Why You Need Magnesium and Foods High in It

Food Sources for Magnesium

If you suffer from migraines, insomnia, fibromyalgia or a number of other common ailments you may want to add foods high in magnesium to your diet.

Ailments Linked to a Deficiency in Magnesium

That's right; a deficiency in magnesium may lead to not only the ailments listed above but more. Here's the complete list:

  • accelerated aging
  • anxiety
  • backaches
  • body tension
  • cardiovascular disease
  • constipation
  • depression
  • diabetes
  • fatigue
  • fibromyalgia
  • heart palpitations
  • high blood pressure
  • irritability
  • insomnia
  • kidney stones
  • light sensitivity
  • low energy
  • migraines
  • muscle tension
  • noise sensitivity
  • osteoporosis
  • palpitations (irregular heartbeat)
  • PMS
  • tics and twitches

Magnesium RDA by Age

In order to know whether or not you are getting enough magnesium in your diet, check the following chart for recommended daily amounts appropriate for you and your family:

Magnesium RDA
Children
1-3 years old 80 milligrams
4-8 years old 130 milligrams
9-13 years old 240 milligrams
14-18 years old (boys) 410 milligrams
14-18 years old (girls) 360 milligrams
Adult females 310 milligrams
Pregnant females 360-400 milligrams
Breastfeeding 320-360 milligrams
Adult males 400 milligrams

Getting Your RDA Through Foods High in Magnesium

Magnesium is an alkaline mineral and eating foods high in magnesium is recommended over taking supplements. Getting your magnesium through supplements can reduce stomach acid and as a result prevent proper absorption of nutrients. Not only that, but magnesium works in unison with other vitamins and minerals as co-factors for proper utilization. Instead of supplements, try adding magnesium rich foods to your diet such as:

  • Beans, black
  • Broccoli, raw
  • Halibut
  • Nuts, peanuts
  • Okra, frozen
  • Oysters
  • Plantain, raw
  • Rockfish
  • Scallop
  • Seeds, pumpkin and squash
  • Soy milk
  • Spinach, cooked
  • Tofu
  • Whole grain cereal
  • Whole wheat bread

Along with eating these foods, it's important to include some fat in your diet too. When trying to lose weight we've learned to eat a low fat diet, but research has showed that some fat is necessary for proper nutrient (including magnesium) absorption. Instead of cutting out all fat, if you are trying to lose weight, take a closer look at your diet and cut out empty calories. A great place to start is with high-glycemic foods.

Benefits of Magnesium

While today's hype tends to center around the need for calcium, magnesium is actually the most important mineral in the body. If you're wondering what magnesium is used for, it activates more than 300 necessary bio-chemical reactions in your body and is an essential mineral that plays a part in several important metabolic functions. These include:

  • Helps produce and transport energy
  • Plays a role in the contraction and relaxation of muscles
  • Is involved in the synthesis of protein
  • Assists in the function of specific enzymes within the body

Calcium Needs Magnesium

Calcium is one of the most popular supplements out there. And Calcium needs magnesium in order to assimilate into the body. With all the people taking calcium supplements today, it's sad to say that this practice often leads to magnesium deficiency. Remember: calcium needs magnesium in order to assimilate into the body. Because of this, it's important to find the proper balance. If you consume too much calcium, it will pull magnesium from the body in order to assimilate. This results in a magnesium deficiency. This even occurs in people who drink pasteurized milk because milk has a ratio of about 8 calcium to 1 magnesium.


Research continues today to reaffirm magnesium's contribution to good health, but in the meantime many Americans walk around unaware that they are dangerously deficient. If you have experienced symptoms listed in this article, it's a good idea to check with your doctor to see if magnesium deficiency is the culprit.

Why You Need Magnesium and Foods High in It