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Magnesium deficiency symptoms: Foods and supplements in diet could lower risk

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Magnesium is used by the body to turn the food we eat into energy, according to the NHS.

It’s also used to make sure the parathyroid glands work properly.

The glands produce hormones that are important for bone health.

Magnesium deficiency could affect up to 800,000 people in the UK.

Symptoms could include muscle cramps, osteoporosis, fatigue, and muscle weakness.

You could lower your risk of a magnesium deficiency by adding more beans to your diet, according to nutritionist, Dr Sarah Brewer.

Seeds, wholegrains and dark green leafy vegetables could all lower your risk of a deficiency, as they’re all rich in the nutrient.

Magnesium supplements are also available to help boost your intake.

You can absorb magnesium through the skin, so skin oil and bath flakes are popular choices, said Brewer.

The best time to take magnesium supplements is at night, as it could help you to fall asleep.

“Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for long-term good health,” said Brewer, on her website DrSarahBrewer.com.

“Magnesium is essential for almost all metabolic processes from the production of energy to making hormones, proteins and genetic material.

“Yet, lack of magnesium is one of the most common mineral deficiencies.

“Drinking water can provide useful amounts of magnesium in hard water areas, and dark chocolate is also a good source.

“Unfortunately, food processing strips out many minerals, including magnesium.”

All UK men should aim for at least 300mg of magnesium in their diet everyday.

Women should be sure to get about 270mg, the NHS said.

If you decide to take magnesium supplements, you shouldn’t take too much.

More than 400mg of magnesium in a short period of time could cause diarrhoea, it said.

Speak to a GP if you’re worried about a magnesium deficiency.

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