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Just about 1/2 of the United States population is not getting enough of this mineral in their diet. Could you be one of them? A true deficiency is hard to diagnose, as only 1% of our magnesium is found in the bloodstream. Most of our magnesium can be found in our body’s cells and bone. Over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body require magnesium, so if you are not getting enough, a lot can go wrong!
Symptoms of a Magnesium Deficiency
- hearing loss
- ringing in the ears
- sensitivity to bright light
- sensitivity to loud noise
- muscle cramps or twitches
- menstrual cramps/PMS
- kidney stones
- heart palpitations
- high cholesterol
- high blood pressiure
Magnesium is known as a “calming” nutrient, as it relaxes blood vessels, nerves, and muscles -helping our bodies to function optimally.
How much Magnesium does one need?
The recommended daily allowance for magnesium in adults was set in 1997 at about 420mg for males and 320 for females.
These references were set using average weights of 166 pounds for males and 133 pounds for females.
Experts are now saying magnesium intake should be higher at 3 mg/pound. So a 200 pound person would require as high as 600 mg/day.
Some Factors that may Increase your Magnesium Requirements even Further
- medications (PPI, antacids, thiazide diuretics, corticosteroids)
- alcohol consumption
- digestive disorders (Crohn’s, celiac sprue)
- age (greater than 70 years old)
What Foods are Highest in Magnesium?
Sample Day Menu of a Magnesium Rich Diet
|Food Item||Magnesium (mg)|
|Breakfast:||oatmeal, 1 cup||61|
|almonds, slivered 1/4 cup||80|
|hemp seed, 1 Tbsp||70|
|blueberries, 1/2 cup||5|
|OJ, 1/2 cup||8|
|Lunch:||sweet potato/black bean tacos (2)||100|
|Snack:||dark chocolate, 1 oz||64|
|cherries, 1 cup||14|
|brown rice, 1 cup||84|
|spinach salad, 1 cup||24|
|sunflower seeds, 1 Tbsp||28|
|Snack:||banana nut smoothie||77|
If you can’t consume enough magnesium from your diet, you may consider taking a magnesium supplement, but always check with your healthcare provider first.
Be sure to check out some of my other nutrition blogs!