Magnesium is essential to the human body; in fact, it is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, these include:
- It helps convert the food into energy.
- It helps protein formation from amino acids.
- Helps in DNA and RNA build and repair
- It is a critical component for muscle contraction and relaxation; this includes maintaining a healthy heartbeat.
- It helps regulate the neurotransmitters that help sends signals throughout the nervous system and into the brain.
There are a lot of other good reasons why it is essential to maintain a good level of magnesium in the body.
What is magnesium deficiency?
Magnesium deficiency or hypomagnesemia is a condition where a person is experiencing below the normal value of magnesium, where the normal value is 1.5-2.5 mEq/L. Since magnesium is critical to human function, individuals with hypomagnesemia may experience the following:
Early signs of hypomagnesemia:
- Fatigue and muscle weakness; which is often a problem for most working adults.
- Loss of appetite
Progressive signs of hypomagnesemia
- Concurrent muscle twitching, tremors, and cramps.
- Hypocalcemia (low calcium level)
- Hypokalemia (low potassium level)
- Tingling or numbness throughout the extremities
- Irregular heartbeat
- Apathy, which is characterized by a lack of emotion or mental numbness, and in the worst case of hypomagnesemia it could lead to delirium and coma.
Long-term or prolonged hypomagnesemia:
- Heart problem
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes (Type 2)
The worst part is magnesium deficiency is it is one of the electrolyte problems that are often overlooked.
If you are experiencing the aforementioned signs and symptoms, which is also found in this article about magnesium deficiency symptoms and detail, it is important to visit a physician and have your health checked.
So, how to fight against magnesium deficiency?
Typically, magnesium deficiency or hypomagnesemia is treated through magnesium supplement and increase dietary magnesium intake. The following are the top magnesium-rich foods that you should consider adding on your diet:
- Spinach – The dark and leafy green is rich in nutrients; one cup of boiled spinach contains 157 mg of magnesium.
- Avocados –A medium of avocado contains 58 mg of magnesium, which is 15 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI).
- Nuts – Including almonds, cashews, and more, are significantly high in magnesium; for 28 grams of cashew nuts, it contains 82 mg of magnesium, which is 20 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake.
- Legumes – Beans, lentils, peas, chicken peas, black beans, and soybeans contain high magnesium, where a cup of black beans may contain 120 mg of magnesium, which is 30 percent of Recommended Dietary Intake.
- Whole grains – This includes barley, wheat, oats, and more; whole grains are high in magnesium, where 28 grams of whole grain contains 65 mg of magnesium.
If you are one of many people who are having a hard time recovering from stress and fatigue, and you are experiencing the aforementioned signs and symptoms, you should have your magnesium level checked. Magnesium is an essential electrolyte in the body; low levels of it can cause various health problems.