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Are You Getting Enough Magnesium?

Are You Getting Enough Magnesium?

 

By Rachel Green, Contributing Blogger

With summer in full bloom, fresh fruits and vegetables are abundantly available, but most Americans do not actually consume the recommended amount. Therefore, many Americans are not meeting the requirements for magnesium, a mineral best known for its role in maintaining normal heart rhythm.

Magnesium is an essential “helper” in more than 300 reactions throughout the body. It helps create usable energy from glucose stores, builds DNA, controls blood sugar levels, regulates blood pressure, and develops bone tissue. The average adult’s body contains approximately 25 grams of magnesium, with 50-60% present in the bones and the rest in the soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Dietary Reference Intakes (RDI) for magnesium vary based on sex and age and are listed below:

Female

  • 1-3 years – 80 mg
  • 4-8 years – 130 mg
  • 9-13 years – 240 mg
  • 14-18 years – 360 mg
  • 19-30 years – 310 mg
  • 31-50 years – 320 mg
  • 51+ years – 320 mg

Male

  • 1-3 years – 80 mg
  • 4-8 years – 130 mg
  • 9-13 years – 240 mg
  • 14-18 years – 410 mg
  • 19-30 years – 400 mg
  • 31-50 years – 420 mg
  • 51+ years – 420 mg

While the above recommendations are adequate for healthy individuals, there are several conditions that require increased consumption of magnesium. Gastrointestinal diseases, such as Crohn’s or Celiac Disease, type 2 diabetes, and alcohol abuse all cause the body to absorb less of it. The early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. If you don’t get enough over a long period of time (like months or years), it can eventually cause several chronic illnesses, like hypertension and cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and migraine headaches.

Fortunately, magnesium is found widely in plant and animal foods and beverages. Therefore, a well-rounded and balanced diet can provide the adequate amounts of magnesium. In general, green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are the best sources. Here are some great sources of magnesium:

  1. Almonds, dry roasted (1 oz.) – 80 mg
  2. Spinach, boiled (1/2 cup) – 78 mg
  3. Cashews, dry roasted (1 oz.) – 74 mg
  4. Cereal, shredded wheat (~1.5 oz.) – 61 mg
  5. Black beans, cooked (1/2 cup) – 60 mg
  6. Bread, whole wheat (2 slices) – 46 mg
  7. Avocado (1 cup) – 44 mg
  8. Potato, baked with skin (3.5 oz.) – 43 mg
  9. Rice, brown, cooked (1/2 cup) – 42 mg
  10. Yogurt, plain, low fat (8 oz.) – 42 mg
  11. Salmon, Atlantic, farmed, cooked (3 oz.) – 26 mg
  12. Milk (1 cup) – 24-27 mg
By Rachel Green, Contributing Blogger
With summer in full bloom, fresh fruits and vegetables are abundantly available, but most Americans do not actually consume the recommended amount. Therefore, many Americans are not meeting the requirements for magnesium, a mineral best known for its role in maintaining normal heart rhythm.
Magnesium is an essential “helper” in more than 300 reactions throughout the…

Toby AmidorToby Amidor NutritionJune 28, 2017