Are you getting enough magnesium?

DietAndNutrition_Aug11_AWith so many food vitamins and minerals to think about taking, it’s easy to slip up on making sure you’re getting enough of each one. Magnesium is probably not one you think about all too often, but it’s an important mineral that helps your body healthily carry out many of its everyday functions. Yet still, plenty of us are deficient in magnesium – here’s how to tell if you might be too.

You’re having trouble sleeping

Magnesium is key to the function of your central nervous and system and, without enough, you can easily end up suffering with insomnia. The levels of magnesium levels in your body naturally drop at night, which can prevent you from getting enough of the quality REM sleep vital for resting and recharging properly – so it’s important that you get enough magnesium to compensate for this.

You’re feeling tense

If you’ve been feeling particularly anxious of late, it could simply be the result of not getting enough magnesium. The mineral is a powerful relaxant, thanks again to its strong effects on the body’s central nervous system. When you’re feeling on edge, the key to chilling out really could be popping that magic pill – in this case a magnesium supplement. In the longer term, look to increase your intake of magnesium in order to prevent anxiety and to stay relaxed.

You’re craving chocolate

Odd as it sounds, if you’re having serious chocolate cravings then it may not just be a lack of willpower causing you to cave into pressure and quit your latest diet. Dark chocolate is a rich source of magnesium – just a single square provides almost a quarter of your recommended daily intake – and your cravings are likely your body’s way of telling you it needs some. And let’s face it, if the body wants chocolate, who are we to argue?

How to incorporate magnesium into your diet

In order to benefit from magnesium’s countless health benefits and ease your suffering from these ailments, you need to get it into your diet in the first place. But this starts not so much with increasing your magnesium intake as with avoiding foods that prevent your body from absorbing the goodness from the nutrients you are already getting. In particular, that means staying away from too much flour and sugar.

Once you’ve got that covered, make sure you’re eating enough meat and leafy green vegetables like spinach, beet greens and kale. They’re all rich in magnesium, as are avocados and nuts, which are also worth revolving your meal plans around. And yes, we meant it about the chocolate – just make sure it’s good-quality, cocoa-rich stuff, and eat an ounce or less a day in order to avoid its other less welcome effects. Finally, don’t be afraid to supplement your diet with a healthy dose of magnesium in pill form, preferably taken at night before you sleep.

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