Are you feeling sluggish and worn down? Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep? Do you just feel like you are off and something is amiss? If so, there’s a chance that you could be suffering from a magnesium deficiency.
A mineral that is responsible for more than 300 biochemical reactions within the body. It helps to regulate and maintain DNA and RNA, promotes enzyme activity, produces energy and balances other vital minerals, among other things. While it is a naturally occurring substance within the body, it is used so rapidly that it needs to be replaced; if it’s not, a magnesium deficiency could occur. In fact, magnesium deficiency is a very common problem, with some estimates indicating that more than 90 percent of adults are deficient in the mineral.
What happens if you have a magnesium deficiency? Your health is impacted in a multitude of ways. Some of the biggest problems that are caused by a magnesium deficiency include:
– Increased tension
– Migraine headaches
– Muscle spasms and cramps
– Excessive or chronic fatigue
– Hormone imbalances
If the deficiency is large enough and goes on for a long enough period of time, it can lead to the development of fibromyalgia, osteoporosis or it could even cause a heart attack.
Fortunately, there is a way that you can increase your magnesium intake, and it’s actually pretty simple. How? – By making changes to your diet and ensuring that you are eating enough magnesium-rich foods. The amount of magnesium that you should be getting every day varies for each age group; however, on average, a minimum of 350 mg is recommended.
Here’s a look at 18 foods that are high in magnesium and if you make sure that you are eating plenty of them, you can prevent a deficiency from occurring.
These nutrient-dense nuts are packed with magnesium. A ¼ cup serving a day (which is quite small) will give you 105 mg of magnesium. In addition to being rich in magnesium, almonds offer other valuable nutrients, including vitamin E, protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. Not only will they help to prevent you from developing the effects that are associated with a magnesium deficiency, but they will also help to boost the health of your heart and can assist you with maintaining a healthy weight. To get all of these benefits, you can simply grab a handful of almonds and enjoy them as an afternoon snack. Other ways you can add them to your diet include using them as a topping for salad, mixing them in with a pasta salad, or sprinkling them on top of cereal or yogurt. They even make a tasty addition to a bowl of ice cream!
2. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflowers aren’t only beautiful to look at, but their seeds are super nutritious. Just a ¼ cup of sunflower seeds has about 128 mg of magnesium. They are also a great source of calcium, as well as polyunsaturated fats, which help to reduce bad cholesterol levels and can help you stay slim. There are so many wonderful ways that you can enjoy sunflower seeds and reap the health benefits that they offer; snack on them throughout the day or use them as a replacement for croutons on your favorite salad. You can also mix them into a wrap. Be forewarned, however, that you need to make sure you are choosing the right type of sunflower seeds. Many of the packaged varieties that are already roasted are packed with sodium. Instead, opt for raw sunflower seeds and do the roasting yourself.
3. Sesame Seeds
A one ounce serving of roasted sesame seeds will give you more than 100 mg of magnesium. These seeds are also loaded with zinc, which can help to increase testosterone levels and promote the production of sperm in men. And, they are a great source of vitamin B6 and iron. A common addition to Asian dishes, such as stir fry, beef and broccoli or sesame chicken, you can enjoy them with your favorite Chinese food, or you can use them in other types of food, too; try mixing them in with some granola or adding a handful to a bowl of roasted veggies.
These meaty nuts aren’t only taste and filling, but they are also a great source of magnesium. A ¼ cup serving offers nearly 90 mg of magnesium, and will also provide you with about 10 percent of your daily iron requirement, too. Cashews are also packed with vitamin K and folate. How can you enjoy the taste and all of the nutritional benefits that cashews provide? – There are tons of ways! They make a super healthy and delicious snack, but you can also add them to all types of dishes, such a stir fry and salads. You can even grind them up and use them in your smoothies or add them to your yogurt.
This yellow fruit is famous for being a great source of potassium; however, that’s not the only nutrition that it offers; you’ll also get about 33 mg of magnesium when you consume one medium banana. They also offer fiber, protein and vitamin B6. This yellow fruit will fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied for a long period of time while boosting your metabolism, so they can also help you slim down. The ways that you can add banana to your diet are virtually limitless. Of course, the easiest way is to simply peel them and snack on them; however, here’s a few more other ideas: try slicing them up and placing them on top of toasted whole grain bread that has been spread with peanut butter; blend them up into a smooth; slice them and put them into a bowl of cereal; add them to a cup of yogurt. There really are so many ways to enjoy bananas.
There has been a lot of talk about quinoa lately. You see quinoa bowls offered at restaurants and it is sold in packages in virtually every grocery store. There’s a good reason why quinoa has become such a popular food in recent years; considered a superfood, it is loaded with tons of valuable nutrients, including protein, iron, fiber, riboflavin and manganese. It is also chock-full of magnesium; just one cup of cooked quinoa will give you nearly 120 mg of magnesium! It eats like a grain, so it’s a great substitute for rice or pasta. Try mixing it up with some veggies or serving it as a side dish with fish, chicken or steak.
7. Dark Chocolate
If you are a chocolate lover, you will be happy to know that dark chocolate is just as healthy as it is delicious. A one ounce serving of dark chocolate provides you with 64 mg of magnesium, or about 16 percent of the daily recommended intake. Magnesium isn’t all that dark chocolate has to offer; it’s also packed with iron, copper and manganese, as well as prebiotic fiber and antioxidants. Who knew that chocolate could be so healthy? In order to gain the most benefits, make sure that you choose a dark chocolate that has at least 70 percent cocoa or higher. We really don’t need to tell you how to enjoy chocolate, but if you need some suggestions, dry adding some shavings to yogurt, a bowl of ice cream even your cereal.
The avocado is an extremely nutritious food; plus, it’s super tasty. A medium avocado packs nearly 60 grams of magnesium, or about 15 percent of the recommended daily intake. They are also high in other vital nutrients, including potassium, vitamin B and vitamin K, as well as monounsaturated fats – the healthy fat. Avocados are also full of fiber. They can help to reduce inflammation, improve your cholesterol levels, improve your heart health and help you slim down. Slice up an avocado and use it as a topping for toast, dice it and add it to cottage cheese, mix it in with some tuna fish, or mash it to turn the fruit into a healthy dip for veggies or pretzels.
A staple in the diet of vegetarians, it’s so packed with nutrients that even meat-eaters should consider adding it to their diet. It has a high protein content, which is why it is such a popular choice among vegetarians; however, that’s not the only benefit that it provides: tofu is also offers 53 mg of magnesium, or about 13 percent of the recommended daily intake. It’s also a great source of calcium, iron and selenium. How can you add tofu to your diet? Try using it as a substitute for meat; you can sauté it and use it as a base in casseroles, you can bread it and make tofu cutlets, or you can dice it up and serve it in a salad.
10. Whole Grains
Oats, wheat and barley are all considered whole grains, as are pseudocereals, such as buckwheat. They are a great source of many nutrients, including magnesium; a one ounce serving of buckwheat, for example, contains about 65 mg of magnesium, which is 16 percent of the recommended daily intake. Other nutrients found in whole grains include fiber, vitamin B, manganese and selenium. Whole grains are free of gluten, which means that if you have Celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, you can easily substitute them for other types of grains. Switch out white bread for whole grain, stone ground bread, and your white pasta for a whole grain variety.