Many people aren’t. Why care? Because magnesium is an essential nutrient involved in 300+ functions, from sleep regulation to muscle contractions. Read more to find out if you might be lacking magnesium and what you can do about it.
Who is more likely to have low magnesium intake or levels
- People with diabetes
- Older adults
- People with gastrointestinal conditions, like IBD or celiac disease, who have diarrhea or limit their food selections
- People who had parts of their intestines removed
- Teenage girls
- People who drink a lot of alcohol
- Those following a low grain or grain free diet
- People who eat few to no vegetables
- Anyone taking diuretics or proton pump inhibitors for 12 months or longer
Why is magnesium important
Magnesium is involved in a plethora of functions in your body– from sleep and headaches to protein synthesis and heart rhythm regulation. Lack this mineral can also make insulin resistance worse. That means someone can essentially shift from healthy blood glucose levels to pre-diabetic blood glucose levels if they lack enough magnesium in their diet. There’s also some evidence that people who don’t get enough magnesium from foods may be at higher risk of heart disease.
What to do
First, check in with your health care provider if you have serious health concerns or are thinking about starting a new supplement. Second, think about foods before supplements. Good sources of magnesium tend to be delicious foods full of flavor and nutrients!
Here are five ways to add magnesium to your diet:
- Add edamame to a salad
- Have sliced almonds on oatmeal
- Make a quesadilla with whole grain tortillas, black beans, mashed avocado, and spinach
- Snack on trail mix made with peanuts, almonds, cashews, and raisins
- Blend up a banana-peanut butter smoothie with yogurt or soymilk.
Good foods to eat help increase your intake include dark green vegetables, nuts, beans, and whole grains. Milk products and some fruits are also good sources of magnesium.
What not to do
Go too crazy with supplements– not a good idea. Many magnesium supplements can lead to stomach cramps and diarrhea because they are poorly absorbed. Some drugs can’t be taken with magnesium supplements, and some people with specific health conditions are even at risk of dying if they take too much.
Still have questions or concerns? Get in touch.