which is sure to help you feel more relaxed in the long-run.
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