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All About Magnesium



Chances are if you’re in any way interested in health or nutrition (or even if you aren’t) , you’ve most likely heard about magnesium. It’s had quite its fair share of press lately. But what exactly is magnesium? And why is it important? Well, we’re here to answer your questions!


Magnesium, simply put, is an abundant mineral in the body. It is naturally present in many foods, available as a dietary supplement, and present in some medicines. In the body, magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. It is also required for energy production and glycolysis, which is the breakdown of glucose by enzymes. If this already wasn’t enough, magnesium also contributes to the structural development of bone and is required for the synthesis of DNA and RNA.


With all of these important functions, you can see why the importance of magnesium is being stressed. As stated before, magnesium is naturally occurring in many foods and supplements, but are you getting enough?


The main sources of magnesium in foods are:

pumpkin seeds, 30g — 156mg

chia seeds, 30g — 111mg

almonds, 30g — 80mg

spinach, boiled, ½ cup — 78mg

cashews, 30g — 74mg

peanuts, ¼ cup — 63mg

soymilk, 1 cup — 61mg

rolled oats, 100g — 29mg

bread, whole wheat, 2 slices — 46mg

avocado, cubed, 1 cup — 44mg

rice, brown, cooked, ½ cup — 42mg


For reference, the average adult needs 400-420 mg daily for men and 310-320 mg for women.


As you can see, the main sources of magnesium are plant foods. Following a plant based diet is one the best ways you can prioritize making sure you get enough magnesium.


If you’re not eating enough plant foods, you may need to consider a magnesium supplement. The UL for magnesium is 350 milligrams from supplements only. When choosing a magnesium sun supplement, you’ll want to choose the form of magnesium that’s most appropriate for your needs. Magnesium typically comes in multiple forms. Most commonly these are magnesium glycinate, magnesium citrate, magnesium chloride, magnesium sulfate, magnesium oxide, and magnesium malate. These forms differ in terms of their absorbability and specific uses. For example, magnesium citrate and glycinate have been shown to be absorbed better than magnesium oxide and sulfate, though the research on the absorption is mixed Additionally, certain types are more beneficial for treating symptoms such as constipation and headaches. So, you need to choose which one will work best for your body!


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