Here’s what to know about magnesium . . .
- Magnesium is a really important mineral that our body needs for more than 300 enzyme systems that control muscle, nerve, bone, protein, DNA, glucose, and energy metabolism.
- About 99% of total body magnesium is located in bone, muscles, and soft tissues. For this reason a blood test of magnesium level won’t necessarily detect if we have low magnesium levels.
- The recommended daily intake of it varies by age and gender, but 400 mg is a good round number for adults. The kidneys work to keep balance of magnesium, along with potassium and sodium.
- Substances like alcohol, many over-the-counter and prescription drugs, such as proton pump inhibitors (meds such as Nexium, Prilosec or omeprazole), can lower body levels.
- A deficiency in it can contribute to health problems such as constipation, muscle spasms, arrhythmias, hypertension, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, seizures, leg cramps, restless legs syndrome, kidney stones, myocardial infarction, headaches, premenstrual syndrome, fibromyalgia, chest pain, osteoporosis, altitude sickness, diabetes, fatty liver disease and fatigue.
- Processed foods are stripped of most of their natural magnesium. In general, dark green leafy veggies, beans, nuts and seeds are best sources of magnesium.
- Since it’s is eliminated by the kidneys, if you have kidney function below normal be sure to check with your doctor before taking magnesium supplements as too much can be dangerous as well.
- Top magnesium foods, with 25 mg magnesium or more per serving, are listed in order with best sources first:
Spinach, Swiss Chard, Beet Greens, Pumpkin Seeds, Summer Squash, Turnip Greens, Soybeans, Sesame Seeds, Black Beans, Quinoa, Cashews, Sunflower Seeds, Navy Beans, Tempeh, Buckwheat, Pinto Beans, Brown Rice, Barley, Lima Beans, Millet, Kidney Beans, Oats, Tofu, Almonds, Rye, Wheat, Papaya, Flaxseeds, Green Peas, Tuna, Scallops, Collard Greens, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Raspberries, Winter Squash, Cabbage, Asparagus, Kale.