If you are experiencing ongoing headaches and migraines, fatigue and a lack of energy, and muscles spasms particularly in your legs, then you could be suffering from a magnesium deficiency. You might find that supplementing, using a topical magnesium spray, or adding more magnesium rich foods into your diet could help to alleviate some of these symptoms.
Magnesium deficiency is actually fairly common, but magnesium is vitally important for effective biological function and optimal health. Magnesium is required by your body for metabolic function, effective muscle and nerve function, to control inflammation, for the healthy formation of bones and teeth, the regulation of blood sugar and insulin as well as for regulating mood.
Long term deficiency has the potential to be quite a serious health concern. Not only can a lack of magnesium can have an effect on your overall body function and affect your body’s ability to remain vital, but in the long term magnesium deficiency can have some serious health effects, ranging from anxiety and depression to fibromyalgia, and cardiovascular disease.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium is up to 420 grams a day depending on your age and sex while some experts say we may need as much as 600 to 900 mg/day for optimal health.
While it is difficult to calculate your magnesium stores, it is likely you are deficient if you eat a lot of processed foods and very few whole foods. A bad diet, coupled with lifestyle factors including stress, lack of sleep, alcohol consumption, and prescription drug use could lead to severe deficiencies. The good news is that you can decrease your magnesium deficiency symptoms by eating the right kinds of magnesium rich foods.
Let’s take a look at the best foods for boosting your magnesium levels so that you can optimise your diet. It is important that you choose organic wholefoods as much as possible, although with depleted magnesium levels in out soils, even eating organic produce is no guarantee you are consuming the highest levels of magnesium as in the past.
1. Dark Leafy Greens
This includes spinach, Swiss chard, beet greens, kale and bok choy. Add these to your diet by including them in salads and stir fries, blending them into green smoothies or even juicing them to get a really great effect. One cup of spinach will give you 39% of your RDA making leafy greens a definite must in your diet.
These are an extremely popular fruit for their potassium, but they also rank up there for their magnesium levels too. One medium banana contains 37mg of magnesium, which along with fibre, and vitamin C, makes them an excellent food to eat.
This superfood not inly provides healthy fats and fibre, but a medium avocado also provides 58mg of magnesium. Avos are also fantastically versatile, so add them to your salads, smash them up to make guacamole, spread it onto your toast or even blend it into a smoothie.
4. Bone Broth
Bone broth is an excellent source of magnesium and can be used in soups, stews or even drunk on its own to boost your magnesium levels.
Seaweed is chlorophyll rich meaning that it also has high magnesium stores. This is a tasty food that can be eaten in salad, rolled into sushi or added to soups for extra flavouring.
Beans and legumes are a rich magnesium source, with soybeans in particular when made into tofu. Tofu is a versatile food that can easily be added into your meals as a healthy meat substitute. Just one cup of soybeans will give you 37% of your RDA.
Pumpkin seeds are a particularly high source of magnesium, with one quarter of a cup providing 48% of RDA. Sesame and sunflower seeds also recommended for being magnesium rich.
Nuts such as Brazil nuts, cashews, and almonds are good magnesium sources with 28-grams of cashews containing around 20 percent of the magnesium RDA.
9. Raw Cacao
It’s true that chocolate is good for you! We mean the raw, organic variety of cacao powder or nibs, and when you eat 28 grams of nibs you are consuming 64 milligrams of magnesium as well other excellent healthy antioxidants.
10. Fatty Fish
Salmon and mackerel have high magnesium levels, with a fillet of these fish providing Around 53mg of magnesium in the serve. Grill it, bake it or flash fry it and enjoy with a side of greens to really keep your magnesium levels high.
Many fruits and berries are high in magnesium, but papaya is a particularly high achiever by providing 58mg of magnesium. Eat this as a healthy snack or add it into a fruit salad with watermelon, strawberries and raspberries for a really high magnesium meal.
In addition to changing up your diet to include more of these magnesium rich foods, you could also try using Epsom salts in the form of a foot bath or adding them to your bath when you soak. The magnesium in the salts will be absorbed into the body thorough the skin. Personally, I like to use a magnesium spray which I use every day, I find it helps me to have a more restful sleep and is really recommended if you find your sleeping patterns are not so great.