9 Ways to Tell If You Have a Magnesium Deficiency and 9 Foods That Can Help

Magnesium is an essential mineral for the human body; so important that troubling symptoms can occur if you don’t have enough in your system. Magnesium is involved in hundreds of processes throughout the body.  It’s a crucial part of the way calcium gets into your cells, and your body is lost without it.

Here are nine ways to tell if you have a magnesium deficiency.

1. Continuous Cramps and Aches

If the magnesium levels in your body drop too low, it can cause your muscles to cramp and spasm. One of the most painful side effects of magnesium deficiency is the involuntary contractions it can cause. If you are constantly facing tension and aches in your muscles, then you may want to try increasing your magnesium intake

2. Chocoholic?

There’s loving chocolate, and then there’s needing chocolate. Often, our body craves what it lacks and believe it or not, constant chocolate cravings may mean your body needs magnesium. Dark chocolate is very high in the mineral, and your body knows it.

3. Anxiety

Featured Image Courtesy: CBC Canada (

Feeling stressed or anxious is a natural part of daily life for most adults.  But constant worrying and obsessing over life’s small tragedies could be something more biological at work. If your body is low on magnesium, it could be sending you down an anxious spiral. Magnesium is actually a relaxation mineral, and when you’re too low, your brain may not be able to process emotions normally.

4. Sleeplessness

Lying awake in bed is normal now and then, but when ‘every now and then’ becomes habitual, you may have a problem. If you have trouble falling asleep, then staying asleep, you might want to look into ways to get magnesium in your diet. Your muscles and brain need the mineral to relax, and you need to calm down to drift off peacefully.

5. Constipation

The relaxing effect of magnesium has far-reaching consequences.  It’s important that your body maintains the appropriate amount of magnesium so your digestive tract can properly do its thing. Your intestines will contract more when your body is low. This makes it harder to process waste as it moves through your intestines. If you find that you’re constipated on a regular basis, you’ll want to look into ways to get more magnesium in your body.

6. High Blood Pressure

Another way that magnesium keeps your body process in order is the way it helps relax your blood vessels. It plays an important role in keeping your blood pressure steady. If you currently have high blood pressure, a magnesium deficiency could be one of the reasons. High blood pressure is serious. So, if it’s a worry, be sure to talk to your doctor. They may recommend a bit more magnesium in your diet.

7. Frequent Headaches


Daily headaches can be a warning sign that your body needs magnesium. Try this next time you get a bad headache, eat a bit of dark chocolate instead of taking a painkiller. If that helps your headache ease, then you can thank the calming effect of magnesium.

8. Fluttering Heartbeat

Magnesium plays an important role in heart health. When your body is low in magnesium, it’s headrest working muscle may not be able to relax properly. You will probably notice that your heart starts to beat irregularly. Doctors call it arrhythmia, but many people describe it as a flutter. Just like with high blood pressure, you should talk to your doctor about any irregular heartbeat you may notice. He or she may recommend you up your intake of magnesium-rich foods.

9. Acid Reflux

This is a pain that pangs many people, constant heartburn or acid reflux. If you find that you are always reaching for the antacids, you may want to start reaching for magnesium-rich foods. The next time a bout of heartburn strikes, try a bit of dark chocolate and see if you can skip the antacids.

Foods That Can Help Get More Magnesium in Your Body

Upping your intake of magnesium does not mean you have to take supplements every day.  Here’s a list of foods that can help you get more of the mineral in your body:

  1. Brazil Nuts
  2. Halibut
  3. Cocoa
  4. Rice Bran
  5. Cashews
  6. Quinoa
  7. Pumpkin Seeds
  8. Almonds
  9. Spinach

Just a few servings of these foods a week can help keep your magnesium levels in check.

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