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If you’re into sweets or even the excellent bitterness of some dark chocolate with a glass of wine or a cup of green tea (yum!), you probably don’t think much about it. But what about those times when you feel like you need chocolate? This craving is commonly associated with women and their period. I know, I’ve got friends who go bonkers for the stuff around that time—but let’s look at this objectively, shall we?

Those times you feel like nothing in the world will be right until you get your hands on some chocolate could actually be your body telling you something. For instance, it could be the sign of a magnesium deficiency! More people are deficient in magnesium than you know…

So enough obscurity and let’s find out what this chocolate craving and magnesium thing is all about!

Who’s Deficient in Magnesium? Probably You

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A study conducted 10 years ago affirmed that nearly 50% of the U.S population didn’t get the government’s recommended amounts of magnesium. And we all know that the government’s recommendations for us are really a bunch of hogwash, as the government can’t possibly know what’s best for every person’s body, not to mention their recommendations are known for being grossly off what we actually need to be healthy.

I mean, just their “recommended” amount of calories has been under fire, so why would you trust what they tell you about vitamins and minerals?

So to make that paragraph real short: that 50% statistic? It’s probably off. Way off.

Why aren’t people getting enough magnesium?

There are several answers for this. They go something like: you’re eating way too much processed food that has no nutrients. Even if you’re eating whole foods, pesticides have depleted the magnesium levels in the soil so you’re not getting much there (choose organic and local). You’re stressed out, causing your body to sabotage its magnesium levels, leaving you empty.

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You’re stressed out, causing your body to sabotage its magnesium levels, leaving you empty. You’re eating way too much sugar, which causes your body to use even more magnesium to process it. And yeah, magnesium is also being depleted by those crazy bad pharmaceutical drugs like birth control, antibiotics, and many other medications.

What Contains Magnesium?

Like you need me to tell you that—chocolate, duh! Chocolate is actually one of the highest sources of magnesium out there with a whopping 41 milligrams per ounce in dark chocolate. Woo hoo!

Other sources of magnesium include:

  • Dark leafy greens. You need to be eating these every day. They include spinach, Swiss chard, kale, or collard greens.
  • Seeds. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, as are sunflower seeds and flaxseeds!
  • Nuts. Cashews, pecans, almonds, and brazil nuts are perfect for getting your magnesium.
  • Beans. Yes, kidney, black, pinto—bring it on!
  • Fish. Great for omega-3s and magnesium.
  • Fruit. Bananas, strawberries, grapefruit, figs, and avocado are all great sources.
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As you can see, many of these foods are healthy in their own right and can help you raise your magnesium levels.

What Else Can You Do?

There are numerous other things you can do to help boost your magnesium levels and start to feel better. If you’re experiencing any health problems, it could be a sign of magnesium deficiency. The signs of magnesium deficiency include muscle cramps or spasms, anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, and more! You could even be suffering from high blood pressure or osteoporosis as a result of a magnesium deficiency.

To boost magnesium, stop eating so much sugar. You’d be amazed at what sugar hides in—from salad dressings to bread to beauty products, sugar is trying to sabotage our health in any way that it can! By cutting down on sugar, you can help your body replete its magnesium levels, not to mention lose weight, have clear skin, more energy, and a host of other wonderful benefits.

You could also take a magnesium supplement. Be sure that you get a quality supplement rather than one that has fillers and weird ingredients in it. You can usually find quality supplements at natural health stores as opposed to supermarkets. Also, remember that while supplements can be beneficial, your body will always better absorb vitamins and nutrients from natural sources such as foods than it will from a supplement. So pack on those fruits and veggies, and consider taking a bath with magnesium flakes!

Finally, you could also add raw cacao powder to your recipes. You could make a fantastic avocado pudding with honey and raw cocoa powder that tastes amazing—the avocado and the cacao add a magnesium punch! Serve with coconut whipped cream for topping with a sprinkle of cinnamon (I’ve made this—it’s crazy good!)
Are you experiencing the symptoms of magnesium deficiency, such as craving chocolate? If so, consider taking a supplement or adding raw cacao to your diet. Remember, those menstrual cramps might just go away if your body had a little more magnesium to handle them better!

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Jenn Ryan
Health Expert
Jenn Ryan is a freelance writer and editor who's passionate about natural health, fitness, gluten-free, and animals. She loves running, reading, and playing with her four rescued rabbits.
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