Eating foods that are high in magnesium can help to prevent conditions such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Magnesium is part of chlorophyll so the green pigment in plants provides a rich source of magnesium. Foods high in magnesium include: green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and nuts.
Magnesium is an important mineral for every organ in the body, particularly the heart, muscles, and kidneys.
Magnesium is involved in more than 300 essential metabolic reactions including energy production, synthesis of essential molecules, structural roles (such as for the bones and teeth), cell signaling, cell migration, and nutrient interactions.
Conditions that can upset the body’s magnesium balance include: intestinal flu with vomiting or diarrhea, certain stomach and bowel diseases (such as irritable bowel syndrome and celiac sprue), diabetes, pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism, kidney malfunction, and the use of diuretics. Other factors that can lower magnesium levels include: drinking too much coffee, tea, or alcohol; using too much salt; excessive sweating; and prolonged stress.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include: agitation and anxiety, irritability, abnormal heart rhythms, nausea and vomiting, confusion, hyperventilation, muscle spasms and weakness, insomnia, poor nail growth, and even seizures.
Note: A variety of medical conditions can lead to the symptoms mentioned above. Therefore, it is important to have a physician evaluate them so that appropriate medical care can be given.
Consuming excessive amounts of milk of magnesia (as a laxative or antacid) or Epsom salts (as a laxative or tonic) may cause a magnesium overdose. Taking high doses of magnesium can cause nausea, vomiting, severely lowered blood pressure, slowed heart rate, deficiencies of other minerals, confusion, coma, and even death. It is common for upset stomach and diarrhea to occur when taking magnesium from non food sources, including milk of magnesia and Epsom salts.
Caution: Eating natural foods that are high in magnesium is the safest and healthiest way to get an adequate supply of the nutrient. Due to risk of toxicity, individuals should always consult with a knowledgeable healthcare provider before starting doses of supplements. Before giving supplements to children, it is recommended that you first consult with their pediatrician. Also, some supplements may interfere with medications. If you are taking medication, it is recommended that you consult with your physician before taking any supplements. All supplements should be kept in childproof bottles and out of children’s reach.
Oat bran, dry, ½ cup – (96.0 mg)
100% Bran Cereal (e.g., All Bran) ½ cup – (93.1 mg)
Brown rice, cooked, 1 cup – (86.0 mg)
Spinach, frozen, chopped, cooked, ½ cup – (78.0 mg)
Almonds 1 ounce ~23 almonds – (78.0 mg)
Swiss chard, chopped, cooked, ½ cup – (75.0 mg)
Lima beans, cooked, ½ cup – (63.0 mg)
Molasses, blackstrap, 1 tablespoon – (48.0 mg)
Peanuts 1 ounce – (48.0 mg)
Okra, frozen, cooked, ½ cup – (47.0 mg)
Hazelnuts 1 ounce ~21 hazelnuts – (46.0 mg)
Milk, 1% fat, 8 fluid ounces – (34.0 mg)
Banana 1 medium – (32.0 mg)