Do you crave chocolate? Some experts believe your body could actually be begging you for magnesium, which is found in cocoa and other foods. This mineral has many functions in the body: It helps nerves, muscles and the heart to function properly; supports the immune system; and strengthens bones. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, the average magnesium intake of women in North America is 68 percent of the recommended level. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to osteoporosis, and taking a magnesium supplement of no more than 350 mg at night may even improve the quality of your sleep. A blood test can be done to measure your level.
Food sources of magnesium: Spinach, cocoa, potatoes, dried beans and lentils, fish, whole grains