Magnesium is a very important mineral as it helps keep your heart rhythm steady, is vital for healthy bones and teeth, muscle function, the nervous system, the production of energy, and it also impacts psychological health.
Unfortunately many of us — as many as 11 per cent of women and 16 per cent of men — are magnesium deficient, according to the latest National Diet and Nutrition Survey.
The figures are even worse for young people, particularly young women, with 51 per cent of girls aged 11 to 18 thought to have an inadequate intake, compared with 28 per cent of boys.
Our modern eating habits, with their excess salt, coffee and alcohol can also lower our magnesium levels, according to a review of international research by the University of Maryland Medical Centre, as they encourage urination and therefore wash away the mineral.
Consumption of low magnesium foods such as commercially-prepared baked items also contribute.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle weakness, cramps, depression and fatigue. Make sure you include magnesium-rich foods in your diet such as dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, fish and beans.
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