1 Jan 2012
Many people do not get as much magnesium as they need. It is estimated that 3 of every 4 people in the United States do not meet the recommended daily allowance. Some health conditions can increase the rish of being deficient. If you have diabetes, have a stomach flew for several days, have kidney disease, or abuse alcohol or if you are taking a diuretic you could be short on magnesium.
When your body does not get enough magnesium, it can affect every part of your body. However your heart, nerve, and kidney health will suffer most. Common symptoms of a magnesium deficiency are rapid heartbeat, nausea, loss of appetite, muscle weakness or tremors, and irritability. Severe deficiencies can cause irregular heartbeats. Many doctors think there is also a link between asthma and a shortage of magnesium.
Just like with other minerals and vitamins you can replenish your supply in two ways – food or a supplement. Good food sources are dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans and even seafood. Milk is also an excellent source of magnesium. Surprisingly enough chocolate is also a good source of magnesium. ¼ cups of chocolate chips contain 35 mg of magnesium. Unsweetened baking chocolate contains even more at 88 mg. 1 teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder contains 25 mg of magnesium.
If you decide to take a magnesium supplement you will find there are several different kinds of magnesium to choose from. The best ones to take are magnesium aspartate, magnesium glycinate, or magnesium citrate. These forms are easy on your digestive system. Avoid magnesium oxide. Many people find it hard to tolerate. Aim for a supplement that contains between 200 to 500 mg.
There are several vitamins and minerals that help your body absorb magnesium. These include calcium (but be careful. Too much calcium can also block the absorption of magnesium), potassium, thiamin, vitamin C and Vitamin D. Things that make it difficult for your body to absorb include alcohol and vitamins A, E, and K.