Magnesium is a critical mineral, particularly for women, and is used for a variety of activities that keep us healthy and functioning properly. Unfortunately, you’re probably not getting the recommended daily amount, and this can cause problems. This begs the question, what foods are high in magnesium?
Why We Need Magnesium?
Magnesium helps your heart, muscles, blood sugar levels, regulate blood pressure, and immune system function at a level of maximum efficiency. For women, in particular, the need for proper magnesium intake may be greater, than for men.
Three Ways Magnesium Benefits Women
Magnesium helps build and repair your body’s tissues so a deficiency can cause issues for pregnant women. additionally, leg cramping is common among pregnant women. Too little magnesium, as well as potassium and calcium in the diet, can contribute to leg cramps.
2)Regulates Blood Pressure
Blood pressure problems can affect both men and women. However, pregnancy and menopause are two times for women, when blood pressure is susceptible to issues. Magnesium can help regulate blood pressure naturally.
About 60% of your body’s magnesium is in your bones. Women are more prone to osteoporosis than men. Women tend to have smaller/thinner bones than men, and as estrogen production drops, the bone density can decrease as well.
How Much Magnesium Do I Need?
The amount of magnesium is higher for adults compared to infants or kids. The average man should consume about 400 mg, and the average woman should consume about 300 mg. Infants need no more than 75-100 mg and kids can top out around 230 mg.
What Are Signs of Magnesium Deficiency?
The body is efficient and will do what it can to prevent magnesium loss. The signs of magnesium deficiency can be hard to trace as the signs are common with other ailments. Here are a few things you need to be on the look for:
- Frequent migraines
- Decrease in appetite
- Vomiting or nausea
- Body weakness
If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms, increasing your intake of magnesium might get you back to normal.
Again getting your minerals and nutrients from food will always be recommended versus taking a supplement. A supplement might help if you don’t have access to food rich in magnesium, but studies don’t show a significant uptake when taking via pills. A supplement might be your only option, but intake via food will be best.
So what foods are high in magnesium?
What Foods Are High in Magnesium?
Magnesium is found naturally in many foods. Yet, the production of food has changed so dramatically in the last 50 years, many foods are stripped of their naturally high magnesium content. The magnesium content in vegetables has seen declines from 25-80% since pre-1950 figures, and typical grain refining processes for bread and pasta remove 80-95% of total magnesium.
To make matters more difficult, even if you’re getting the correct amount of magnesium intake, the absorption of the mineral can be diminished. For example, the body typically absorbs only 20-50% of ingested magnesium. A majority of it is absorbed in the small intestines, a bit through the large intestines, and the remainder is removed via waste.
Aging, stress, disease, and illness can also limit absorption.
But to help reduce the chances of becoming magnesium deficient, here is a list of foods you should add to your intake:
Legumes, nuts, seeds, fish, leafy greens, and whole grains are the best sources of magnesium. Additionally, you’ll see that some foods such as cereals, milk, yogurt, and other dairy products are fortified with magnesium. You can get recommended amounts of magnesium by eating a variety of foods, including but not limited to the following:
- Pumpkin Seeds – 764 mg/cup
- Brazilnuts – 500 mg/cup
- Almonds – 390 mg/cup
- Lima Beans – 390 mg/cup
- Pine nuts – 340 mg/cup
- Uncooked Quinoa – 335 mg/cup
- Oats – 275 mg/cup
- Brown Rice – 270 mg/cup
- Peanuts – 250 mg/cup
- Macadamia Nuts 175 mg/cup
- Pistachio Nuts – 150 mg/cup
- Black beans – 120 mg/cup
- Edamame, shelled, cooked – 100 mg/cup
- Raisins – 50 mg/cup
- Banana – 30 mg
- Milk – 25 mg/cup
- Broccoli – 25 mg/cup
For a complete list of foods check out the USDA magnesium content pdf.
Can We Consume Too Much Magnesium?
Magnesium that is naturally present in food is not harmful and does not need to be limited. In healthy people, the kidneys can get rid of any excess in the urine. If you’re taking a magnesium supplement, excessive amounts can cause diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramping. Extremely high intakes of magnesium can lead to irregular heartbeat and cardiac arrest.
Conclusion of Magnesium Deficiencies
Magnesium is a vital mineral to our well-being. While our body can do a good job of holding onto magnesium when it senses a deficit, it’s only a matter of time before it can lead to some real issues. The good news, it’s pretty easy to get the recommended daily intake, if we just focus a bit. Furthermore, some foods that we commonly snack on are magnesium-rich, so just a cup or two of nuts will typically provide the right amount.
FAQ of Magnesium
How long to fix a magnesium deficiency?
For those that are severely lacking, magnesium can be administered intravenously, which can expedite the process. For the average person, within a month.
Will magnesium help me sleep?
Research indicates that magnesium can help with sleep. For people who suffer from insomnia or other sleeping disorders, a magnesium supplement may help.
Does magnesium help you lose weight?
Magnesium can help alleviate blood sugar spikes. However, the best course of action for weight loss is proper nutrition and daily exercise.
How does magnesium affect my bowels?
Magnesium draws water into the intestines, which can act as a laxative. This increase in water can soften stool and help pass waste through your system.
What is your favorite source of magnesium? Leave a comment below.