When we think about eating healthy, what comes to mind? Low fat? Low sugar? High protein? While, all of these are well and good, we often forget one other very useful nutrient. A mineral called ‘Magnesium’.
What is Magnesium?
It’s simple, Magnesium is a mineral that helps keep our body functioning and helps with over 300 biochemical reactions in our body.
Benefits and Functions of magnesium in our body.
Magnesium helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function in our body. It keeps our immune system healthy and it helps keep our heartbeat steady. Magnesium is also essential in developing strong bones. In fact, it’s even more useful in doing so than Calcium. It also helps regulate our blood-glucose levels and help in the production of energy and protein, which helps you to build muscle. Which is why it’s an important nutrient in muscle growth, joint stability and bone strengthening.
Best sources for magnesium.
So, we often look for high-protein foods. But today, let’s look at the best sources for magnesium. Let’s begin.
This is probably the most famous source of magnesium. Avocado has about 50mg of magnesium which is 15% of the Reference Daily Intake. Aside from being high in magnesium, they’re also a good source for potassium, Vitamins B and K and Fiber. The fact that they’re also filled with the ‘good’ monosaturated fat, is an added bonus. There are many avocado recipes you can find to create delicious and healthy breakfast and pre/post workout meals.
Spinach is another good source for magnesium. It contains many important nutrients for our health. Aside from magnesium, Spinach also contains Protein, Vitamins E, and B. A cup of cooked spinach contains over 760 mg of Magnesium! Making it the top source of magnesium among all leafy greens.
Almonds are often considered the best and often the cheapest source for protein in nuts. Not only that, but they also contain Vitamin E. One thing to note about almonds is that it contains the highest amount of magnesium among all nuts. Almonds contain about 76 mg per ounce (approx. 28 gms). It has about 15% of our Reference Daily Intake of magnesium.
4- Whole grains.
Grains such as wheat, oats, barley are excellent source of nutrients. One of them being Magnesium. In 1 cup or 28gms of oat meal, you would get 63mg of magnesium, which is 16% of your Reference Daily Intake. Aside from Magnesium, whole grains are also high in Vitamin B, Selenium, Manganese and Fiber.
Fish is usually a well-known source for Omega3 Fatty Acids, but not many know that fatty fishes are also a good source for Magnesium. For example, a filet of salmon contains around 50-55mg of Magnesium, which is 13% of the Reference Daily Intake. Just make sure to get fresh fish, if you do decide to make it your meal.
Bananas are usually known for their high potassium content. Although, there are other foods with a lot higher potassium content as well, they’re the most conveneint. But aside from the potassium content, bananas are a good source fo Magnesium as well. One large banana contains about 37mg of Magnesium, which is about 9% of the Reference Daily Intake.
Now I know this may come as a surprise to many, but coffee is actually one of the highest sources of Magnesium you can get in liquid form. Just to put that in perspective, an average cup of coffee will contain a whopping 1000mg of Magnesium! But don’t get too excited about your morning coffee just yet, as the calcium from the milk and the sugar would interfere with magnesium absorption, it would be difficult to treat it as your primary source for it. So, to not let that happen, try and drink black coffee, with something natural, like Honey, as a sweetener.
Tofu is pretty common in vegetarian diets. Especially due to its high protein content, which is 10gms. Aside from that, Tofu is a great source for Magnesium as well, providing 53mg of it in a 100gms serving, which is 13% of the Reference Daily Intake.
Now, eggs usually aren’t the best source of Magnesium, but I still added them to the list because they’re quite easy to prepare and consume and are more readily available and cheaper too. A single raw egg contains about 10mg of Magnesium. Which is about 2% of the Reference Daily Intake. But it’s also high in protein and the way you prepare it would also change the amount of Magnesium and other nutrients in it. For example, an omelette will have around twice the amount of Magnesium than that of a raw egg.
10- Dark Chocolate.
So, I saved the best for the last. This is not a dream. It’s true. Dark Chocolate, a heavenly, heavenly thing, has one of the highest amount of Magnesium content in it. Especially the unsweetened Cocoa powder. However, in a 28gms Dark Chocolate bar, you will get 64mg of Magnesium, which is 16% of the Reference Daily Intake. Not only that, but Dark Chocolate is also in high in Iron, Copper, Manganese and Fiber. Dark Chocolate also contains Anti-oxidants. For best results, choose non-processed chocolate. Of course, a minimally processed chocolate will be good enough as well. As long as the cocoa solids content reaches 70% or more, it will be a great and a delicious source of Magnesium and it will cheer you up as well.
So, there you have it. An information packed list of foods that are high in a very useful nutrient. A nutrient that not many often get enough of. Some do recommend taking some Magnesium supplements, but it’s always better to get nutrients from actual foods than supplements. Unless in extreme cases of deficiencies or allergies to some food items.
Well, that’s it. Hope you found it useful. Like, comment, share, if you did. Thanks for reading!