There could be many reasons why you are not sleeping well ranging from irregular sleeping habits to over-consumption of caffeine. But if you are having trouble sleeping on a daily basis, or if you have not been able to get a good, refreshing sleep over some time, it could indicate magnesium deficiency.
What Is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral that is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps in maintaining normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, helps regulate the heart beat and helps in bone health.
Why Is It Essential For Good Sleep?
Magnesium is essential for proper functioning of brain receptors that regulate sleep, called GABA receptors. GABA is a calming neurotransmitter (sort of chemical) that the brain requires to switch off. Without it, we remain tense, our thoughts race and we lie in bed staring at the ceiling.
Deficiency of magnesium has been linked to chronic insomnia. Infact, Insomnia is one of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Studies suggest magnesium deficiency may even be the one of the leading causes of most major depression and mental health problems.
What Are Other signs Of Magnesium Deficiency?
Other signs and symptoms that could point towards magnesium deficiency include nausea, vomiting, excessive tiredness, weakness, numbness, tingling, painful muscle cramps, twitches in small muscles (like eyelids).
What Causes Magnesium Deficiency?
The most common causes of magnesium deficiency is having a diet poor in magnesium. This is largely due to excessive consumption of refined and processed foods and unhealthy dietary choices. Other causes include alcohol abuse, chronic stress, malabsorption syndrome, poorly controlled diabetes, severe diarrhea and certain medications like diuretics.
How Can Magnesium Deficiency Be Fixed?
The best way to prevent and treat magnesium deficiency is by consuming foods that are rich in magnesium and making them a part of your daily dietary plan. Foods that are rich in magnesium include:
Dark leafy greens. Greens play the role of the ultimate superfood, offering up crucial vitamins and minerals as well as a host of health benefits. Choose raw or cooked baby spinach, collard greens, kale, or Swiss chard and you’ll be stocking your body with magnesium for very few calories.
Bananas. A a medium-sized banana also provides 32 milligrams of magnesium, along with vitamin C and fiber. At only about 100 calories, this is a must have snack that can provide you a good dose of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and fiber. Other magnesium rich fruits include strawberries, figs and blackberries.
Legumes. Soya beans, black beans, kidney beans, white beans, chickpeas (channa) and lentils (daals) contain a high amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Carry half cup of dry roasted soya beans as an afternoon munching option or have cooked chickpeas or lentils for lunch.
Seeds. Just a half cup of pumpkin seeds provides nearly 100 percent of the daily requirement for magnesium. Other nuts and seeds high in magnesium include almonds, sunflower seeds,cashews and flax seeds. You can make a healthy trail mix of your favourite seeds and have a handful daily.
Fish. Fish are not only excellent source of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids but they are also packed with magnesium, especially tuna, salmon and mackerel. Make it a goal to have fish for dinner at least once a week.
Dark chocolate. One square of the sweet stuff provides 24% of the daily value of magnesium for only 145 calories, in addition to antioxidants that can help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and boost overall heart health. Paired with fresh fruit, dark chocolate makes a tempting and healthy after-dinner dessert.
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So go ahead, add these delicious and healthy foods into your diet and and munch your way to a good and sound sleep. Eat healthy, Sleep Well!