One of the main and most important minerals in the body is magnesium. The human body uses magnesium for a variety of functions – it helps our muscles contract and relax, keeps our blood vessels active, activates our muscles and nerves, creates energy, helps digest proteins and serves as the building block for RNA and DNA. Magnesium is also a precursor to neurotransmitters such as serotonin, so it’s pretty safe to say it’s incredible important for our health.
However, although it is vital for our body, we rarely get much of it. Almost no one has proper magnesium levels in their body due to the lack of the mineral in our soil. On the other hand, calcium is over utilized in recent years, which causes an imbalance between the two minerals and leads to severe health problems. Magnesium and calcium must be in the correct balance in the body or you will experience muscle spasms and even more serious symptoms.
Dr. Carolyn Dean, a naturopathic doctor and author, says that magnesium is vital for our nerve and muscle function, so lacking it can cause muscle spasms. On the other hand, calcium helps our muscles relax, so any imbalance between the two is sure to bring muscle problems. More importantly, the mineral is essential for our heart function. High calcium levels in the body without magnesium to balance them out can cause problems with the heart muscle that may progress to heart attack, stroke and death. Dr. Dean says that most of the magnesium in our body is in the left ventricle of the heart and without it the organ just wouldn’t be able to function properly.
Besides needing to be in proper balance with calcium, magnesium should also be balanced with vitamins D and K2. A high dose of vitamin D in our body can result in magnesium deficiency and cause the aforementioned problems. These 4 nutrients work in synergy to keep our body working and if their delicate balance is affected, you will surely experience big health problems.
The 4 nutrients are more dependent on each other than you think. For example, if you’re lacking vitamin K2, adding calcium in your diet can cause many problems as it accumulates in the wrong areas. If you take oral vitamin D supplements, chances are you will experience problems without adding proper amounts of magnesium and vitamin K2 to balance things out. Whenever you’re taking one of the nutrients in the form of supplement, you must also pay attention to the others or suffer the consequences. This is why it’s important to consult with a doctor first.
Dietary Sources Of Magnesium And Calcium
The good news is that there are many dietary sources of both calcium and magnesium you can easily incorporate in your diet. Calcium can be found in nuts and seeds, bone broths, dark leafy vegetables and dairy products. Sadly, magnesium is a bit harder to get from dietary sources, as industrialization destroyed the magnesium in the soil s everything that grows in it is lacking this vital mineral.
According to Dr. Dean, we got about 500 mg. of magnesium in the past, but now we’ll be lucky if we get 200 mg. per day, which is pretty low. In order to solve these problems, doctors suggest magnesium supplements. However, due to the different choices, these supplements leave many people confused.
The good news is that finding organic foods such as leafy green vegetables can get you a fair amount of magnesium. Add Swiss chard, kale, nuts and seeds, pumpkin, beans and other plants in your diet in order to stock up on magnesium. Juicing these plants is also a great way of extracting their nutrients. If your food is not organic, though, we suggest consulting with a doctor on the best form of magnesium supplement for your case.
Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
The problem with magnesium deficiency is that there’s no test that can help doctors detect it. Only 1% of the magnesium in our body is in the blood, so a blood test wouldn’t be able to tell if you’re lacking magnesium. There are some special tests (which are expensive) that can be failure accurate, but we suggest learning to detect the early signs of lack of magnesium in your body as the best way of telling if you need more of this important mineral.
The symptoms of this condition are dizziness, fatigue, nausea, headaches, loss of appetite, frequent muscle cramps, seizures, mood changes, abnormal heart rhythm and coronary spasms. Of course, these symptoms can indicate other health problems, but if you notice them and they don’t go on their own after a longer period, it’s time to take that magnesium test and find out what the problem is.