In 52 Healthy Changes, Evergreen, Everyday Life, Newsletter
Healthy Change 45 - Magnesium

hat exactly is Magnesium, and why do we need it? Surely a lesser known mineral than others, Magnesium is actually responsible for a whole slew of biological functions. Most commonly known for bone, heart and organ health, it’s also essential for the detoxification process, regulation of blood sugar, activating muscles and nerves, creating energy, efficient metabolism, and the digestion of proteins, carbs and fats.

Could You be Magnesium Deficient?

Sadly, research shows that 25% of US adults aren’t getting their RDA (recommended daily amount) of magnesium and about 80% of Americans are deficient in this essential mineral. So how do we know we’re deficient? Ask these questions to help get a better understanding of where your magnesium levels may be.

  • Do you consume less than three servings of veggies per day?
  • Do you drink carbonated beverages on a regular basis?
  • Do you consume large quantities of alcohol (more than 7 drinks/week)?
  • Do you consume large amounts of sugar?
  • Do you consume foods high in phytic acids?
  • Do you have difficulty falling or staying asleep?
  • Have you recently undergone surgery?
  • Are you under an excessive amount of stress?
  • Are you on prescription medications such as antibiotics or diuretics?
  • Do you take calcium supplements without magnesium?
  • Do you have Leaky Gut Syndrome? (Take this quiz to find out)

Many health issues have now been linked with magnesium deficiency, some of which are: hormone imbalances, PMS, fibromyalgia, heart attack, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, constipation, migraine/tension headaches, anxiety, depression and chronic fatigue. If you answered yes to one or more of the questions above, or find yourself dealing with any of these health issues, it’s likely you’ll want to up your magnesium intake. It’s also advised to try and up your veggies (see below) reduce carbonated or alcoholic beverages and sugar, properly prepare foods containing phytic acids, work on reducing stress and getting quality sleep.

Sources of Magnesium

I’m always an advocate of obtaining what our bodies need through real food, rather than relying on supplements as our first line of defense. When we eat real food, the For real food sources of magnesium, look to the following list for the ten highest sources of magnesium: (Note that the RDA of magnesium is 400 mg for men and 310 mg for women.)

  1. Spinach – 1 cup = 157 mg
  2. Chard – 1 cup = 154 mg
  3. Pumpkin seeds – 1/8 cup = 92 mg (preferably soaked)
  4. Yogurt or Milk Kefir – 1 cup = 50 mg
  5. Almonds – 1 oz = 80 mg
  6. Black Beans – 1/2 cup = 60 mg
  7. Avocado – 1 medium = appx 58 mg
  8. Figs – 1/2 cup = 50 mg
  9. Dark Chocolate – 1 square = 95 mg
  10. Bananas – 1 medium = 32 mg

If you find you’re already consuming plenty of magnesium containing fruits and veggies, you may want to try another source for magnesium. Some people have a difficult time absorbing magnesium internally and find topical applications yield more favorable results. I find taking epsom salt baths and using magnesium oil spray are the most efficient for myself. If you’re looking for more ways to incorporate magnsium try one or more of the following options:

Magnesium Oil

This is my go-to for getting enough magnesium (along with eating plenty of fresh organic veggies). This spray is easy to make and simple to use daily to get the magnesium my body needs. I like to spray 10-20 sprays on my abdomen and bottoms of feet just before bedtime. For a simple tutorial read this post.

Magnesium Drink Mix

A great way to help kiddos sleep through the night and keep adequate stores of magnesium is with a drink mix such as Natural Calm(It’s important I mention that there are a few people who have an opposite reaction to magnesium and seem to get very alert after taking it, if you find this happens to you, try using magnesium at least three hours before bed.)

Epsom Salt Baths

Soaking in a bath with epsom salts (and essential oils!) is a great way to absorb extra magnesium and wind down and relax before bed.

Additional Supplements

If you suspect your magnesium levels are very low and might need a supplement to get your levels back into normal range, it’s important to be aware of the affects magnesium have on other vitamins/minerals. For more information on magnesium supplements, read this article by Dr. Mercola.

Join the conversation

Do you suspect you have a magnesium deficiency? What are some ways you get magnesium in your diet?

Sources: Dr. Mercola, Magnesium Deficiency

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Showing 8 comments
  • Avatar

    Thanks for highlighting Mg! It’s such an important mineral for our health.
    I am a big fan of Epsom salts bathing. Also really like and recommend “Natural Calm” products.
    This company originates from my home town.. and I have known the owners for years ~ lovely people.
    Yay Magnesium!

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen

      That’s wonderful Carol! How fun that you know the owners of Natural Calm. I know many people who benefit from their products!

  • Avatar
    Megan Stevens

    I was surprised by how much my body benefited from oral magnesium. Now I take it nightly. I have enjoyed and benefited from topical for years. Thanks for this important post!

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen

      Me too Megan! I sleep so much better when using magnesium.

  • Avatar
    Emily @ Recipes to Nourish

    This is such an important one! I use magnesium oil spray daily and take oral magnesium. I do love detox baths though and love to use salts in them as often as I can – which is never enough.

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen

      Great Emily! We don’t take oral magnesium, although we may start soon. And one can never have enough baths!

  • Avatar

    Great article! I use Epsom salts and occasionally take Natural Calm.

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen

      Thanks Marjorie! Love my Epsom salt baths too!

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