Do you know the top nutrient deficiencies American’s experience? Many Americans are deficient in Magnesium, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, Zinc, and B Vitamins. Your health can have many downstream effects that result from these deficiencies. In fact, many chronic diseases are linked to these deficiencies. First, let’s dive into magnesium
Magnesium is our calming mineral. It is helpful for gut motility, improving sleep, calming anxiety, stress management, and promoting muscle relaxation.
Magnesium is used by over 3000 enzyme processes that occur in your cells throughout the day. When you don’t have enough of this mineral on board, those processes are not able to occur as smoothly or efficiently as normal, which leads to dis-ease in the body. Magnesium is involved in about 80% of your daily metabolic functions. 60% of Americans do not consume adequate dietary intake of magnesium and 45% are deficient in magnesium.
Health conditions associated with magnesium deficiency: hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, migraine headaches, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), heart arrhythmias, heart disease, seizures, mood disorders (Anxiety & Depression), and ADHD.
Why are about 50% of Americans deficient in this mineral?
Magnesium in our food sources over the past 50-100 years has decreased due to modern farming and food processing. Modern farming practices have depleted minerals like magnesium from the soil. Food processing alters the nutrition concentration in the food we consume making food less nutrient dense.
Diet and Lifestyle Factors: Stress accelerates excretion of magnesium through the kidneys, which means long periods of stress can lead to a significant depletion of magnesium. Aside from stress, coffee consumption, alcohol consumption, excess calcium supplementation, digestive dysfunction, and increased sugar consumption have all been linked to deficient magnesium.
Signs and symptoms associated with magnesium deficiency:
Muscle Spasms or Tightness; Muscle Weakness
Insomnia or Sleep Disturbances
Magnesium deficiency can be corrected with dietary changes, lifestyle changes, and through supplementation. Diet sources to increase include: nuts (almond, cashew, peanut), seeds (chia & pumpkin, grains (oat & rice), and leafy greens. Lifestyle changes may include decreasing or eliminating alcohol and/or coffee, managing stress, and addressing underlying digestive dysfunction or the need for medications that can cause magnesium deficiency. Supplements can also increase magnesium levels, however not all magnesium supplements are created equally. Typically magnesium glycinate, taurate, or malate are well absorbed and have increased bioavailability.
Addressing nutritional deficiencies like magnesium needs more attention in healthcare. Adequate consumption of essential vitamins and minerals is not only beneficial for general health and wellness but can also be utilized in the management of many chronic diseases. Nutrition is part of the foundation for optimal health and wellness.