Magnesium Deficiencies Are On The Rise

Products containing magnesiumWhen you work in a busy health care clinic with multiple practitioners, there are times when you can see public health trends clear as day. Aside from the waves of viruses that roll through during the winter months, one of the more common trends observed is magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium is responsible for over 300 biochemical processes in the body and plays a key role in immune function, proper blood pressure, calcium absorption, hormone regulation and blood sugar regulation. With so many important physiologic roles in the body, it’s easy to see why having sufficient levels of magnesium can greatly influence health.

Why are so many people magnesium deficient?

Magnesium is naturally found in many foods, but the refining process removes all or most magnesium. Refined flours, refined oils and refined sugars are all either void of magnesium completely or left with trace amounts of what the body requires. With refined flours, oils and sugar being the backbone of most processed foods and foods that you can get on the go, it’s easy to see how people begin to lose magnesium sources from their diet.

Another reason for more people presenting with magnesium deficiencies lies in the soil. The soil we grow our food in has become increasing more inert due to the use of pesticides and fertilizers as well as single crop growing methods. Potash, a commonly used potassium fertilizer easily absorbed by plants, actually reduces the amount of both magnesium and calcium absorbed by the plant. Levels of vitamins and minerals found in foods grown are not regulated by the FDA.

The use of chlorine and fluoride to treat water bind to magnesium in the body and do not allow us to uptake it. We often flush the magnesium we do get from food sources due to the presence of chlorine and fluoride found in the water we consume.

In addition, alcohol, sugar and caffeine consumption delete magnesium in our tissues. Stress can also deplete magnesium. Having too much calcium in the bloodstream is a result of magnesium depletion as well as a product of magnesium deficiency: it’s a positive feedback loop. When taking all of these into account, once can begin to see how it is possible that so many different people with varied health concerns can all potentially have a mineral deficiency.

What does a magnesium deficiency look like?

  • Muscle spasms and cramping
  • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • Sleep problems
  • Low energy (possibly with brain fog)
  • Feelings of anxiety & depression

How to increase magnesium levels?

Living near the ocean and swimming in it regularly is a great way to increase magnesium levels. The soil found near oceans is also very high in magnesium, so the food you ingest will have naturally occurring higher levels of magnesium. If that’s not an option for you, consider a supplement. Standard Process is a wonderful supplement that uses whole foods to create their products. If you have Celiac or are gluten intolerant, I recommend the brand Calm.

With many people having compromised digestive functioning, using transdermal magnesium may be a great way to supplement. Try this magnesium spray at night before bed: Magnesium Oil Spray. It’s easy and economical to make your own as well. Check out this valuable resource: Make Your Own Magnesium Oil.

While supplementing magnesium in your diet is not a catch-all for any health complaint, it does play a significant role in any holistic health routine. Adding magnesium supplementation into your diet may prove to have multiple benefits, beyond your primary health concern. In addition to supplementation, it’s always nice to understand which foods are rich in minerals and to supply the body with diverse food options.

Chart of Magnesium Rich Foods

[Source: http://www.ars.usda.gov/, www.nutritiondata.com] Serving Size, Common Units Serving Size, Grams Milligrams Magnesium Milligrams Magnesium per Gram % Daily Value (DV)
Cocoa, unsweetened 2 tbsp. 10 52 5.24 14%
Bran Breakfast Cereal, ready to eat 1 oz. 28 78 2.78 19%
Almonds 1 oz. 28 75 2.68 19%
Cashews, dry roasted 1 oz. 28 73 2.61 18%
Pumpkin Seeds, roasted 1 oz. 28 73 2.61 18%
Molasses 1 tbsp. 20 48 2.42 12%
Peanuts, dry roasted 1 oz. 28 49 1.75 12%
Peanut Butter 2 tbsp. 32 49 1.53 12%
Whole Wheat Bread, homemade 1 slice 28 37 1.32 9%
Halibut 3 oz. 85 91 1.07 23%
Navy Bean Sprouts, raw 1 oz. 28 28 1.01 7%
Mackeral 3 oz. 85 83 0.97 21%
Spinach, boiled 1/2 cup 90 79 0.87 20%
Whole Wheat Bread, store bought 1 slice 28 23 0.82 6%
Coffee, espresso 2 oz. 60 48 0.80 12%
Spinach, raw 1 cup 30 24 0.79 6%
Quinoa, cooked 1/2 cup 92.5 59 0.64 15%
Milk Chocolate 1 oz. 28 18 0.63 4%
Soybeans, boiled 1/2 cup 90 54 0.60 14%
Black-Eyed Peas (Cowpeas), boiled 1/2 cup 87.5 46 0.52 12%
Buckwheat Groats (Kasha), cooked 1/2 cup 84 43 0.51 11%
Parsley, raw 1 oz. 28 14 0.50 3%
Lima Beans, boiled 1/2 cup 94 40 0.43 10%
Acorn squash, baked 1/2 cup 102.5 44 0.43 11%
Swiss Chard 1/2 cup 175 75 0.43 19%
Artichokes 1 whole medium 120 50 0.42 13%
Egg, fried 1 whole large 46 18 0.39 3%
Tofu 1/2 cup 126 47 0.37 12%
Bacon, pan-fried 3 oz. 85 31 0.36 8%
Pork Tenderloin, broiled 3 oz. 85 31 0.36 8%
Okra, boiled 1 cup 160 58 0.36 14%
Bulgur Wheat, cooked 1/2 cup 91 29 0.32 8%
Salmon 3 oz. 85 26 0.31 7%
Whole Wheat Spaghetti 1/2 cup 70 21 0.30 6%
Parsnips, boiled 1/2 cup 78 23 0.29 6%
Chicken Breast, roasted 3 oz. 85 24 0.29 6%
Ground Beef, pan browned 3 oz. 85 24 0.28 6%
Oatmeal 1/2 cup 117 32 0.27 8%
Broccoli, boiled 1/2 cup 78 16 0.21 4%
Pasta Sauce 1/2 cup 128 27 0.21 7%
Potatoes, boiled without skin 1 cup 156 31 0.20 8%
Lettuce 2 leaves 34 4 0.12 1%
Milk, 2% 1 cup 244 27 0.11 7%
Apple 1 medium 182 9 0.05 3%
Coffee, from grounds 6 oz. 178 5 0.03 1%

 

Julie Baron is an EDSC_0081ast Asian Medicine Practitioner at the Thompson Family Acupuncture Clinic in Walla Walla, WA. Julie seeks to empower individuals and communities.  As a movement and mindfulness educator, she has a penchant for functional anatomy. As an EAMP, she has also has a passion for herbal medicine.

 

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