Magnesium is a major mineral.

Magnesium is essential for healthy heart function – regulating blood pressure, energy production, is involved in nerve transmission and maintaining bone strength, immunity and muscle activity.

Magnesium is found in a wide variety of plant foods including legumes, wholegrains, green leafy vegetable, seeds and nuts as well as certain types of fish.

Despite being found in a range of foods, many Australians fail to meets the daily recommended intake for magnesium. This may be due to modern processing which reduces the magnesium content of foods, or poor food choices. Stress is also thought to play a role, along with certain medications and gastrointestinal disorders.

Magnesium deficiency has been linked to:

  • Cardiovascular Disease

  • Behavioural Problems

  • Diabetes

  • Chronic Fatigue

  • Migraine Headaches

  • Muscular Complaints

  • Osteoporosis

  • Prementral Syndrome

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for magnesium:

  • 420mg for adult men

  • 320mg for women

  • 80mg for 1-3 year olds

  • 130mg-230mg from 4-13 years

  • 350mg for pregnancy

Best ways to have magnesium:

  • Powder vs tablets powder always wins. It’s much easier absorbed and generally the tablets are don’t contain enough magnesium to see the benefits.

  • Others ways to have it is creams or spray directly to the area that may be sore. It will be absorbed directly to that area.

  • Try adding Epsom salts into your bath as that is another form of magnesium which can be absorbed directly into the muscles.

Food Sources:

1. Legumes and Beans

Legumes – 1-cup cooked offers about 125mg, or approximately 30% of the RDI

Peanuts ½ cup provides 100mg of magnesium, or nearly 24% of the RDI.

Navy, pinto, lima and kidney n=beans are also good sources of magnesium.

2. Vegetables and Whole Grains

As magnesium if found in chlorophyll (the green pigment found in plants), leafy green vegetables are excellent sources of this mineral. For example, a 1-cup serving of either spinach or Swiss chard offers more than 150mg  of magnesium, or about 36% of the RDA

Cereals like Raisin Bran and brown rice (1-cup servings) are magnesium-rich whole-grain foods. Each offers about 84mg of magnesium, or 20% of the RDA. Other whole-grain foods that are excellent sources of magnesium include quinoa, millet and buckwheat.

3. Seeds and Nuts

Pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds are all very high in magnesium, providing 185mg, 126mg and 125mg of magnesium for a 1/4 –cup serving. Respectively, or over 30% of the RDI.

Nuts that provide the most magnesium include almonds and cashews. A ¼-cup serving of either provides a little less than 100mg of magnesium, greater than 20% of the RDI.

4. Seafood

Certain types of fish provide just as much magnesium as nuts, beans, vegetables and whole grains. Salmon and halibut provide the most magnesium per serving. Oysters are also magnesium-rich.

There are examples of how you can increase your intake of magnesium. However, if you have a magnesium deficiency then you may require higher amounts. If there are any concerns you should seek help from a health professional straight away.