Magnesium never gets center stage. Sodium always plays the villain. Potassium is usually the hero. Magnesium — who is that? Well it may be time to write in magnesium as the superhero. Studies have shown that this no-name mineral can improve the following health conditions:
- Heart irregularities
- Bone strength
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Muscle function
This mineral is also commonly used to treat constipation since it can power up the intestines.
How do you know if you are getting enough magnesium? A simple blood test can give a rough estimate of your level of magnesium.
What are risk factors for magnesium deficiency?
- Diuretics (water pills) cause loss of magnesium as well as potassium through the kidneys
- Alcohol abuse can lead to magnesium deficiency
- Intestinal malabsorption
- Chronic use of stomach acid-lowering drugs may cause low magnesium
- Poor diet of mostly processed foods
What are food power sources of magnesium?
Green leafy vegetables, whole grains, fish, beans and nuts are sure to boost up your magnesium supply.
Some examples of Magnesium-rich foods:
|Cashews||1 ounce||75 mg Magnesium|
|Peanut butter||1 tablespoon||25 mg|
|Black beans||3.5 ounces||70 mg|
|Chickpeas||3.5 ounces||48 mg|
|Soybeans||3.5 ounces||60 mg|
|Brown Rice, Long grained||½ cup||40 mg|
|Oats||3.5 ounces||235 mg|
|Peanuts||3.5 ounces||250 mg|
|Halibut||3.5 ounces||100 mg|
|Banana||medium size||30 mg|
|Baked potato||medium size||50 mg|
|Spinach||3.5 ounces||75 mg|
|Plain yogurt||8 ounces||45 mg|
|Whole Milk||1 cup||24 mg|
|Avocado||½ cup||35 mg|
|Whole wheat bread||1 slice||25 mg|
|Raisins||¼ cup||25 mg|
|Black-eyed Peas, cooked||½ cup||45 mg|
|Wheat Germ, crude||2 Tablespoons||35 mg|
|Almonds, Dry roasted||1 ounce||80 mg|
|Figs, Dried||4 figs||44 mg|
|Artichokes||1 cup||100 mg|
|Buckwheat Flour, Whole Groat||1 cup||300 mg|
|Oat Bran||1 cup||200 mg|
|Prune Juice||1 cup||36 mg|
|Lentils||1 cup||70 mg|
|Pumpkin seeds||1 ounce||150 mg|
|Sweet Potato (with Skin)||1 cup (250 gms)||55 mg|
|Tomato, Paste||1 cup||130 mg|
How much Magnesium do I need?
The recommended intake of magnesium in U.S. adults is about 300 mg daily. Past studies have found up to 75% of Americans were not measuring up to recommended dietary intake.
- Alaimo K, McDowell MA, Briefel RR, et al: Dietary intake of vitamins, minerals, and fiber of person ages 2 months and over in the United States: Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Phase 1, 1988-91. Adv Data . (258): 1-28.1994;
- Dominguez, L et al. Magnesium and muscle performance in older persons: the InCHIANTI study.
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 84, No. 2, 419-426, August 2006
- Guerrera, M et al. Therapeutic Uses of Magnesium. American Family Physician - Volume 80, Issue 2 (July 2009)
- Office of Dietary Supplements, NIH. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/magnesium/