When it comes to vibrant health, sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference.
We’ve spoken before about the invisible epidemic of mineral deficiency that’s sweeping the nation (and the world). In many ways, minerals are the foundation of all the body’s internal processes—they’re used by every organ in the body, and they allow for proper interfacing between all of the body’s systems.
One of the most dire mineral deficiencies that we face is that of magnesium. It’s estimated that more than 70% of Americans are magnesium-deficient. And this number is based on the RDA of magnesium (310-320 mg for women, 400-420 mg for men), which many experts believe is only the bare minimum needed to prevent pathological deficiency. It’s very likely that hardly any of us are maintaining an optimal level of magnesium on a regular basis.
This is rather worrisome, given that magnesium helps regulate over 330 different vital enzymatic activities. It allows energy to be made within the body as ATP, activates muscles and nerves, aids digestion, and serves as a building block for the synthesis of RNA and DNA, as well as neurotransmitters like serotonin.
Magnesium deficiency has been implicated in at 22 major health conditions, and the list continues to grow.
But why are we all so magnesium-deficient?
Once upon a time, in a land free from disastrous industrial farming practices, our soils were mineral-rich—which means that a standard diet could more or less provide us with all the magnesium we need. But now that all of our soils have been critically depleted, our default intake of magnesium is much lower.
To make matters worse, magnesium is actively depleted by stress, sugar, and processed food—the trifecta of the modern industrial world. All three of these facets of consumerist culture force your body to recruit an inordinate amount of magnesium for metabolism and protection from oxidative stress. For example, every molecule of sugar requires 54 molecules of magnesium to process it.
It goes without saying that a healthy diet free of refined sugars and processed foods makes a much happier, healthier, magnesium-rich body.
If you already abstain from these frankenfoods, you’re doing yourself a huge favor. Even a healthy diet is not failsafe insurance against mineral deficiency, though—your body still has to contend with a constant onslaught of magnesium-stealing toxins (pharmaceuticals, contraceptives, antibiotics, and environmental toxins), as well as the everyday stress that is the Western world’s right-hand man.
So how do you know if you’re magnesium-deficient?
Even though magnesium deficiency is so widespread, testing for it can be very difficult. Only 1 percent of your body’s magnesium is distributed in the blood (most of it is kept in the organs and bones), so blood tests are not very useful.
For better or worse, though, there are plenty of symptoms that make it easy to figure out if you’re deficient.
The tell-tale signs
Nearly everyone displays one or more signs of magnesium deficiency. Symptoms include soreness or pain (especially in the back and neck), fatigue, depression, mood instability, anger, headaches, migraines, brain fog, tension (physical or emotional), anxiety, insomnia, lethargy, constipation, hypertension, impaired memory and cognition, and aggression.
The Journal of the American College of Nutrition stated that “depression, epilepsy, diabetes mellitus, tremor, Parkinsonism, arrhythmias, circulatory disturbances (stroke, cardiac infarction, arteriosclerosis), hypertension, migraine, cluster headache, cramps, neuro-vegetative disorders, abdominal pain, osteoporosis, asthma, stress dependent disorders, tinnitus, ataxia, confusion, preeclampsia, weakness, might be consequences of the magnesium deficiency syndrome.”
At the risk of making this section read like one of those comically long-winded side effect lists during pharmaceutical commercials, let’s put it this way: if you’re not specifically supplementing with magnesium, you’re probably deficient in it.
Unless you’ve been growing your own food in nutrient-rich soil that you cultivated over the course of years, you should assume that even the healthful foods you eat don’t contain an optimal level of magnesium and other minerals.
How to beat magnesium deficiency
Chocolate (especially raw cacao), sunflower seeds, almonds, kale, chard, spinach, and whole-grain brown rice are some examples of magnesium-rich foods that you should include in your diet.
But because even foods grown in organic soils may not contain optimal levels of magnesium, they can’t be your sole source—you’ll need to supplement, as well.
If taking magnesium orally, choose magnesium glycinate, and take 800-1200 mg before bed.
An even better way to absorb magnesium, though, is to do so through the skin. Taking epsom salt baths is a very enjoyable way to accomplish this task, and you’ll get a good dose of bioavailable sulfur out of the experience too.
The folks at Activation Products are absolutely meticulous with their product formulation—they use the purest, most bioavailable form of magnesium on the planet to create an unparalleled offering. It’s fantastic for aches and pains, and will supply you with all the magnesium your brain and body needs for peak performance, superior energy, and proper sleep.
Whether you choose to try this product (affiliate link) or some other form of magnesium, just take action to overcome any potential deficiency—especially if you have any of the symptoms listed above.
Whether you’re low-energy, chronically sick, moody or depressed, or suffering from a longer-term health condition, magnesium just might be the solution for which you’ve been searching.