Magnesium is a workhorse mineral that mingles with enzymes all over the body and plays a role in 300 different bodily processes. Since it’s so abundant in so many foods, you might think most people would be all set on magnesium. Unfortunately, the very best sources of magnesium are the health-nut kinds of foods that most people steer clear of: leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and the like.
The result is that magnesium deficiency is pretty common, and it’s also underestimated, according to Dr. Goodman, who happens to have written a whole book on the subject. “I have many patients who are magnesium deficient and don’t even know it,” he claims. “They’re coming with all sorts of nonspecific symptoms: muscle cramps, palpitations, insomnia.” And he says it’s not even as easy as sucking it up and putting some kale on your plate. “A lot of soil is low in magnesium, so people can be deficient because they’re not getting their vegetables from soil that is healthy soil,” Dr. Goodman explains. “If you can, go with organic or try your local farmers' market, where you’re most likely to get things grown in good soil.”