Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a role in many important bodily functions. It helps produce energy, keeps heart rhythm steady, and supports bone health. It’s also good for your mood. You can make sure you’re getting enough magnesium in your diet by checking out these magnesium-packed foods!
The article will provide information about the nutrition content of various foods as well as their effects on overall health.
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium (also referred to as Mg or Mg2+) is an essential mineral. It’s required for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the human body that keep us healthy and thriving!
The bodily functions mostly effected by magnesium are energy production, regulation of heart rhythm, formation and maturation of bone (to keep bones strong!), and the release and reuptake of neurotransmitters in the brain.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body – about 50% is stored in the bones, 30% is found in muscle tissue while 10% are found in other cells (e.g. cellular fluids that include blood, heart tissue, and nerve cells).
Magnesium Comes in Two Different Forms:
Elemental Magnesium – most commonly found in supplements and foods – contains 22 protons and is the form that can be measured on a blood test. It’s the form stored in your bones. This form is most commonly found in supplements and foods. It is the form that can be measured on a blood test and is stored in your bones.
Oxidized Magnesium – also known as ionic magnesium, this is the form you find in many foods (especially green leafy vegetables) and in your cells. The human body can’t absorb elemental magnesium, but it can digest oxidized magnesium. Ionic magnesium is sometimes used as a laxative because it promotes bowel movements by loosening things up inside us.
Signs of Magnesium Deficiency?
The signs of magnesium deficiency are often hard to gauge. Although many who lack magnesium experience no obvious symptoms, some signs may include:
- Muscle cramps and/or spasms that feel worse at night or in the early morning
- Fatigue, weakness, feeling lightheaded or irritable, or trouble concentrating. These symptoms may worsen with exercise or stress.
- Headaches and migraines (more common in teens)
- Problems with sleep or insomnia (more common in teens)Low levels of energy, fatigue, weakness or lethargy (more common in adults)Anxiety, nervousness, irritability or mood swings (most common sign of magnesium deficiency for all ages).
- Tingling in your hands and feet, numbness and/or tingling from nerve damage can also be a sign of severe magnesium deficiency.
What Foods Are Rich in Magnesium?
The best foods for magnesium are green leafy vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard, seeds and nuts like almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds. Some other good sources of magnesium include bananas, dairy products (milk and yogurt), fish (halibut, salmon and tuna), whole grains (wheat bran), chocolate and blackstrap molasses.
What is a Healthy Daily Intake of Magnesium?
The Recommended Daily Allowance for magnesium is 320 milligrams for men and 310 milligrams for women.
Snack ideas for increasing magnesium in your diet:
Breakfast: 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1/2 cup whole-grain cereal with 2 whole eggs
1/2 cup sliced banana, a handful of cashews and a cup of grass fed bone broth
Lunch or dinner: spinach salad with sliced almonds, goat cheese crumbles and turkey or tuna; 1 small baked sweet potato topped with a spoonful of almond butter
Snacks: roasted pumpkin seeds; an ounce of dark chocolate; cashew butter on celery sticks; half a plain yogurt topped with wheat germ.
Should I Supplement With Magnesium?
Although magnesium is found in many foods, you’ll be hard-pressed to find enough of it in those foods alone to provide the daily amount recommended by the USDA. It’s even more difficult to get enough magnesium from a diet that’s high in refined carbohydrates, which often leave us deficient.
The best supplemental forms of magnesium are chelates, which are forms of minerals that are bound to other substances, such as amino acids or sugars, so that the minerals can be more easily absorbed (just like food is chelated when cooked). Magnesium citrate and magnesium taurate are two common chelated forms of magnesium.
Magnesium supplements should be taken in doses of 300 milligrams or less. Too much magnesium can be hard on your kidneys and/or cause diarrhea. High doses of magnesium can also cause negative interactions with certain medications.
What Should You Take With Magnesium?
When you consume magnesium, it must be in a form that your body can assimilate. If you are consuming food or supplements that have been enriched with magnesium, it will be absorbed much more easily by the body. For example, dark chocolate is very rich in magnesium and also has the advantage of containing antioxidants and other nutrients which aid in absorption. Magnesium supplements should be taken with a meal or beverage that contains some water to increase absorption.
Foods to Avoid with Magnesium:
High-protein diets that are high in meat and dairy products, as well as junk food, can prohibit the body from absorbing the magnesium it needs. These items should be avoided if you take magnesium supplements or have a magnesium deficiency.
Drinks to Avoid with Magnesium:
Coffee, tea, and soda do not contain any significant amount of magnesium. They also contain substances that inhibit absorption of this mineral.