Magnesium is one of the most underrated minerals in our body.
Most people often forget the importance of magnesium, as there are not many visible symptoms that are related with magnesium deficiency.
Zinc and iron deficiency are bigger concerns for most people.
Whenever I feel fatigued, or I notice spasms in my muscles, I know that I have low magnesium levels.
This happens rarely, but the simple reason for that is I consume lots of foods that are high in magnesium.
You can do it as well, and most of these magnesium rich foods can be incorporated in your daily and weekly diet.
Let’s take a look at them.
The cheapest and easiest way to add more magnesium to your daily diet is eating bananas.
There are countless of reasons why you should eat at least one, preferably two bananas per day.
Magnesium is just one of them.
The best thing about bananas is that they are low-calorie food, as one medium sized banana has around 100 calories.
And one medium sized banana will provide you with 32mg of magnesium, which is 8% of the daily recommended dosage for magnesium.
Dark Leafy Greens
Think of spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, all of which are considered superfoods.
Leafy greens are the arguably one of the best options in the world of nutrition, and there are many reasons why. Being high in magnesium is just one of them.
You can choose between cooked and raw leafy greens.
The best way to add more leafy greens to your daily diet is through a smoothie.
I usually want to add a cup of spinach or kale in my spinach with Greek yogurt and apples.
One cup of raw magnesium (30g) contains around 24mg magnesium or 6% of the daily recommended dose.
A cup of cooked spinach, which is 180g of spinach contains 157mg of magnesium or 39% of daily dosage.
Other leafy greens on the list of foods high in magnesium include kale (19% in one cooked cup), collard greens (13% in one cooked cup), Swiss chard (38% of DV).
Nuts and seeds
The best option is pumpkin seeds, but there are also almonds, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, and pecans.
You can throw them in a salad for lunch, or consume them as a snack in between meals.
They will provide you with energy and magnesium. Just one ounce of pumpkin seeds will provide you with 150mg of magnesium, or 37% of the daily value.
The list continues with half a cup or almost 2 ounces with sesame seeds (63%), almonds (48%), Pine nuts (43%), Brazil Nuts (63%), Walnuts (16%) and Peanuts (31%).
When it comes to beans and lentils, soybeans are the best option hands down.
In addition of being high in magnesium, they also provide a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals, fiber and amino acids.
You can consume soybeans roasted, half a cup will provide you with almost 90mg of magnesium.
Other good options in the family of beans and lentils include white beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, French beans and black-eyed peas.
Many people consume fish for the high dose of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamin D.
But most fishes are also great sources for magnesium, and you can always consume tuna fish for dinner.
You need fish at least once a week, and two times is preferable.
One serving of salmon provides you with 97mg of magnesium, or 24% of the daily value.
Truth be told, avocado is not your usually cheap and affordable food source.
However, it might be nice to consider buying one avocado per week, and consuming at least half an avocado every two or three days.
You can add a slice of avocado to your salad, sandwich or toss it in a smoothie. Half an avocado provides you with 33mg of magnesium, or close to 10% of the daily value.
People often forget about dried fruits, often opting for fresh fruits as a great nutritional source.
But dried fruits can often be a great source for energy.
Just ask some of the people that are exercising on a daily basis.
Grabbing some druid fruits one hour before your workout will give you enough energy to push it to the limit.
And when it comes to magnesium, half a cup of dried figs contains 51mg of magnesium or 13% of the daily value.
Other notable dried fruits include prunes (11% of daily value), raisins (7%), dates (8%) and prunes (11%).
If you need a reason more to get some sweet treat during the day, here is one.
Dark chocolate is among foods high in magnesium and is low on sugar.
One pack or 100g of this great desert will provide you with 327mg of magnesium, which is 82% of the daily value.
Justo one square contains 95mg of magnesium.
You can combine dark chocolate with fresh fruits for a great desert after lunch or snack in between meals.
6 Quick Questions to ask
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, chances are you should up your magnesium consumption.
In addition, age is another factor. For example, adults over 55 years are more vulnerable to low magnesium status.
Aging, stress, and disease all contribute to lower magnesium levels and increased magnesium needs. Yet, in the same time, adults actually take in less magnesium from natural food sources.
With that in mind, here are 6 quick questions to answer and best check whether you need change to lifestyle and incorporating more magnesium rich foods.
- Do you drink carbonated drinks on a regular basis?
- Do you drink tea, coffee, and other caffeinated drinks on a daily basis?
- Do you eat cakes, desserts, candies, pastries, and other sweet foods on a regular basis?
- Do you drink more than 10 alcohol beverages per week?
- Do you experience a lot of stress in your life on a daily basis?
- Do you take diuretics, heart medication, or estrogen replacement therapy?
6 Reasons to Consume Magnesium Rich Foods
As we said at the beginning, magnesium helps to maintain normal muscle and nerve function. Deficiency in this mineral can lead to serious conditions.
Here is what happens if you do not consume enough magnesium rich foods.
Blood pressure goes up
Diet low in magnesium leads to hypertension, or popularly called high blood pressure.
It is worth noting that magnesium supplements might not lower your blood pressure.
Magnesium helps maintain optimal levels of potassium and calcium, key minerals for controlling blood pressure.
Deficiency in magnesium will make you feel tingly, and in severe cases, leave you feeling numb.
If you do not do something, the result will be frequent muscle cramps. We mentioned magnesium plays a key role in muscle function, so do not forget this mineral.
High risk of osteoporosis
Magnesium is key for controlling calcium, and together these two minerals make sure your bone density is at high level.
Good bone density is key for preventing osteoporosis and make you safe from bone fractures. If you didn’t know, 60% of all magnesium in your body is stored in the bones.
Therefore, depriving your body of magnesium will result in brittle bones and impaired bone growth.
Nerves play an important role in getting sleep. When we feel stressed, we cannot fall asleep.
That is where magnesium comes in play. By calming your nerves and allowing them to function properly, magnesium can prevent insomnia and help you cope with the regular dose of daily stress.
Studies have shown that people suffering from migraines have low levels of magnesium.
Magnesium interferes with different brain chemicals, and encourages brain activity that leads to migraine aura.
Some studies show that magnesium supplements help prevent migraines, but it is much better to source magnesium from natural foods.
Keep your magnesium high to maintain normal nerve function and ease migraines.
Excessive hunger and cravings
It is still unknown how magnesium affects our appetite. But some studies show that one reason is magnesium keeps with glucose.
Without the mineral, our body cannot properly process glucose. And because our body is not getting what it needs, you will crave more food, most notably processed foods that are high in sugars and cause glucose spikes.