Enjoy Magnesium Rich Foods & Stay Healthy
At the last count magnesium (Mg) was involved in over 600 enzymatic processes in the body. A further 200 enzymes require Mg to become activated. That's a lot of chemical processes that are vital for optimum health.(1)
We should be able to obtain all the Mg we require through the plants we eat however, in many areas this is just not the case. Soil is not as nutrient rich as it used to be and plant absorption is therefore poor.
What are the signs of Mg deficiency?
Ask yourself if you ever experience any of the following symptoms? (2)
stress or anxiety
high blood pressure
Or do you enjoy any of the following on a regular basis?
caffeinated drinks or soda
processed foods, cakes, biscuits, ready meals
If you answer yes to any of these then you may well be low in Mg, however blood serum tests showing Mg levels can be misleading. Only 1%of Mg is in blood and 3% in blood serum. The majority of Mg is in our bones (approx 60%) and cells(approx 39%).(3)
Why do we need a diet rich in Mg?
Mg is an electrolyte and as such is involved in maintaining the rhythm of the heart, and the proper function of cells and organs as well as ATP for energy. In a trial study nurse's with high dietary Mg had lower incidences of sudden cardiac death than those with low intake. (4)
Another study has proven low urinary levels of Mg linked to ischemic heart disease.(5)
A further study links high Mg to a longer life, showing a 40% reduction in mortality in both men and women who had high Mg levels.(6)
Mg has been shown to be therapeutic for many conditions, ranging from headaches, asthma, disturbed sleep, chronic pain, hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.(7, 10,11). It is known to alleviate symptoms of PMS, reduce blood pressure, and inflammation and prevent migraines. Mg is also attributed to boosting performance, improving blood sugar stability and enhancing the quality of sleep. (7,8)
So which foods should we eat ?
Nuts & Seeds
Beets & Beet Greens
Herbs & Grains
How Much Do We Need?
The RDA - Recommended Daily Amount for men is 300mg and for women 270mg. The percentages of daily value below are based on 300mg a day:-
Spinach, cooked — 1 cup: 157 milligrams (52 percent DV)
Swiss chard, cooked — 1 cup: 150 milligrams (50 percent DV)
Pumpkin seeds, dried — 1/8 cup: 92 milligrams (31 percent DV)
Almonds — 1 ounce: 75 milligrams (25 percent DV)
Black beans — 1/2 cup: 60 milligrams (20 percent DV)
Avocado — 1 medium: 58 milligrams (19 percent DV)
Figs, dried — 1/2 cup: 50 miligrams (16 percent DV)
Yogurt or kefir — 1 cup: 46.5 milligrams (15 percent DV)
Banana — 1 medium: 32 milligrams (10 percent DV)(12)
The RDA should be obtainable from a healthy whole food diet. However, if you are suffering from any of the conditions mentioned above you may want to increase the Mg rich foods in your diet and see if you notice any improvements. However, if you have a preponderance of processed foods, and not too many green vegetables in your diet you may want to speak to your nutritional therapist. However, please ensure you take medical advice before taking any supplements as they interact with many medications including antibiotics, blood thinners amongst many others, A too high a dose will cause diarrhoea.
This is for informational purposes only. always contact your medical adviser before taking any supplements that may interact with your medications.
(1) De Baaji JH, Hoenderop JG, Bindels RJ, 2015, Magnesium in man: implications for health and disease. Physiol Rev.95(1):1-46. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00012.2014.
2) Uwe Gröber, Joachim Schmidt, Klaus Kister, 2015, Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy, Nutrients 7(9), 8199-8226; doi:10.3390/nu7095388
(3) Castiglioni, S., Cazzaniga, A., Albisetti, W., & Maier, J. A. M. (2013). Magnesium and Osteoporosis: Current State of Knowledge and Future Research Directions. Nutrients, 5(8), 3022–3033. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu5083022
(4) Chiuve, S. E., Korngold, E. C., Januzzi, J. L., Gantzer, M. L., & Albert, C. M. (2011). Plasma and dietary magnesium and risk of sudden cardiac death in women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 93(2), 253–260. http://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.110.002253
(5) Michel M Joosten, Ron T Gansevoort, Kenneth J Mukamal, Pim van der Harst, Johanna M Geleijnse, Edith JM Feskens, Gerjan Navis, Stephan JL Bakker, for The PREVEND Study Group; Urinary and plasma magnesium and risk of ischemic heart disease, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 97, Issue 6, 1 June 2013, Pages 1299–1306, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.112.054114
(6)DiNicolantonio JJ, O’Keefe JH, Wilson W Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis Open Heart 2018;5:e000668. doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2017-000668
(7) Gröber, U., Schmidt, J., & Kisters, K. (2015). Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy. Nutrients, 7(9), 8199–8226. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu7095388
Fathizadeh, N., Ebrahimi, E., Valiani, M., Tavakoli, N., & Yar, M. H. (2010). Evaluating the effect of magnesium and magnesium plus vitamin B6 supplement on the severity of premenstrual syndrome. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research, 15(Suppl1), 401–405.
(10) Ascherio A, Rimm EB, Giovannucci EL, Colditz GA, Rosner B, Willett WC, Sacks FM, Stampfer MJ. A prospective study of nutritional factors and hypertension among US men. Circulation. 1992;86:1475-84.
(11) Liao F, Folsom A, Brancati F. Is low magnesium concentration a risk factor for coronary heart disease? The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. American Heart Journal [serial online]. September 1998;136(3):480-490. Available from: MEDLINE with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed August 27, 2009.