Updated March 29, 2017

You probably know you need ample nutrients in your diet like vitamin C or D, along with protein, and omega-3s. But you may not know how crucial magnesium is for your health. This mineral is essential for the proper function of your heart, muscles, and immune system. Research suggests that that nearly half of Americans aren’t getting enough magnesium in their diets. While a true deficiency is rare, it can cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and loss of appetite. People with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or digestive issues like Crohn's and celiac disease are at a greater risk of having a magnesium deficiency. Plus, people who are taking medications for heartburn or high blood pressure may have a problem as well.

That said, because a real magnesium deficiency is rare, people may need to only get a little boost of the mineral to their diets. Adult men, for example, should take in 400 mg of magnesium daily, while women require 310 mg. And after age 30, these numbers are increased to abut 420 mg and 320 mg, respectively.

Like most nutrients, more isn’t always when it comes to magnesium, and having too much in your diet can also present health problems. So before you start popping supplements, you may want to speak to your doctor first. And consuming healthy, magnesium-rich foods may be the best way to get more of this nutrient. Watch this video to learn the eight best foods to you can eat to up your magnesium.