Why does your body need magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral vital for the proper functioning of your body. So, why does your body need magnesium? It helps keep blood pressure normal, bones strong, and the heart rhythm steady. But your body can’t make it, so you need to obtain it from your diet. However, many people get less than they need.
How much magnesium do you need?
To get enough of this essential nutrient, men and women should get 400–420 mg and 320–360 mg per day, (respectively and depending on age). Thankfully, you can achieve this by eating magnesium-rich foods or by taking supplements.
Before you reach for a supplement, though, you should know that just a few servings of magnesium-rich foods a day can meet your need for this nutrient.
Healthy foods that are high in magnesium
- A 28-gram serving of dark chocolate provides 16% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for magnesium. It’s also beneficial for gut and heart health and filled with antioxidants.
- A medium avocado provides 15% of the RDI for magnesium. Eating avocados regularly may help fight inflammation, improve cholesterol levels and increase fullness. And they have several other nutrients!
- Cashews, almonds and Brazil nuts are high in magnesium. One serving of cashews provides 20% of the RDI.
- Legumes are magnesium-rich foods. For example, a 1-cup (170-gram) serving of black beans contains 30% of the RDI.
- A serving of tofu provides 13% of the RDI for magnesium. It’s also a good source of protein and several other nutrients.
- Most seeds are rich in magnesium. In fact, a 28-gram serving of pumpkin seeds contains 37% of the RDI!
- Whole grains are high in many nutrients. A 28-gram serving of dry buckwheat provides 16% of the RDI for magnesium.
- Fatty fish is very nutritious and a great source of magnesium and other nutrients. Half a fillet of salmon provides 13% of the RDI for magnesium.
- Bananas are a good source of several nutrients. In fact, one large banana has 9% of the RDI for magnesium!
- Leafy greens are a very good source of many nutrients, including magnesium. A 180-gram serving of cooked spinach provides an impressive 39% of the RDI.
Health benefits of magnesium
- Magnesium supplements may enhance exercise performance in several studies. However, research results are mixed.
- There may be a link between depression and magnesium deficiency. Supplementing with it can reduce symptoms of depression in some people, for example.
- People who get the most magnesium have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Moreover, supplements may lower blood sugar in some people.
- Magnesium helps lower blood pressure in people with high levels but does not seem to have the same effect in those with normal levels.
- Magnesium has been shown to help fight inflammation.
- People with frequent migraines may have low magnesium levels. So, some studies show that supplementing with this mineral can provide relief from migraines.
- Magnesium supplements may improve insulin resistance in people with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
- Magnesium supplements may improve symptoms that occur in women with PMS.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency
The symptoms of magnesium deficiency are usually subtle, unless your levels become severely low. Deficiency may cause fatigue; muscle cramps; mental health conditions; irregular heartbeat or osteoporosis
Think you may have a magnesium deficiency? A simple blood test can help confirm that.
Should you be interested in trying a supplement, it is very important to speak to your healthcare provider first. However, if you experience adverse symptoms, such as diarrhoea, when you take magnesium supplements, you may be taking too much magnesium in these forms. But people with impaired kidney function should discuss the risks of magnesium-containing medications and supplements with your nearest The Local Choice Pharmacy to help ensure your safety.
Disclaimer: All content on the The Local Choice Pharmacy is created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice.