Magnesium Rich Foods

Magnesium is very important for health specially for brain. Know about magnesium importance, it's food sources and other nutritional information.

Magnesium is an essential mineral required by our body. It is one of the seven macro-minerals that are required in large amounts, including calcium, potassium, sodium, chlorine, phosphorous, and sulfur. Inside body, this macro-mineral performs many important functions and its deficiency can cause various disorders.

Magnesium is required in every age group. In children and during growing age, magnesium is needed for building strong bones and supporting growth. It also contributes toward proper physical and mental growth. Similarly, in women magnesium deficiency can cause weaker bones and osteoporosis. During pregnancy, its deficiency can cause preeclampsia and even premature labour. In middle ages, magnesium is required for regulating blood pressure, blood sugar levels, normalising heart rhythm, reducing the risk of diabetes, heart attack, and osteoporosis.

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Magnesium

Birth to 6 months30 mg*30 mg*
7–12 months75 mg*75 mg*
1–3 years80 mg80 mg
4–8 years130 mg130 mg
9–13 years240 mg240 mg
14–18 years410 mg360 mg400 mg360 mg
19–30 years400 mg310 mg350 mg310 mg
31–50 years420 mg320 mg360 mg320 mg
51+ years420 mg320 mg

Vegetarian Food Sources of Magnesium

Magnesium is found in various foods. Foods which are fibrous, generally contain it. But food processing techniques can reduce or destroy magnesium. For example, refining out wheat bran and germ from wheat grains, lowers the magnesium content by 80 percent. Similarly overcooking, boiling significantly lowers magnesium content.

FoodMilligrams (mg) per Serving
Almonds, dry roasted, 28 gms80
Spinach, boiled, ½ cup78
Cashews, dry roasted, 28 gms74
Peanuts, oil roasted, ¼ cup63
Cereal, shredded wheat, 2 large biscuits61
Soymilk, plain or vanilla, 1 cup61
Black beans, cooked, ½ cup60
Peanut butter, smooth, 2 tablespoons49
Bread, whole wheat, 2 slices46
Avocado, cubed, 1 cup44
Potato, baked with skin, 3.5 ounces43
Rice, brown, cooked, ½ cup42
Yogurt, plain, low fat, 8 ounces42
Breakfast cereals, fortified with 10% of the DV for magnesium40
Oatmeal, instant, 1 packet36
Kidney beans, canned, ½ cup35
Banana, 1 medium32
Milk, 1 cup24–27
Raisins, ½ cup23
Broccoli, chopped and cooked, ½ cup12
Rice, white, cooked, ½ cup10
Apple, 1 medium9
Carrot, raw, 1 medium7

You can protect yourself from magnesium deficiency by having well balanced diet that includes green leafy vegetable, cereals, dry fruits, legumes, fruits and milk. Along with that, try not consume too much sugar, soda, salt, protein, and fatty food. These are not only junk foods, which are health hazard but also depletes magnesium from the body.

For example, fat blocks absorption of magnesium in the body; salt, sugar causes excretion of magnesium through kidney. Carbonated cold drinks also causes magnesium deficiency as it contains large amount of sugar and phosphates. Phosphate has tendency to combine with magnesium thus making less availability of magnesium for absorption. Certain diseases, and intake of medicines (contraceptive pills, diuretics, insulin, antibiotics) increases demand of magnesium in the body.

Even calcium supplementation without enough magnesium can cause loss of magnesium. It is also important to note, approximately 30% to 40% of the dietary magnesium consumed is typically absorbed by the body. Therefore try to have good fibrous diet, which is well balanced and nutritious, to avoid deficiency of various essential nutrient in the body and at the same time give up habit of consuming junk foods.

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