Did you know about magnesium-rich fruits and vegetables? If you don’t know, you should because magnesium plays a vital role in various functions of the body.
It is an important mineral that is required for producing energy and regulating blood sugar and chemical reactions in the body like creating DNA and promoting bone growth. It also helps to maintain proper levels of other minerals such as calcium, potassium, or zinc. Your organs like the heart, kidneys, and muscles all need magnesium to function properly. Its deficiencies can cause gastrointestinal diseases, vomiting, diarrhea, diabetes, or kidney disease. That’s why you need to maintain magnesium levels in the body by consuming magnesium-rich foods. You should consume magnesium within limits as high consumption can cause digestive problems.
How much magnesium should you consume in the food?
While it happens rarely, consuming a larger amount of magnesium can cause nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.
Per day recommended intake of magnesium set by the National Institute of Health:
- For children aged between 1 to 3 years- 80 mg/day.
- For children between the ages of 4 to 8 years- 130 mg/day.
- For children between the age of 9 to 13 years- 240 mg/day.
- Teenagers between the age of 14 to 18 years boys- 410 mg/day, and girls- 360 mg/day.
- For adults (between 19 to 30 years) men- 400mg/day and women- 310 mg/day.
- Adults (above 31 years); men can consume 420 mg/day and women- 320 mg/day.
Even though magnesium deficiency is rare, many Americans don’t get enough magnesium in their diets. Only 66% of the daily intake of magnesium is completed through diet. So, you should know the good sources of magnesium to complete your daily intake naturally.
10 magnesium-rich foods
To prevent magnesium deficiency and complete the daily intake of magnesium, you should know the top 10 foods which are good sources of magnesium, such as:
- Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are one of the best food sources to get magnesium and other minerals like copper, zinc, manganese, or phosphorus. A single ounce can provide 156 milligrams of magnesium which is equal to 37% of the daily value requirement. It is also a reliable source of protein. Consume them anytime in the day.
- Whole wheat: Whole grains are an exceptionally useful source of magnesium, but whole wheat flour has a higher amount of magnesium (than other grains). One cup of whole wheat contains 160 mg of magnesium. So, instead of using white flour for baking use whole wheat or buy whole wheat bread to consume with your morning tea or coffee.
- Bananas: One of the healthiest and most popular fruits in the world, it is known for its potassium content, but it’s also one of the fruits that are high in magnesium. One large banana has 37 mg of magnesium which covers 9% of the daily intake. Besides potassium, it has vitamin C, vitamin B6, fiber, and manganese. However, due to its high sugar content and carbs, it is not suitable for people who follow a low-carb diet. But a substantial portion of unripe bananas can help to reduce blood sugar levels, inflammation and improve your gut health.
- Dark chocolate: This is a food source that is both delicious and healthy. Dark chocolate is also a useful source of magnesium; 1 ounce (about 28.35 g) of dark chocolate contains 65 mg of magnesium which is around 15% of the recommended intake. Additionally, dark chocolate is a useful source of copper, iron, and manganese. Dark chocolate has many antioxidants which help to neutralize free radicals (a type of harmful molecule that can damage your cells and lead to diseases), regulate heart health, and lower bad cholesterol levels. To get most of the benefits from dark chocolate, always choose dark chocolate which has the highest cocoa amount.
- Spinach: Like other leafy greens, spinach is a particularly useful source of magnesium as it contains 157 mg of magnesium in one cup of boiled spinach. It is also a useful source of several other nutrients such as manganese, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Nuts: Nuts such as almonds and cashews are exceptionally reliable sources of magnesium. As almonds contain 80 mg of magnesium and cashews contain 74 mg of magnesium; it is beneficial to consume nuts as it has unsaturated fat, protein, and fiber.
- Black beans: If you’re looking for beans that are a reliable source of magnesium, black beans will get you covered. They contain 120 mg of magnesium (one cup of black beans). It is also a useful source of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Black beans digest slowly which means they can make you feel full for a long time. In winter, you can consume them with spicy chili to warm you up or add them as a dipping item in your next gathering.
- Edamame: If you want a food source that is low in calories and gives you a good amount of magnesium, try edamame, which are soybeans that are in pods. A cup of green soybeans (edamame) contains 100 mg of magnesium which is 12% of recommended daily intake. It also provides you with protein and fiber with just 130 calories.
- Avocados: Another magnesium-rich fruit is avocados. As it contains 58 mg of magnesium per fruit. It also contains many nutrients such as unsaturated fats, vitamins B and K, potassium, and fiber, which are good for heart and brain health, reduce inflammation and bad cholesterol levels, and increase the feeling of fullness after meals.
- Tofu: One of the best snack foods, tofu, is extremely healthy. One 100-gram serving contains 35 mg of magnesium, which is around 8% of the recommended daily intake. It also contains protein, calcium, manganese, iron, and selenium. According to some studies, tofu can protect the cell lining of the arteries, which reduces the risk of stomach cancer.
Magnesium is a particularly important mineral that is required for essential body functions. Many people don’t get enough magnesium from their regular diet which is essential as deficiencies can lead to several diseases and conditions. So, be sure to add the above-mentioned food items to cover your daily magnesium requirements.
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