Magnesium is an important mineral for your body, as it is involved in energy production. It is therefore necessary for muscles and the nervous system. Let’s see which foods are richest in it and what a deficiency entails.
What is magnesium and what it is used for
Magnesium is an essential mineral found in nature, mainly dissolved in water. It is essential for humans as it is responsible for the transmission of nerve and muscle impulses. But it is also beneficial to the kidneys for the formation of urea.
To benefit from it, one must take magnesium as part of a balanced diet. What doses? The recommended daily ratio is about 350 mg for men and 300 mg for women. This amount that can be increased to 450 mg during pregnancy and lactation.
In the first months of a child’s life, the amount ranges from 30 to 70 mg daily and rises to 130 mg once the child is 8 years old.
They have a daily requirement between 240 and 410 mg boys under the age of 18 and 240-360 mg girls.
The risks from possible magnesium deficiency are not to be overlooked. They range from nausea to diarrhea and from muscle spasms to a sense of weakness. And then mental confusion, chronic headaches, anxiety. Up to more serious consequences such as hypertension and heart failure.
This is because magnesium is responsible for many metabolic processes, including those affecting the bones, immune and cardiovascular systems. It is able to promote the absorption of calcium and potassium and other microcompounds such as vitamin E and vitamin C. Indeed, it is no coincidence that a calcium deficiency is often accompanied by a magnesium deficiency.
It keeps blood sugar levels stable, so it is also able to keep diabetes at bay. It also preserves the kidneys, preventing the formation of stones, is able to relieve menstrual pain and make the skin healthy and glowing.
In fact, taking magnesium in the recommended amounts is not always easy. Because foods, once cooked, tend to lose their properties. Therefore, it is ideal to prefer organic and unrefined foods.
Pay attention to other foods and drinks as well, because some, such as coffee, can contrast intestinal absorption of magnesium.
Kidney and gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcer and gastritis can also result in a deficit in absorption, which in each case worsens, of course, with age.
Foods that contain magnesium include grains (especially whole grains), meat, fish, and dairy products. Good news also for vegans, as this mineral is contained in buckwheat (in the range of 120/140 mg per 100 grams), green leafy vegetables, nuts, lentils and cocoa (400 mg).
And if for some reason, you cannot get any from any of these foods, there are also mineral waters enriched with magnesium salts on the market. But beware, these are best purchased only under prior medical advice.
Types of magnesium
There are also different types of dietary supplements on the market, sold in a different format depending on the needs of the person taking it. Magnesium chloride, for example, is sold in pharmacies in single-dose sachets to be dissolved in water. It is helpful in the disposal of uric acid and combats decalcification of joints.
Magnesium aspartate, on the other hand, is often sold in liquid solution, to combat deficiencies due to sweating from sports activities. But this oligomineral can also be found in bottles, in the form of an effervescent granular solution, or as an orosoluble solution, or in tablets to be swallowed.
Check out other guides on healthy foods and nutrition:
- 10 energy-rich foods for athletes
- The best foods for your brain
- 10 foods you should eat for breakfast
- No-salt cooking tips