Magnesium is an essential mineral used by the body to maintain numerous vital functions. Magnesium is required for energy production, regulation of bone development, assists in the synthesis of DNA and RNA, transports of calcium and potassium across cell membranes, directs nerve impulses, supports muscle contractions, maintains heart rhythm and much more. The reason why is so important for the body is that it gets used in over 300 enzymatic reactions. Dietary sources of this mineral can be consumed to ensure all the necessary benefits of magnesium are maintained. Lets take a closer look at some magnesium rich foods that you can enjoy on a daily basis.
Sources of Magnesium Rich Foods
Many sources of this so needed mineral can be found at the local grocery store. Most natural foods already have an an abundance of magnesium packed inside.
As a rule of thumb, anything green and leafy will likely be a high source of magnesium. As an alternative, nuts, whole grains, and other high fiber foods can also be great magnesium sources.
Here is a list of 5 magnesium rich foods that can be found in most grocery stores and easily added to your daily meals.
#1: Almonds, dry roasted
1 serving = 1 ounce
80 mg per serving
% Daily Value: 20%
#2: Spinach, boiled
1 serving = ½ cup
78 mg per serving
% Daily Value: 20%
#3: Black Beans, cooked
1 serving = ½ cup
60 mg per serving
% Daily Value: 15%
#4: Avocado, cubed
1 serving = 1 cup
44 mg per serving
% Daily Value: 11%
#5: Oatmeal, instant
1 serving = 1 packet
36 mg per serving
% Daily Value: 9%
% Daily Value is a measurement system created by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). It is meant to measure, compare, and recommend the necessary nutrients to be consumed daily by children and adults. The USFDA also recommends a list of highly rich magnesium foods. The Daily Value for magnesium is 350 to 400 mg for adults and children over the age of 4. Any foods with a magnesium supplement added (i.e. Magnesium Oxide, Magnesium Phosphate).
Some Benefits of Consuming Magnesium on a daily basis.
Magnesium is known to reduce muscle tension, decrease pain from migraine headaches, improve sleep, and regulate neurological conditions such as depression and anxiety. This nutrient does this by working directly at the cellular level, interacting with all the tiny machinery that makes a human whole. The above mineral is one of a few essential nutrients that regulate ionic levels in the body.
Since this kind of nutrient is rooted in maintaining numerous body functions, consuming a sufficient amount of magnesium will assure proper health. For example, having a bowl of oatmeal with some almonds would provide almost 116 mg of magnesium; then for lunch, having a cup of spinach would provide 156 mg of magnesium; finally at dinner, having a black bean salad would add an extra 60 mg of magnesium. In total, this nears the recommended daily value.
Perhaps having a diet like this is difficult to maintain. As an alternative, there are a variety of magnesium supplements that can be used to ensure a healthy body.
Every body is different and requires varying levels of nutrients to maintain good health and overall wellbeing. Normally, a regular diet with magnesium rich foods can maintain proper levels in the body.
Magnesium Oxide is a supplement that can be used to treat magnesium deficiencies. This product can come as both a pill or liquid. Some of the side effects that could occur from consuming Magnesium Oxide include itching, rash, mental changes, weakness, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. A doctor should be consulted with immediately if any of these symptoms are experiences.
Another common magnesium alternative is magnesium phosphate. Magnesium phosphate is a mineral salt that can be ingested as a tablet. Often a dose contains about 100 mg of active magnesium.
Consuming too much magnesium as it can result in some fatal health conditions. (See below for the side effects of excess magnesium.)
Normally, an individual consuming a regular diet of mixed vegetables, nuts and fruits will not have to worry about symptoms of magnesium deficiency. However, if a person does lack sufficient magnesium it can lead to dramatic changes in a person’s health.
Causes for magnesium deficiencies may be due to chronic alcoholism, poor diet, severe medical conditions and diabetes. Other causes to excessive losses of magnesium in the body, due to diarrhea for example, can result in magnesium deficiencies even in normally health individuals.
If a person experiences low magnesium symptoms, these are the signs to watch out for
Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle contractions
- Personality changes
- Coronary Spasms
Most of these symptoms can be avoided simply by maintaining a healthy diet of magnesium rich foods. However, consuming too much can also have severe repercussions.
*Hypocalcemia and Hypokalemia are two severe magnesium deficiency symptoms resulting in low serum calcium and potassium levels, respectively. These are life threatening symptoms requiring immediate medical attention.
Side Effects of an Excess of Magnesium
High consumption of this mineral from food does not normally pose any health risks due to the kidneys ability to process and eliminate it from the body. Issues arise when too much dietary supplements have been consumed.
The following are side effects of excess magnesium:
- Abdominal Cramping
- Difficulty breathing
- Extreme Hypertension
Excess Magnesium Oxide is known to include these side effects.
Prolonged periods of excess magnesium can result in heart attacks, renal and/or kidney failure. Renal toxicity is a serious concern and should be addressed immediately. Talk to your doctor or a trained medical professional if you are experiencing any issues.
Maintenance of Health
This mineral plays a critical role in every person’s life. A healthy body should always depend on magnesium rich foods to assure the proper maintenance of health and overall wellness. If this is not possible, a doctor ought to be consulted for sufficient alternatives to keep magnesium levels where they need to be.