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Foods High in Magnesium: Eat Smart for a Healthier You

Foods high in magnesium should be an essential item on your grocery list, as magnesium is a mineral that should never be disregarded. Magnesium plays an important part in over 300 metabolic events in the body and is required for muscle and neuron function, blood sugar management, and bone health. Despite its importance, many people do not consume enough magnesium each day. 

Magnesium is vitally important for your body and has a range of health benefits. Without it, your organs will fail to function as they should. Many foods contain a high magnesium content, yet many people don’t get enough of their daily dosage. This is a concern because, without this essential mineral, our body can’t function optimally.

Join us in our investigation into magnesium and the foods that are high in this important mineral. This blog will inform you on how to meet your daily needs naturally and how you can add magnesium easily to your daily healthy diet.

A magnesium supplement may be needed to give you more magnesium to increase your health benefits.

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral that plays a role in various chemical reactions in the body. It is also important in the treatment of several health issues, such as stroke, preeclampsia, hypertension, muscle cramps, migraines, and irregular heartbeats or heart rhythms.

Magnesium also helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar and promotes heart and bone health.

Regulates Blood Pressure

In people with prehypertension, magnesium reduces high blood pressure.This is the case for diastolic blood pressure as well as systolic blood pressure. It does this in two ways:

Preventing Injury to Blood Vessel Walls

Over time, blood vessels may become damaged, making them less flexible and raising blood pressure. Magnesium helps to repair damage and remove substances that cause damage, helping to not just lower blood pressure but also keep it regulated.

Preventing Blood Vessels From Hardening

Calcium starts to build up in blood vessels, causing them to become hard and increasing blood pressure. Magnesium solves this by sticking to the blood vessel walls preventing the calcium from accumulating and keeping blood pressure low.

Blood Sugar Control

Magnesium helps to keep blood sugar regulated. Research shows that magnesium is beneficial in preventing insulin resistance and is beneficial in people who have diabetes. Insulin resistance occurs when the body can’t use the insulin the body produces.

Promotes Heart Health

Magnesium lowers the risk of heart disease by preventing atherosclerosis, the stiffening, and hardening of the arteries. It also keeps blood vessel walls healthy so that oxygen-rich from taking place. Atherosclerosis is the stiffening and hardening of the arteries. It also keeps blood vessel walls healthy, so blood-oxygen-rich blood can flow freely when being transported to the heart.

Avoid saturated fat to promote the lower risk of coronary spasms.

Ensures Bone Health

Magnesium is extremely important for bone health by building and maintaining strong, healthy bones. It works with Vitamin D and calcium to increase bone mineral density and lower the risk of osteoporosis.

If you have low levels of magnesium in your body, magnesium is drawn from the bones because it is needed for so many bodily functions. If this keeps happening then your bones will start to become brittle.

Magnesium Intake

The amount of magnesium required daily varies according to age, gender, and life stage. Due to the fact that the amounts differ according to different factors,  it’s important to know how much you need and stick to it. 

The recommended dietary allowances (RDA) are as follows:

Older Adults (aged 31 and over):

The recommended dietary allowance of magnesium is 420 mg per day for males and 320 mg per day for females.

Adults (aged 19 and up):

The RDA for magnesium is 400 mg per day for men and 310 mg per day for women.

Adolescents (14 to 18 years old):

The recommended daily allowance of magnesium for adolescents is 410 mg for males and 360 mg for females.

Pregnant Women:

The amount needed for pregnant women differs depending on age. Pregnant women under 19 require 400 mg per day, those 19 to 30 need 350 mg a day, and those 31 years and up need 360 mg.

Lactating mothers under 19 years need 360 mg per day, ages 19 to 30 years need 310 mg a day, and 31 years and up need 320 mg per day.

Children (ages 1 to 13 years):

Children aged 1 to 3 need 80 mg per day, children aged 4 to 8 need 130 mg per day, and children aged 9 to 13 need 240 mg per day.

Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium deficiency is a common but frequently neglected health concern. Early detection of warning signs and symptoms can help to avoid significant health consequences. You may experience abnormal eye movements, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, convulsions, low appetite, muscle contractions, weakness, numbness, and spasms.

Inflammation markers start to increase in the body and can increase the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

People who have a higher chance of magnesium deficiency are older people and people who suffer from the following:

  • Celiac disease

  • Kidney disease

  • Crohn’s disease

  • Cancer

  • Parathyroid issues

  • Hypertension

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Alcohol dependence

Factors Influencing Low Magnesium Absorption

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI):

These medications lower stomach acid in people with gastrointestinal diseases. Long-term use of PPIs has the side effect of lowering magnesium absorption in the intestine, which lowers the overall magnesium levels in the body.

Most magnesium is in food, check with your healthcare provider if you need supplements.

Diuretics( Water Pills):

Diuretics, sometimes known as water pills, are substances that help the body get rid of excess fluid by increasing urine production. While they are commonly treat hypertension, heart failure, and some kidney problems, they can also disrupt the body’s electrolyte balance, particularly magnesium levels.

Ways to Improve Absorption

Calcium and Vitamin D

Calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium are all critical minerals that work together to support a variety of biological activities, including bone health, muscle function, and overall metabolic processes.

Vitamin D helps the intestines absorb magnesium more effectively. Adequate vitamin D levels can assist ensure that dietary magnesium is properly absorbed into the bloodstream.

Zinc Dietary Supplement

 While these minerals perform complementary functions, large dosages can compete for absorption in the intestines. If one mineral is ingested in excess compared to the other, the competition may result in deficiencies.

To minimize potential absorption concerns, take zinc and magnesium supplements at different times of the day or use a balanced multivitamin/mineral supplement that contains adequate quantities of both minerals.

Magnesium Supplementation

In powder form magnesium supplements are easier to digest, and therefore, it is recommended to use a powdered form of magnesium, as it can be absorbed better by the body.

Magnesium Supplements

Getting enough magnesium through your diet is enough for most adults. However, there are times when magnesium supplementation is a must. It’s important to note that there are different types of magnesium supplements:

Magnesium Chloride

Used for pre-diabetic conditions and to increase magnesium levels in the body.

Magnesium Oxide

Use to manage constipation and magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium Citrate

For mild cases of constipation, these dietary supplements serve as laxatives.

Too Much Magnesium

Too much magnesium isn’t a good thing; having too much magnesium in your body can be harmful. Milder symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, muscle weakness, nausea, lethargy, and stomach cramping. If your magnesium intake is extreme, it could lead to magnesium toxicity, which causes irregular heartbeats, chronic diarrhea, and extremely low blood pressure.

Excess magnesium from ingesting foods high in the mineral is expelled by the kidneys, so the risk of overdosing lies with taking a dietary supplement. Although magnesium toxicity is uncommon, it could be life-threatening, so it is important to ensure you take the mineral in moderation. Therefore, if you are supplementing with magnesium, ensure it is a reliable brand and the correct dosages.

Food Sources With High Magnesium Levels

Food sources rich in magnesium content range from nutrient-dense vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, and seeds.

Vegetables

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens such as mustard greens, kale, turnip greens, spinach, and collard greens all have large amounts of magnesium and iron, valuable plant compounds,  potassium, vitamin K, iron, Vitamin C, calcium, manganese, and vitamin A.

One cup of cooked spinach has 160 mg of magnesium, and a valuable bonus is that the leafy green is a natural anti-inflammatory.

Radishes

Radishes are natural diuretics, and every cup contains 200 mg of magnesium. This means that eating radishes helps the kidneys to function better and create more urine. This keeps your blood pressure regulated and lowers the risk of urinary tract infections.

Fruits

Bananas

Bananas are high in potassium. They are also a high-magnesium food, with 100 mg in a cup. This fruit contains resistant starch (carbs), which means that the carbs can’t be absorbed or digested. This is very good for improving gut health and inflammation.

Avocados

Packed full of fiber, vitamin K, potassium, B vitamins, and magnesium at 58 mg per medium-sized avocado. This fruit contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that regulate cholesterol levels. This research also shows that avocados can reduce inflammation in the body and are beneficial to cardiovascular health. It has a high carb content but mostly from fiber, so its digestible carb content is low.

Prickly Pears

Healthy people find that most fodos provide magnesium in the right amounts.

Prickly pears are the fruit of a specific species of cactus plant. They are full of flavonoids, vitamin B, potassium, vitamin C, and calcium. Every cup of prickly pear flesh provides 125 mg of magnesium. Prickly pear flesh also helps to benefit digestion and cardiovascular health, boost immune function, and, more importantly, lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Nuts

Nuts have anti-inflammatory properties and are great healthy snacks as they lower appetite and are good for the heart. Cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels of chronic diabetes sufferers showed improvement when nuts were consumed, according to this randomized controlled trial

Cashew Nuts

One 28g serving of cashew nuts contains 83 mg of magnesium and provides you with sufficient amounts of amino acids, iron, sterols, vitamin K, fiber, and folate to keep you healthy.

Peanuts

Half a cup of oil-roasted peanuts contains 275 mg of magnesium, providing a large quantity of magnesium, as well as copper, biotin, phosphorus, and manganese.

Almonds

Half a cup of almonds contains 215 mg of magnesium, plus an abundance of healthy fats, dietary proteins, fiber, manganese,se, and vitamin E. Almonds also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and can reduce the risk of cancer.

Brazil nuts

Half a cup of Brazil nuts has 250 mg of magnesium and selenium, a rare trace mineral that is an antioxidant. These nuts often help to improve one’s mood and are the go-to anti-cancer food.

Legumes

These include soybeans, lentils, peas, beans, and chickpeas, and also are full of protein, potassium, fiber, and iron.

Garbanzo Beans

One cup of cooked garbanzo beans contains 160 mg of magnesium and also has zinc, proteins, and fiber. Generally, they are for hummus, but there are many ways to prepare legumes. You can even roast them and eat them as a snack!

Black Beans

A cup of cooked black beans contains 120 mg of magnesium. They also contain phytoestrogens and fiber. They have a low glycemic index and decrease blood sugar and cholesterol, thus lowering the risk of heart disease.

Lima Beans

Each cup contains 299 mg of magnesium and is full of folate and potassium. Both of which are good for cardiovascular health and protect blood vessels from damage.

Seeds

These include chia seeds, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Seeds are high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and monounsaturated fat. They are full of antioxidants that protect your cells from oxidative stress.

Sesame Seeds

Half a cup of sesame seeds has 260 mg of magnesium, which is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and great at reducing cardiovascular disease risk.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are superfoods. One ounce contains 111 mg of magnesium. They are also full of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants, calcium, and fiber.

Pumpkin Seeds

Half a cup of dry roasted pumpkin seeds contains 382 mg of magnesium and has plenty of zinc, carotenoids, and antioxidants.

Soy Products

Tofu

Tofu is very high in protein, and 100g serving has 35 mg of magnesium plus plenty of selenium, calcium, manganese, and iron. A study, Soy food intake and risk of gastric cancer shows that soy can decrease the risk of stomach cancer.

Soybeans

One cup of cooked soybeans contains 108 mg of magnesium. They are also full of amino acids, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that regulate cholesterol. For optimal health benefits, opt for non-GMO soybean products.

Edamame

Edamame is green soybeans, half a cup contains 50 mg of magnesium, plenty of fiber, and 6 g of protein. Additionally, it is very low in calories.

Other Food Sources High in Magnesium

Dark Chocolate

One 28-gram serving of dark chocolate contains 65 milligrams of magnesium. It also contains several oxidants that protect cells from free radical damage and a lot of prebiotic fiber that promotes gut health.

It is important to note that dark chocolate should be a vegan alternative and have 70% or more cocoa solids. Dark chocolate is full of manganese, iron, and copper. The flavanols in dark chocolate stop bad cholesterol from sticking and accumulating in arteries.

Cocoa Powder

Full of flavonoids and antioxidants plus no sugar option compared to chocolate, a cup of cocoa powder will provide you with 430 mg of magnesium. It protects the skin from oxidative stress caused by free radicals and defends the nerves from inflammation.

Tamarind

Just one cup of the sweet pulp from this fruit contains 110 mg of magnesium. It also contains iron, phosphorus, and thiamin. In traditional medicine, it’s use was to create tartaric acid, a strong antioxidant.

Quinoa

Every cup of quinoa contains 340 mg of magnesium. It also contains many amino acids that aid in breaking down proteins, phytonutrients, and anti-inflammatory molecules.

Beverages 

It’s not just foods that contain high amounts of magnesium. You can also get your daily intake by consuming certain beverages.

Soya milk

One cup of soya milk contains 61 mg of magnesium, which is a great source of vitamin B12 and calcium. Drinking soya milk will maintain healthy bones and lower the risk of osteoporosis.

Mineral Water

One cup of mineral water contains 26.4 mg of magnesium. That may seem low, but a one-liter bottle of mineral water contains four cups, so you will get at least four times that amount.

Key Takeaways

To recap, magnesium is a daily requirement and, the right dosage is essential for our bodies can function optimally. It is a vital mineral that helps maintain normal heart rhythms, regulates blood pressure, and promotes strong bones.

A healthy diet full of fruit, vegetables, and legumes provides all the magnesium your body needs. Take magnesium supplements for specific health conditions or low dietary intakes. Remember to follow the instructions and stick to the recommended dosage!

By making a few simple adjustments to your daily diet and eating varied and balanced meals, you can ensure you are getting enough magnesium for your overall health.

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