Sunday, March 9, 2014

Correcting Magnesium Deficiency With Diet

Magnesium (Mg.) is a trace mineral required for healthy muscle function, protein and energy production and proper calcium absorption. Malabsorption, over-intake of calcium and use of certain medications like corticosteroids, antibiotics and diuretics can cause magnesium deficiency. Symptoms include rapid heart rate, weakness, tremor and seizures. Eating foods rich in magnesium can help correct mild to moderate deficiencies in the mineral, leading to renewed health and vitality.

Fruit and Vegetable Sources

Fruits and vegetables are the main dietary sources of magnesium for most people. Boiled Swiss chard and regular spinach are among the best food sources of the mineral. Kelp is another excellent source of magnesium. You can add it to shakes, smoothies and other healthy dishes as is for extra magnesium. Other good vegetable sources include kale, broccoli, mustard greens, summer squash, green beans and cucumbers.

Fruits with the highest magnesium content include tomatoes, kiwis, raspberries and strawberries, with raspberries being the richest source. You should consume all fruits fresh, ripe and raw to obtain the most benefit.

Nuts, Grains and Seeds

Nuts and grains are two more excellent sources of magnesium. Nuts with the highest Mg. content include almonds, peanuts and raw cashews. Grain sources of magnesium include spelt, buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice and rye. Consume these foods in whole grain form (unrefined) and fully cooked for best results.

Seeds are another good source of magnesium. Pumpkin seeds are the richest source, followed by flax, sunflower and sesame. Eat pumpkin seeds raw for the most benefit, and sprinkle sesame and flax seeds directly into soups and other foods for added Mg.

Additional Tips

Magnesium is present in varying amounts in many foods but can be destroyed if the wrong cooking methods are used. According to, around 65 percent of magnesium is lost from navy beans when cooked, while blanching destroys approximately 1/3 of the magnesium in spinach. Therefore, eating fruits, vegetables and other magnesium-rich foods raw and at their peak ripeness is recommended where applicable.

Taking magnesium supplements can help correct more severe or persisting deficiencies, but you should observe some general guidelines. First, choose high-quality U.S. manufactured brands to reduce contamination risks and ensure optimal efficiency. Chelated forms like magnesium citrate are generally better absorbed than nonchelated forms like magnesium oxide and are therefore recommended.

Always take magnesium supplements separately from calcium. The minerals are complementary and require one another for proper function, but are not well absorbed when mixed. Choose calcium-free magnesium supplements, and space out your dosing as much as possible.

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