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How to get enough magnesium from your diet

During recent months, we’ve covered the health benefits of magnesium. This mineral plays an important role in hundreds of bodily processes and is essential to healthy living and optimal well-being. Most magnesium occurs naturally, such as in seawater, so how else can we get this mineral into our bodies? The answer lies in certain foods that you probably already know are good for you.

These foods should be part of your daily diet. In fact, you may already be consuming some of them every day. If you are looking to increase your uptake of magnesium, you should start adding these foods to your meals. Alternatively, you can purchase magnesium supplements and get an extra magnesium boost for optimal health.

Foods that contain magnesium

The following foods all contain a percentage of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for this vital mineral. Experts suggest that men take 410mg and women take between 360mg of magnesium every day. Seeds and leafy greens are the most beneficial, but there may be a few surprising foods that contain magnesium too:

  • Pumpkin seeds – 16g (one-quarter cup) contains 46% of the RDI.
  • Spinach – 180g (one cup) contains 39% of the RDI.
  • Swiss chard – 175g (one cup) contains 38% of the RDI.
  • Dark chocolate (70 to 85% cocoa) – 100g contains 33% of the RDI.
  • Quinoa – 185g (one cup) contains 33% of the RDI.
  • Black beans – 172g (one cup) contains 30% of the RDI.
  • Halibut – 100g contains 27% of the RDI.
  • Almonds – 24g (one-quarter cup) contains 25% of the RDI.
  • Cashews – 30g (one-quarter cup) contains 25% of the RDI.
  • Mackerel – 100g contains 19% of the RDI.
  • Shredded wheat cereal – two ‘biscuits’ contain 16% of the RDI.
  • Avocado – 200g (one medium-sized avo) contains 15% of the RDI.
  • Whole wheat bread – two slices contain 12% of the RDI.
  • Brown rice – half a cup contains 11% of the RDI.
  • Salmon – 100g contains 9% of the RDI.
  • Banana – one medium banana contains 8% of the RDI.
  • Peanut butter – one tablespoon contains 6% of the RDI.

Other foods that you should consume include yoghurt, fortified cereals, carrots, tofu and soy milk. Regular milk and mineral water also contain magnesium. When looking at magnesium supplements, it is important to find the elemental magnesium values, which should be printed on the label. This is the amount of magnesium that the body can actually absorb and use, so it gives a better indication of the RDI value.

Many people around the world don’t get enough magnesium from their diets. These foods will allow you to increase your intake of the mineral and improve your overall health and wellness. Be sure to consult with your doctor if you are taking medications or are pregnant before trying magnesium supplements.

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Written by Joshua Oates

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