Magnesium is one of the essential minerals in the human body and the fourth most commonly found one at that. Magnesium is present in your bones, muscles, soft tissues, and fluids – pretty much everywhere inside of your body. But most adults do not consume nearly enough magnesium. For a mineral so important, it won’t come as a huge surprise to hear, then, that your body cannot run at its optimal condition without magnesium. Incorporating more magnesium-rich foods into your diet is relatively easy, and the benefits are immense.
Top Magnesium Rich Foods
Like any essential mineral, you can ingest magnesium in the form of a supplement. If your doctor has cleared and approved the supplement, this is an acceptable way to increase your magnesium intake. The best way to increase the magnesium in your diet, however, is far tastier. Magnesium can be found naturally in some of the most delicious morsels that you probably already enjoy eating.
This tempting treat is one that is best indulged in moderation. A 100 gram serving of dark chocolate contains roughly half of an adult’s magnesium needs for the day. Make sure to choose dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa. Lower percentages of cocoa usually have significantly more sugar added. Check the ingredients label before you buy. It is a great treat to work into your magnesium-rich diet, though!
According to SELF Nutritional Data, Avocados contain about 11% of your daily magnesium needs – as if any of us really needed a reason to indulge in this creamy fruit. It is known for being rich in healthy fats, but its levels of magnesium, about 44 grams per serving, is equally important.
Almonds and cashews are chock full of magnesium. These types of nuts in particular offer between 30% and 45% of your daily magnesium needs. It doesn’t make any difference how you eat them – raw or roasted – the nutritional content remains high.
Legumes of all kinds are a great source of magnesium. Beans, peas, and legumes, in general, are also a great source of soluble fiber and protein as well as delivering over 50% of your daily dose of magnesium! Talk about a superfood!
Seeds can actually deliver exactly what an adult needs with regard to magnesium levels. These versatile, nutrient-dense ingredients are perfect alone, raw or roasted. They are also great in salads, smoothies or hearty entrees as a way to liven up any dish. From pumpkin seeds to sunflower seeds, you’d be hard-pressed to find an easier source of magnesium.
Not that anyone really needs an excuse to eat bread, but whole grains are a good source of nutrients, including magnesium. With about 10% of your daily magnesium levels, whole grains are a great food group to help your diet stay balanced and your appetite satisfied. Rice and quinoa are a delicious addition to any dish that needs a little magnesium booster.
Fish is one of the healthiest proteins to incorporate into your diet. Aside from being rich in healthy fats, fish is also a strong source of magnesium. The type of fish dictates how much magnesium you will ingest. For example, halibut packs in a whopping 170mg of magnesium on average, while Mackerel, Pollock, and Tuna bring in around 97mg of magnesium. In either case, fish is definitely a food you can feel good about eating.
It seems like bananas are great for everything. Their levels of fiber keep your appetite satiated and body feeling regular. Their high potassium levels relieve leg cramps, and their magnesium enriches your cells. Plus, bananas are delectable. They are fantastic alone for breakfast, as a garnish for meals and in smoothies. They also pack a good 5 to 10% of your daily needs for magnesium.
Leafy Green Vegetables
You cannot get away from the leafy vegetables! There really is a reason your parents always told you to eat them. Leafy green vegetables are one of the best sources of magnesium and are incredibly versatile. You can eat them alone and raw in a salad. You can blend them up into a super shake. You can sauté them with some glazed fish. Kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, and mustard greens are the best sources of magnesium. When it comes to your leafy green vegetables, they provide anywhere from 20 to 50% of the daily recommended amount of magnesium,
Potato Baked with Skin
Potato skin is wrought with nutrients. In fact, a potato baked with its skin still intact has up to 10% of the recommended intake for magnesium for an adult. As long as you do not go too crazy with the butter – remember everything in moderation. A potato that has been baked with the skin on, is a great addition to any meal that is missing magnesium.
Benefits of Magnesium
Now that you know which foods make magnesium a primary draw, you might be interested in what magnesium does for your health. You know it is essential for the body and helps cells perform at their peak, but what that peak performance looks like in action is worth a deeper look.
Magnesium is a mineral required for countless functions in the body. Magnesium helps the body execute processes such as maintaining a healthy immune system. It stabilizes the cardiovascular system, strengthens the bones, fortifies muscles, and tissues. It also restores and energizes cells and metabolizes essential vitamins, minerals, and chemical properties so that the body can work as well as possible. Magnesium is also responsible for maintaining a balanced nervous system as well as stabilizing blood glucose levels and reducing unhealthy inflammation. Without magnesium, the body cannot function at its peak performance level.
Decreases PMS Symptoms
Ladies, rejoice! One of the most significant benefits of magnesium is decreased PMS symptoms. Premenstrual syndrome symptoms include depression, anxiety, and water retention that occur just prior to the start of a person’s period. Fortunately, magnesium works with the body to proactively push back against these feelings of isolation as well as to prevent any excessive bloating in the days leading up to one’s menstrual cycle.
Reduces Blood Pressure
High blood pressure affects so many adults. Often, individuals do not know they are suffering from high blood pressure until a doctor tells them so since there are usually no symptoms. If you are diagnosed with it, you know it can be frightening and difficult to know what to do next. When taken orally, magnesium has been shown to work with the body to reduce inflammation that can increase blood pressure.
Boosts Physical Performance
Magnesium works with the body to ensure it is working in tip-top condition. We know that magnesium is essential for so many of the body’s natural processes. It stands to reason that when a person meets their daily need of magnesium regularly, their body will begin to perform better than it did previously. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, magnesium can have “beneficial effects on exercise performance in magnesium-deficient individuals.”
Another amazing benefit of magnesium is that it can reduce the inflammation that sometimes occurs in the body. This reduction in inflammation can lead to healthier blood pressure. It can also result in fewer muscle aches and a shorter recovery period between workouts. In turn, your body might feel better faster!
Reduces Migraine Frequency
If you are someone who suffers from regular migraines, then chances are you have heard of magnesium. What you might not know is that a magnesium deficiency or even just lower levels of magnesium can cause migraines to occur more frequently. Buy incorporating more magnesium into your diet; you can greatly reduce the rate at which migraines occur. Even if lower levels of magnesium are not the primary cause of the migraine, increased amounts of magnesium can drastically reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
Improves Blood Sugar
Magnesium helps your body process and filter. If you struggle with regulating blood sugar, magnesium might be the friend for which you’ve been looking. Magnesium tends to be found in generally healthy foods, which reduces bad fats and unnecessary sugar. Moreover, magnesium helps your body maintain an optimal balance of insulin, which is how it aids in improving blood sugar!
Reduces Risk of Depression
Magnesium has been linked to more than just feeling better physically. There have been studies that have drawn a connection between meeting the daily recommended intake for magnesium and reduced rates of depression. This reduction in feelings of worthlessness, sadness, and isolation has been traced back to how magnesium works with the brain, fend off depression inducing stress effectively.
Improves Sleep Quality
Sleep quality can be dramatically improved with magnesium. Magnesium helps the body metabolize GABA and serotonin, two chemicals in the brain that promote healthy sleep patterns. Moreover, magnesium reduces stress and helps the body cope with inevitable stress more easily, which further contributes to healthy and restorative sleep. Are you suffering from insomnia from negative stress from work or missing out on sleep due to the positive stress of having a new baby? Magnesium might be able to help you feel restored from the sleep that you are capable of getting.
Helps the Metabolism of Vitamin D
Vitamin D ensures bone health and productive healing. Without vitamin D, you will be much more likely to experience slow healing and weekend bones. You can get vitamin D from a number of foods as well as from exposure to the sun. However, in spite of how easily accessible vitamin D is, many people are deficient in it. Magnesium helps the body to metabolize vitamin D, making the vitamin D present in the body, work more systematically. In other words, magnesium is necessary for ensuring strong bone health and a successful healing process in the body.
Recipes High in Magnesium
Magnesium is truly a breeze to work into any well-balanced diet. You can eat foods that are rich in magnesium on their own or work them into your favorite recipe for a meal that is truly fortified with goodness.
Spicy Egg White and Bean Tostada (Gluten-Free!)
This magnesium fortified breakfast is a great way to start your day off right. It has a plentiful amount of magnesium and also a decent amount of fiber and protein as well. It is nutritious and delicious and easy to make – what could be better?
Vegan Ramen Soup with Zucchini Noodles
If you are looking for a hearty soup that is more than just filler food, this recipe for vegan ramen soup with zucchini noodles is right up your alley. This soup alone actually satisfies your daily recommended intake for magnesium and is also rich in antioxidants because it is filled with leafy green vegetables. It tastes delicious and is actually good for you! Finally, the food you can feel good about eating!
Red Lentil Spinach Soup
When it comes to magnesium fortified meals, soups are really where it’s at. This red lentil spinach soup contains over 90% of the magnesium an adult needs in a day. It takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and packs 48 grams of protein per serving as well as 8 grams of fiber. You will have the energy to keep going throughout the day without feeling like you are going to cave in to those mid-day sugar cravings. Indulge on!
Spicy Southwest Butternut Squash Casserole
Getting your daily recommended intake of magnesium could not taste any better. This spicy southwest butternut squash casserole is a hearty meal that satisfies just shy of 70% of the magnesium requirements for an adult. Each serving also brings home 34 grams of protein and 21 grams of fiber. It is a meal that isn’t just warm and heavy but also nutrient-dense and truly beneficial for your body. It is also filled with vital minerals aside from magnesium such as potassium and iron and makes wonderful leftovers.
Remarkably, a mineral as common as magnesium is responsible for so much of the health and wellness of a person’s body. So many common conditions and ailments can be prevented and reversed through the aid of magnesium. Fortunately, magnesium is very easy to come by and simple to incorporate into one’s diet. A delicious treat such as dark chocolate and satisfying snaps such as pumpkin seeds can help ensure that your diet is fortified with magnesium. Making a small change such as adding in a single serving of magnesium-rich foods into your diet can have a lasting, beneficial impact on your body for years to come.