When you think of vitamin deficiencies or minerals that you know your body needs every day, you probably think of Vitamin D, iron, and calcium. But, you may be forgetting the miracle mineral magnesium. Magnesium is a nutrient that the body needs to stay healthy and is involved in over 600 chemical reactions in the body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure and making protein, bone, and DNA. Magnesium also helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong.

The problem is that the average person only gets 50-60% of the magnesium they need daily—it’s estimated that nearly 80% of adults are deficient in this vital mineral. I take a magnesium supplement every day because in addition to all of the above, magnesium makes me feel calm, it helps keep me “regular” and it helps me sleep…all naturally.

There are two amazing magnesium supplements that I recommend to my clients on a daily basis. The first is Natural Calm, a tasteless powder that you mix into your water every morning.


The second is in pill form. This magnesium citrate supplement by solgar—a brand that I trust and use myself is highly absorbable and found at any local health food store.

The symptoms of magnesium deficiency are usually subtle unless your levels become severely low. But, if you’re suffering from the following symptoms, I encourage you to head to your doctor for a simple blood test to determine whether a magnesium deficiency is the culprit. Here are the symptoms to look for:

You feel very lethargic. Magnesium helps you feel alert by teaming up with the enzymes inside of your cells to produce energy. Low magnesium levels lead to low energy levels.

Your muscles twitch or cramp up. If you’ve ever been woken up by a charley horse in the middle of the night, you know how agonizing random cramps can be. Magnesium helps regulate your muscle and nerve function by carrying potassium and calcium across your cells, a process that’s important for healthy muscle contractions. Low levels of the mineral may boost the “excitability” of your nerve endings, which are responsible for stimulating your muscles, according to the National Council on Strength and Fitness. So when they get too hyped your muscles can’t relax properly, causing twitching, spasms, and painful cramping.

Your blood pressure is high. Several studies suggest that magnesium has various impacts on your heart health, including your blood pressure. In fact, people who received an average of 368 milligrams of magnesium daily for three months saw their BP readings drop, according to a meta-analysis from the American Heart Association.

You have constant headaches. Not getting enough magnesium can mess with the release of neurotransmitters in your body and the constriction of your blood cells, two factors that may promote headaches, according to The National Institutes of Health. People who suffer from migraines typically have lower magnesium levels than those who don’t.

Your bones are weakening. About 50 percent of magnesium is stored in your bones, so even a mild chronic magnesium insufficiency can affect bone loss and, therefore, bone health.

Your vitamin D levels are low as well. Magnesium helps activate vitamin D. In fact, all of the enzymes that process vitamin D seem to require magnesium, according to a recent review from the The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, and national health data finds that loading up on magnesium may reduce the risk of vitamin D deficiency.

All of the above symptoms can be crippling but also easily fixed if diagnosed correctly. The good news is that if you’re suffering from the above and you’re looking to up your daily magnesium levels through diet alone, there are lots of easily accessible options! I eat foods rich in magnesium every day because I’m well aware of the importance of this magic mineral. Try incorporating the following foods into your diet on a daily basis to alleviate the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency. When it comes to magnesium content, these foods can’t be beat!

Top 10 Magnesium Rich Foods

Spinach, cooked — 1 cup: 157 milligrams (39 percent DV)

Swiss chard, cooked — 1 cup: 150 milligrams (38 percent DV)

Dark Chocolate — 1 square: 95 milligrams (24 percent DV)

Pumpkin seeds, dried — 1/8 cup: 92 milligrams (23 percent DV)

Almonds — 1 ounce: 75 milligrams (19 percent DV)

Black beans — 1/2 cup: 60 milligrams (15 percent DV)

Avocado — 1 medium: 58 milligrams (15 percent DV)

Figs, dried — 1/2 cup: 50 milligrams (13 percent DV)

Yogurt or kefir — 1 cup: 46.5 milligrams (12 percent DV)

Banana — 1 medium: 32 milligrams (8 percent DV)

As always, I encourage you to listen to your body. Recognize your symptoms and follow up on them. A simple blood test, a daily supplement and a few changes to your everyday diet can really have a huge impact on your overall health and well-being! Xx Janine