In the nutritional field, magnesium means a macro-element of mineral origin – more precisely a metal – with the symbol “Mg” and atomic number 12 and shape. Note: in food and the human body, magnesium is always present in the 2+ form (Mg ++). In this article, we will give you a complete guide about foods rich in magnesium. Magnesium is an essential nutrient for all cells’ life, as it constitutes over 300 types of enzymes and has a particular affinity for phosphate groups. It interacts with fundamental molecules such as ATP, DNA, and RNA.
The body contains more than 22-26 g (about 0.35 g / kg), equivalent to 0.34% of body mass. Of these, 60% are found in bones – within hydroxyapatite – 39% are intracellular – of which 20% are in skeletal muscles – and 1% is extracellular.
In the blood, it can be found both dissolved in the liquid fraction and the corpuscular. Normal serum levels correspond to 0.7-1.0 mmol/liter – 1.8-2.4 mEq/liter – and tend to remain in homeostasis – due to a double regulation that affects absorption and excretion. Magnesium deficiency has various repercussions, including muscle weakness and cramps. Hypermagnesemia can be very serious and, despite mainly affecting those suffering from kidney diseases and taking drugs with magnesium, lead to death.
The absorption of magnesium occurs in the small intestine and is optimized by hormonal and metabolic factors, by the lack of magnesium, and by some characteristics of the meal. In the next section, we will focus on the most important food sources of magnesium, which are mainly made up of plant origin products – but also those of animal origin, such as meat and fish, contribute to the achievement of needs. Recall that suspected the lack of magnesium. It can be advantageous to take specific supplements, preferably in combination with potassium and a little sodium.
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Needs and Absorption
“The daily requirement of magnesium is 300 – 500 mg “, specifies the interviewee. The plant foods, such as dried almonds, dried beans, dried hazelnuts, brown rice, whole wheat flour, dark chocolate, barley, spinach, beets or herbs, and fresh peas are good sources of magnesium. However, we must consider that:
- cooking causes a significant loss of the magnesium contained in food, about 60% -75%
- cereal refining processes eliminate up to 85% of the foods rich in magnesium present
some substances such as calcium, phytic acid, phosphorus, and long-chain fatty acids reduce their absorption.
In this regard, the nutritionist clarifies that “The USA is one of the European countries where this mineral is most deficient in the diet, although there are many foods rich in magnesium.”
“More than a magnesium deficiency, it is perhaps more correct to speak of a low daily intake. However, even a slight manzanita can lead to disturbances to nervous functions, with the presence of irritability, depression, lack of sleep, and muscle contraction, which occurs with cramps, up to the arrhythmia of the heart muscle “.
It should also be considered that women are more frequently affected by magnesium deficiency due to menstruation, “while in the elderly there may be a deficiency due to certain pathologies (diabetes, hypertension, heart disease) or drug therapies that result in poor absorption of the mineral, together with the diet, generally not very varied. ”
The main symptoms of magnesium deficiency, although difficult to attribute, are:
- asthenia (chronic fatigue syndrome – if it lasts for 6 months)
- poor concentration and memory
- muscle cramps
- sleep disorders
- water retention
- digestive problems
“This is why it is important to consume foods rich in magnesium, following a regime based on the Mediterranean diet, to avoid deficiencies and benefit from the excellent functions that this mineral performs.”
Let’s find out together.
Why is it good for you?: Foods Rich In Magnesium
Do you suffer from neck pain, migraines, sleep badly, and often have an annoying feeling of exhaustion? It could be a magnesium deficiency. In fact, magnesium is one of the essential mineral salts for a series of functions in our body.
Against anxiety, stress, and muscle pain
Magnesium acts directly on the production of adrenaline: by reducing it, it helps to dissolve muscle tension and, at the same time, brings balance to the nervous system. There are heart ones among the muscles that relax, so regular magnesium intake also affects the heart and the exhausting feelings of anxiety due to a too fast heartbeat or excessive adrenaline in circulation.
In practice, if you do not take sufficient doses with your diet, the body is as if an alarm, with the nerves alert and ready to react to any emergency. It goes without saying that a state of great attention generates states of overexcitation and anxiety and, in some cases, even panic attacks. As for the relaxing action on the muscles, taking magnesium regularly is essential for those who practice sports to reduce cramps and muscle contractures. Among the pains that foods rich in magnesium can relieve, there are also menstrual ones and mood disorders related to female cycles.
Another important function is that which binds magnesium to calcium absorption: magnesium is useful in fixing calcium and phosphorus in bones and teeth, helping against fractures, osteoporosis, and caries. However, attention must be paid to excesses because large overdoses of magnesium cause less absorption of calcium.
Against fatigue, constipation, and metabolism in the car
Magnesium has an interesting action on the circulation and some metabolic processes, such as the synthesis of proteins and blood sugar regulation. In practice, these functions make it useful against cardiovascular disorders, hypertension, and diabetes. If the intake is regular, the metabolism works well, the circulation and migraines, and fatigue will be relieved, and a real feeling of energy charge will immediately be perceived.
Moreover, depending on the time of day in which it is taken, the effects change. For example, when you wake up, it gives you energy, while in the evening it reconciles rest and improves the quality of sleep. Magnesium also acts on the digestive system: it is present in the saliva where digestion begins, in the stomach, it controls the level of acids, and, finally, in the terminal part of the apparatus, it has a laxative effect and regulates the proliferation of intestinal bacterial flora.
What foods contain magnesium?
The recommended daily dose of magnesium in an adult in the good physical condition is 300-360 mg. Among the foods richest in magnesium, there are all green leafy vegetables (magnesium is also essential for chlorophyll photosynthesis). For example, spinach and parsley are particularly rich in it: if the vegetables are boiled. It is better to find a way to use the cooking water because that’s where the minerals go. But magnesium is also present in avocado, bananas, eggplant, soy (and also in tofu), legumes in general, whole grains, oats, and wheat bran. Foods surprisingly rich in magnesium also include nuts, especially pumpkin seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, and peanuts. Last but not least, dark chocolate and cocoa are real mines of magnesium—one more reason to indulge in a cube of good chocolate now and then.
PROPERTIES FOR MUSCLES AND MIND
“Magnesium has beneficial properties for the body, so much so that scholars have called it an” anti-stress mineral “and a” balm “for nerves and muscles.”
Here are the functions it performs:
- acts as a digestive, useful against constipation
- it is essential in pregnancy, as its deficiency can lead to premature birth
- it affects male fertility as it is one of the most important elements of the seminal bladders. Which tend to numb with disturbed metabolism of magnesium
- favorably affects the gastric mucosa
- facilitates the regeneration of the liver, decreasing the toxicity of some elements
- it is essential in the assimilation of carbohydrates, albumin, and fats and acts as a catalyst for many enzymatic systems
- it is a protective factor against thrombosis
- works against heart attack by reducing the amount of fat in the blood
- prevents heart disease and strengthens the heart muscle
- stabilizes the entire nervous-muscular system, protects cells from injury and maintains the functionality of the cell membrane
- it is useful for preventing kidney stones
- has an antioxidant action that repairs cells from free radical damage due to pollution and chemically refined foods
- acts as an antidepressant and defensive agent
- protects bone health and helps prevent osteoporosis.
Foods rich in magnesium
“In our daily diet, we consume few foods rich in magnesium, such as nuts and legumes. Furthermore, the refining processes of sugar and cereals also contribute, together with fertilizers rich in nitrogen and potassium, to deplete the food of this essential mineral ”, emphasizes the doctor.
Where is magnesium found?
Magnesium is found in nature, but it is also already in your body, particularly in your bones and muscles, and other organs. However, to get all the amount your body needs, you will have to assimilate it through your diet.
The highest concentrations are contained in seeds and nuts, but whole grains are also an excellent source. And if your diet is not enough, you can use some supplements. They are easily found in pharmacies or herbalists, and the most popular type is the supreme magnesium, which you can safely dissolve in water. On Ohga, we have already told you about magnesium supplements.
10 foods rich in magnesium
All cereals contain a good magnesium dose, but, as I explained earlier, you should try to consume them in their integral version. For example, Bran contains 420 milligrams per 100 grams and can become an excellent breakfast if you mix it with natural white yogurt. The rice instead has 107 milligrams, twice the dough. While for bread, you could choose the one made from corn flour, which has twice the amount of wheat magnesium.
Green leafy vegetables
Spinach, beets, and artichokes are rich in magnesium. They count about 80 milligrams per 100-gram serving. This mineral salt is, in fact, a component of chlorophyll, the pigment that gives these vegetables their green color. Not only that, but they also contain lots of polyphenols. Which counteract free radicals and help you keep your body healthier and age better. You can use them for many preparations. But it is better if you want to fill up on magnesium if you eat them raw in a mixed salad.
Peas and beans
You can find them all year round in the supermarket, and they are usually already pre-cooked and swift to cook. The peas and beans and being a good protein source also bring significant magnesium to your body. In fact, they contain about 170 milligrams per 100 grams of legumes. Try not to cook them a second time, or use fresh ones for soups and sauces.
Almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, and peanuts. You can also fill up on magnesium during your mid-afternoon snack. The dried fruit I have listed for you also contains up to 260 milligrams of magnesium per 100 grams. However, remember that the recommended amount for these foods is around 30 grams per day. Also, be careful not to buy products already bagged and salty. Because they are certainly not a cure-all for your body.
A lovely exotic fruit, excellent when used instead of sugar in the preparation of cakes and fruit salads. The dates are made up to 2% of magnesium and can also be eaten just before physical activity to ensure no less energy during the exercises. However, I advise you not to overdo the quantities, especially if you suffer from diabetes or hyperglycemia.
Figs: Foods Rich In Magnesium
The figs can become a good breakfast or a healthy snack, especially if you’re a sportsman. They contain a high amount of magnesium, particularly when eaten dry, to the point that they can provide 82 milligrams per 100-gram serving. In fact, it is not recommended to eat a pound of figs due to their high sugar content. But mixed with dried fruit, they become a proper energy snack.
Banana: Foods Rich In Magnesium
Famous for potassium, banana is actually a friendly food to athletes and anyone who wants to protect their muscles. It also contains 31 milligrams of magnesium per 100 grams of fruit. Three times that of oranges, apples, pears, and plums, which in any case are made up of about 1% of this mineral salt.
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Soybeans: Foods Rich In Magnesium
You can also find them among the supermarket counters, and you can add them raw to your salads. Bean sprouts are high in magnesium and potassium, while they have very few calories. They help those who are trying to lose weight and those who want to keep their blood cholesterol levels at bay.
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Pumpkin seeds: Foods Rich In Magnesium
Not only are pumpkin seeds a good source of magnesium, but they are also a relaxing snack. That’s right, then keep an open package on your desk to draw from when the days seem more difficult to deal with. They are good if eaten alone and use to prepare recipes for pasta dishes, even in the oven.
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The cocoa contains 192 milligrams of magnesium per 100 grams. For this reason, eating a square of chocolate a day can have several benefits for your body. But try to choose the dark one, instead of the milk type. It will also be a good energy source in the most strenuous moments and improve your mood, making it easier to deal with stressful days.
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The benefits of foods rich in magnesium
Magnesium has several benefits for your body because it promotes many functions of your body. In fact, on Ohga we have already told you about its properties. First of all, the metabolic processes: contributes to the processing of food and the assimilation of nutrients. Therefore, it provides you with the energy you need and participates in the action of about 300 enzymes, from protein synthesis to blood pressure control. It seems that foods rich in magnesium really participates in every activity in your body. It also helps you keep your blood sugar under control.
But it is towards the muscles that it has the most important benefits. In fact, it transports calcium and potassium for the correct transmission of impulses to the nervous system and the muscular system. Thus, it is useful for calming menstrual pains and avoiding cramps and pains in intense sport. Finally, its antioxidant properties protect the heart and help keep the heartbeat regular.