Are we aware of the health benefits of magnesium? Do we consume enough magnesium or is it sensible to take a supplement as well?
To support our immune system, our body needs to ingest the following: Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin D3, vitamin K, iodine, zinc, selenium, and magnesium.
Most fresh foods, let alone processed foods, do not contain enough nutrients. On the one hand, this is caused by the depletion of the soil and the use of pesticides. On the other hand, we rarely eat according to the recommendations of the national health organizations.
This article is not medical advice. If you are ill and/or take medication, go to your GP or consult with a doctor who specializes in nutrition and lifestyle, such as an orthomolecular doctor.
Some of the links are affiliate links. As an affiliate associate, we earn a commission when you purchase any of the products offered through the shared links at no extra cost for you. This helps us maintain this website.
Table of contents
- 1 Recommended amounts of food
- 2 Magnesium is a mineral
- 3 Food containing magnesium
- 4 Magnesium supplements
- 5 The health benefits of magnesium
Recommended amounts of food
When we eat enough healthy food, and organic of course, we should get enough nutrients. But what is enough? Dutch research among adults found the following:
- 16% eat enough vegetables (> 200 grams per day, although 500 grams is even better);
- 13% eat enough fruit (> 200 grams per day);
- 34% eat fish at least once a week;
- 6% eat enough raw, unsalted nuts (15 grams per day);
- 19% drink enough tea (1 liter per day).
The conclusion must be that most of us do not meet the recommended guidelines. This contributes to the risk of nutrient deficiencies. The easiest way to avoid these risks is to take supplements. Of course, when we all follow the guidelines of health organizations, we don’t need supplements.
However, this is not always possible. For example, fresh organic foods are not always available, because when we eat organic, we eat according to the seasons.
Magnesium is a mineral
Your body needs magnesium for the formation of bone and muscles, among other things. Too much calcium prevents the absorption of magnesium. Magnesium is even more important for bones than calcium.
The recommended daily allowance from food and supplements is 400-500 mg for adults.
The health benefits of magnesium are substantial
- Provides normal blood pressure;
- Regulates blood sugar;
- Plays a role in muscle formation and proper functioning;
- Contributes to balance our psychological functions;
- Improves the functioning of more than 300 enzymes;
- Provides energy;
- Ensures strong bones;
- Stabilizes the heart rhythm;
- Prevents osteoporosis.
Who is at risk for magnesium deficiency?
- People who have Crohn’s, a digestion or kidney disease, or parathyroid problems;
- Older adults;
- In case of alcohol abuse;
- Due to a nutritional deficiency;
- Intensive sports;
- Low salt intake;
- High caffeine consumption;
- Aluminum from deodorant, foil, pans, and utensils.
- Certain medicines.
A magnesium deficiency can hardly be determined with an isolated blood test. Magnesium is stored in the bones and body cells. In addition to a laboratory test, it is also necessary to look at lifestyle and diet and consider the symptoms.
Symptoms that may indicate a magnesium deficiency
- Lethargy and loss of appetite;
- Fast heart rhythm;
- Muscle cramps;
- Tingling in fingers and toes;
- Restless legs syndrome.
It may be clear that all of these symptoms could just as well indicate another deficiency or illness. See your GP or another expert to make sure what the cause of your symptoms is.
Against the absorption of magnesium in the blood
The absorption of magnesium in the blood is disturbed by:
- Long-term stress;
- Refined products.
Improvement of the absorption of magnesium in the blood
The absorption of magnesium in the blood can be improved with:
- Vitamin B1;
- Vitamin B6;
- Vitamin D3;
- Vitamin E;
It seems that vitamin B6 improves the absorption of magnesium by the body. And a deficiency of vitamin B6 prevents such absorption.
Food containing magnesium
As said, there is a lot of food containing magnesium. Provided that the food has been grown organically in healthy soil. I have marked the varieties that contain the most magnesium with an asterisk *.
Seeds and nuts
- Brazil nuts*;
- Cashew nuts;
- Chia seeds*;
- Cumin seeds;
- Hemp seeds*;
- Pecan nuts;
- Pumpkin seeds*;
- Quinoa seeds, cooked;
- Sesame seeds*;
- Sunflower seeds*;
Fruits and vegetables
- Beet greens;
- Brussels sprouts;
- Green bell pepper;
- Swiss chard;
Grains and legumes
- Black-eyed peas;
- Black beans;
- Brown rice;
- Kidney beans;
- Lima beans;
- Mung beans;
- (Soybeans) **;
- Wheat germ;
- Wild rice;
- Yellow corn.
- Coconut milk;
- Vineyard snail;
- Wild salmon;
- (Whole milk) ***.
** Read here why we banned soybeans: What are the Positive Effects of Deforestation or are the Negative Effects Worse?
*** Read here why we banned milk: There are Many Ideal Protein Alternatives for Cow’s Milk
Lately, I have a lot of muscle cramps and restless legs syndrome. Especially when I’ve just gone to bed. That’s why I am taking a magnesium supplement at the moment.
Magnesium easily binds to other elements, for example to phosphates, so that the magnesium is not absorbed by the body. Phosphates are present in dark-colored carbonated soft drinks.
It appears that organic magnesium compounds (i.e. magnesium citrate or magnesium bis-glycinate, also called chelated magnesium) are better absorbed by the body than inorganic compounds (i.e. magnesium oxide, magnesium carbonate, or magnesium sulfate).
The different forms of magnesium affect different aspects of your body, so get yourself well-educated before buying a supplement.
Our website is about sustainability, not only do we want sustainable products inside our body, but it’s also very important to us to buy products from companies with an eye for the environment. Solgar is not the only quality brand, but as far as I know, it is the only brand that packs its supplements in brown glass with a metal cap. Thus avoiding single-use plastic bottles.
The health benefits of magnesium
In this time of a pandemic, it is a good idea to work on our natural immune system. Next to omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin D3, vitamin K, iodine, zinc, and selenium we need magnesium in our bodies.
The bigger part of the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) we get from healthy, organic food. But because that is probably not always enough a supplement will help with this.
Make sure you buy quality products that are healthy for both you and the environment.
Are you taking supplements? Tell us in the comment box below.