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Magnesium: Why you need it, and where to get it

Magnesium is involved with over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body that support:
  • Energy production

  • Body temperature regulation

  • Nerve function

  • Metabolism

  • Neurotransmitter production

  • Bone health

  • Muscle development

  • Cardiovascular health

Consequences of Insufficient Magnesium

Greater physical demands such as stress and exercise can increase the body’s need for magnesium, leading to depletion.

Poor magnesium levels are associated with:

  • High blood pressure

  • High cholesterol

  • Poor quality sleep

  • Chronic headaches

  • Reduced bone strength

  • Poor concentration

  • Muscular Pain and Fatigue

How Much Magnesium Do We Need?

Adult, non-pregnant women need between 310 and 320 milligrams (mg) daily.

Needs during pregnancy and lactation increase to as much as 400mg every day.

Adult men need between 400 and 420 mg daily.

Food Sources of Magnesium

Nuts, seeds, and pulses (also called legumes) are among the best sources of magnesium. Some additional foods such as greens and potatoes provide a fair dose as well.


  • 3 tablespoons Pepitas – 150mg

  • 3 tablespoons Chia Seeds – 100mg


  • 1 oz (~2½ Tablespoons) Almonds – 80mg

  • ½ cup Spinach (cooked) – 80mg

  • 1 medium Potato (baked) – 80 mg

  • ½ cup Black Beans – 60mg


  • 2 tablespoons Flaxseed – 55mg

  • ½ cup Oats (dry) – 55mg

  • 2 tablespoons Peanut Butter – 50mg

  • ½ cup Garbanzo Beans (aka Chickpeas) – 40mg

  • 2 Brazil Nuts – 40mg

  • ½ cup Pinto Beans – 30mg

  • 1 cup Broccoli (cooked) – 30mg

  • 1 medium Sweet Potato (baked) – 30mg

Are you eating these foods and meeting your daily needs for magnesium every day?
Additional Reading:

Pumpkin Seed Power!

Factual Notes About Oats

Chickpeas: Benefiting Mood, Weight and Heart

One Plant, Numerous Benefits


The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website. If you're interested in making dietary changes, guidance from a nutrition expert is highly advised. Please review our Nutrition & Wellness Services here:

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