Magnesium: Why do you need this mineral?
Most of the magnesium in your body is found in the bone and only 1% of it is found in the blood. This precious mineral is needed for many of the biochemical reactions in the body:
- maintains normal muscle & nerve function
- assists with keeping the heart rhythm steady
- supports the immune system
- keeps your bones strong
Additionally, magnesium is used to help regulate blood sugar levels and will promote a healthy blood pressure. For diabetics and hypertensive individuals, magnesium can prevent or manage your disease.
Magnesium Blood Test
You may need a magnesium blood test if you have low levels of calcium and potassium or symptoms such as:
- muscle weakness
- cardiac arrhythmia
The magnesium blood test is also used if you show signs of malabsorption, malnutrition, diarrhea, or alcoholism.
How to Get Magnesium through Diet
Most green vegetables, lettuce, spinach, kale, etc, contain dietary magnesium. Additionally, magnesium can be found in a variety of nuts, whole grains and tap water. The National Institutes of Health indicates that magnesium deficiency is rare in the US, but there are certain people that may need extra through diet or supplementation.
Below is a chart from the FDA to show which foods have the most magnesium content.
|Wheat Bran, crude, ¼ cup||89||22|
|Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce||80||20|
|Spinach, frozen, cooked, ½ cup||78||20|
|Raisin bran cereal, 1 cup||77||19|
|Cashews, dry roasted, 1 ounce||74||19|
|Soybeans, mature, cooked, ½ cup||74||19|
|Wheat germ, crude, ¼ cup||69||17|
|Nuts, mixed, dry roasted, 1 ounce||64||16|
|Bran flakes cereal, ¾ cup||64||16|
|Shredded wheat cereal, 2 rectangular biscuits||61||15|
|Oatmeal, instant, fortified, prepared w/ water, 1 cup||61||15|
|Peanuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce||50||13|
|Peanut butter, smooth, 2 Tablespoons||49||12|
|Potato, baked with skin, 1 medium||48||12|
|Blackeye peas, cooked, ½ cup||46||12|
|Pinto beans, cooked, ½ cup||43||11|
|Rice, brown, long-grained, cooked, ½ cup||42||11|
|Lentils, mature seeds, cooked, ½ cup||36||9|
|Vegetarian baked beans, ½ cup||35||9|
|Kidney beans, canned, ½ cup||35||9|
|Chocolate milk, lowfat, 1 cup||33||8|
|Banana, raw, 1 medium||32||8|
|Yogurt, fruit, low fat, 8 fluid ounces||32||8|
|Milk chocolate candy bar, 1.5 ounce bar||28||7|
|Milk, lowfat or nonfat, 1 cup||27||7|
|Raisins, seedless, ½ cup packed||26||7|
|Halibut, cooked, 3 ounces||24||6|
|Bread, whole-wheat, commercially prepared, 1 slice||23||6|
|Avocado, cubes, ½ cup||22||6|
|Chocolate pudding, ready-to-eat, 4 ounces||19||5|
*DV = Daily Value. DVs are reference numbers developed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help consumers determine if a food contains a lot or a little of a specific nutrient. The DV for magnesium is 400 milligrams (mg). Most food labels do not list a food’s magnesium content. The percent DV (%DV) listed on the table above indicates the percentage of the DV provided in one serving. A food providing 5% of the DV or less per serving is a low source while a food that provides 10–19% of the DV is a good source. A food that provides 20% or more of the DV is high in that nutrient. It is important to remember that foods that provide lower percentages of the DV also contribute to a healthful diet.
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Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.