Fortunately, there are many simple, inexpensive, and delicious foods high in magnesium. Magnesium, which is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the human body, is essential to healthy heart, bone, and immune function, and low levels of magnesium can cause irritability, muscle weakness, and irregular heartbeat.
While most people don’t get the recommended daily value of magnesium from their diets, magnesium deficiency is rarely seen in the Western world. It can occur in individuals with certain illnesses such as diabetes, alcoholism and Crohn’s disease or in people who take certain medications like diuretics, antibiotics, and anti-neoplastic medication. Healthy adults should consume between 270 and 400 mg of magnesium per day, depending on their weight. While a small percentage of people might require magnesium supplementation to restore their levels, most can get all the magnesium they need from a healthy diet.
The chlorophyll molecule, which is the means by which plants turn sunlight into useable energy and which is also responsible for the lovely color of leafy greens, is a great source of magnesium. Chard and spinach are particularly rich sources of magnesium with over 75 mg in a cooked half-cup serving.
Legumes, Nuts, and Seeds
Certain legumes such as black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, white beans, lima beans, lentils, kidney beans, black eyed peas, and peanuts are great sources of magnesium with between eight and 20 percent of your recommended daily value in each serving. Nuts, including brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, and pine nuts, supply between 15 and 20 percent of your daily value in a one-ounce serving, with almonds packing the biggest punch at 80 mg of magnesium in a one-once serving. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds are also magnesium-dense foods.
Whole grains like quinoa, oats, brown rice, and whole wheat are great sources of magnesium, but the wheat germ and bran, the parts of wheat high in magnesium, are stripped out of whole wheat in the process of making white flour. Halibut, packing a massive 30 mg of magnesium per once is one of the best sources of magnesium.
Hard water has a higher magnesium content than soft water. Eating a high-fat diet can reduce the amount of magnesium you absorb from your food, and cooked foods generally have a lower magnesium content than their raw counterparts.
“Magnesium Supplement (Oral Route, Parenteral Route) – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2011. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR602371.
“Magnesium.” Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2011. http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/factsheets/magnesium.asp.
“Foods highest in Magnesium in Vegetables and Vegetable Products .” Nutrition facts, calories in food, labels, nutritional information and analysis – NutritionData.com . N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2011. http://www.nutritiondata.com/foods-011120000000000000000.html?maxCount=503.