Magnesium: Why You Need It

March 17, 2010 | Comments: None Yet - Post a Comment

Categories: Nutrition, Uncategorized

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body where it is involved in over 300 chemical reactions.  It is important for heart health, muscle, nerve and immune system function and bone strength.  It is also involved in blood pressure maintenance and the utilization of ATP, the molecule used to power your body.  Two studies found that people with higher levels of magnesium in their diets were less likely to develop Type-2 diabetes, so it may act as a prophylactic against the disease.  Restless Leg Syndrome and cramping after exercise may just be a magnesium deficiency.  If all that didn’t make it interesting enough, it is also involved in protein metabolism, important if you are trying to build muscle.

The Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of magnesium for adult females is 310 – 320 milligrams (mg) and  400 – 420 milligrams for adult males.  Where can you get some of this important mineral?  Hopefully from foods you are already eating.  Here is a non-exhaustive list.

FOOD                                                              mg        %DV*
Halibut, cooked, 3 ounces                      90         20
Vegetarian Baked Beans, ½ cup           40         10
Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce            80         20
Brown rice, cooked, ½ cup                    40         10
Soybeans,, cooked, ½ cup                     75          20
Lentils, cooked, ½ cup                            35          8
Spinach, frozen, cooked, ½ cup          75          20
Avocado,  ½ cup pureed                        35          8
Raisins, seedless, ½ cup packed         25           6
Kidney Beans, canned, ½ cup             35           8
Oatmeal, instant  1 cup                           55           15
Pinto Beans, cooked, ½ cup                 35           8
Potato, baked w/ skin, 1 med               50          15
Wheat Germ, crude, 2 tbs                      35          8
Peanut butter, smooth, 2 tbs               50         15
Chocolate milk, 1 cup                              33          8
Wheat Bran, crude, 2 tbs                       45         10
Banana, raw, 1 medium                          30         8
Blackeyed Peas, cooked, ½ cup         45         10
Milk Chocolate, 1.5 ounce bar            28          8
Yogurt, plain, skim milk, 8 fl oz         45         10
Milk, 2% or fat free, 1 cup                    27           8
Bran Flakes, ½ cup                                40          10
Whole Milk, 1 cup                                   24           6
Bread, whole wheat, 1 slice                25            6

* %DV = Percent Daily Value as determined by the FDA and based on the 400mg requirement.

If you would like to read more about magnesium, here are two good resources.  The first is a government site and the second is a science-filled article with excellent references.

http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/factsheets/magnesium.asp
http://www.thinkmuscle.com/articles/jalali/magnesium.htm

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