Magnesium is an essential mineral with several health benefits. It can help metabolize carbohydrates and fat, synthesize protein and DNA, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and also help prevent osteoporosis. The mineral is a must for improved bone and heart health.

The intake of magnesium in the human body happens only through food. The adult human body contains about 20-25 grams of magnesium and around 60-70% of it is found in the bones. The recommended daily intake by the Indian Council for Medical Research is 340 mg of magnesium for men and 310 mg for women.

A deficiency in magnesium can lead to muscle spasms, increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety disorders, migraines, osteoporosis, and cerebral infarction. Conversely, consuming too much magnesium can cause diarrhea as the body attempts to excrete the excess.

Include these 8 magnesium rich foods in your diet to improve your intake of the mineral:

Fruits

While guavas, bananas, and papayas are also rich in magnesium, avocados are the most effective source of the mineral amongst fruits. A single slice of avocado can account for about 15% of your body’s daily magnesium requirement.

Vegetables

When it comes to vegetables, the dark leafy greens like spinach and darker lettuce leaves are among the top sources of magnesium. In addition to them, veggies like sweet corn, lima beans, peas, sweet corn, and potatoes are also great sources of magnesium.

Dark Chocolate

Rich in magnesium and cocoa, dark chocolate is effective in reducing blood pressure. Intake of excess chocolate, however, can lead to unnecessary weight gain.

Whole grains

Whole grains, like brown rice, are generally packed with a lot of nutrients, including magnesium. Other whole grains like quinoa, millet, barley, and oats are also rich in magnesium, and hence, a great addition to your daily diet.

Beans

From the bean family, soybean ranks highest when it comes to magnesium content. In addition to them, white beans, French beans, black-eyed beans, and chickpea also contain a good amount of the mineral.

Dairy

Low-fat dairy products like yoghurt are also packed with magnesium. Along with yoghurt, goat and mozzarella cheese also contain significantly high amounts of the mineral.

Seeds

Flax and chia seeds, amongst others, are known to be rich in magnesium. However, pumpkin seeds contain the highest amount of the mineral. A single serving of pumpkin seeds accounts for a major portion of one’s daily magnesium requirement.

Fish

Fish like salmon, mackerel, and halibut have a high magnesium content. In addition to that, they are also rich in protein, thus helping with the absorption of magnesium.

The aforementioned foods can help increase your magnesium intake. Choose wisely when it comes to your food. Speak to India’s top diet and fitness coaches to understand your options better.

 

Written by Meenakshi S.

Meenakshi S.

“Fitness begins at home, the food we eat and daily core activities like sleep and mind, body and spirit relaxation,” says nutritionist and physiotherapist Meenakshi S. Along with a master’s degree in physiotherapy from Oxford College, Bangalore and MD in alternative medicines, Meenakshi is also a child birth educator, pre and post-natal fitness expert and ACSM health and fitness specialist. Attributing the root cause of most lifestyle diseases to today’s sedentary pace, she shares HealthifyMe’s vision that healthy habits must be incorporated into your existing lifestyle. “Do not think of diet and exercise as sacrifice, make it a habit and enjoy it instead,” she says, recommending small changes to ease the mind and body towards a more wholesome life. Being skinny isn’t a sign of being fit or healthy, says Meenakshi, of the opinion that it’s important to test other physical fitness parameters like muscle strength, endurance and body composition. She’s charged for change – are you?

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