Magnesium (Mg) is an essential element in at least 300 biological systems and it is present in every cell in our body. It is an essential mineral for everyone but for those of us that love to be active ensuring we get enough of this mineral is crucially important. As well as keeping a healthy immune system, maintaining normal muscle, nerve function, heart rhythm, and building strong bones, it is also needed in the creation of energy as a Magnesium Ion has to bind with ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) in order for you to move. Without ATP there is no movement.
A deficiency in magnesium may lead to muscle weakness, heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety disorders, migraines and osteoporosis.
The current EAR (estimated average requirement) for healthy adult men is 250mg and for healthy adult women it is 200mg per day. It may also increase over the age of 50. A healthy diet which includes oily fish, nuts and 7 – 10 portions of salad/veg per day is all you need to maintain healthy magnesium levels.
Foods with Magnesium
– all quantities are per 100 grams
Green Leafy Vegetables
Eat as many green leafy vegetables as you can, the importance of eating at least 7 portions of vegetables a day cannot be over stressed. Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, and it tastes utterly delicious. Experiment and find the ones you love.
Nuts and Seeds
Other nuts and seeds high in magnesium are Cashews, Pine Nuts, Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds.
Other fish high in magnesium are Pollock, Turbot and Tuna. Most fish have some amount of magnesium, so find the ones you love and eat at least once a week.
Other whole grains high in magnesium are Millet, Bulgur, Buckwheat, Wild Rice, Whole Wheat Pasta, Barley and Oats.
Don’t be afraid of Avocado, it has so many vitamins, minerals and good fats it’s an all round health food. Bananas have long been know as the runners snack and for good reason, eat one every day.
I am not talking about the milky type that is in all the shops, search out high quality no sugar added chocolate, there are many outlets that specialise in this now, it lasts longer and tastes wonderful.
Food Standards Agency (2002) McCance and Widdowson’s The Composition of food, sixth summary edition. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry
Report 41 (1991) Dietary Reference Values for food energy and nutrients for the United Kingdom