Magnesium is a mineral that helps keep your heart, muscles, nerves, bones, and DNA in proper working order.1
Who’s Not Getting Enough?
Most American diets are low in magnesium, though healthy people who don’t get enough don’t show the symptoms of deficiency. The elderly and people with gastrointestinal diseases, type 2 diabetes, or chronic alcoholism often don’t get enough of this mineral.2
Magnesium deficiency can cause “loss of appetite, confusion, abnormal heartbeat, muscle cramps, high blood pressure, or seizures,” though these can be symptoms of other conditions as well.1
Where Does It Come From?
Foods such as sesame seeds, almonds, avocados, and spinach have the highest amounts per serving.
- Seeds (sesame)
- Nuts (almonds)
- Dark green vegetables (spinach)
- Whole grains (oatmeal, wheat germ, bran cereal)
- Legumes (black beans, peanuts)1
Should You Take a Supplement?
If you have a balanced, healthy diet that includes the foods above, you shouldn’t need to take a magnesium supplement. Your doctor might tell you that you need a supplement if you have certain medical conditions or take certain medication.1
- Linda B. Bobroff and Jennifer Hillan, Facts about Magnesium, FCS8810, Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 2013, https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy1088
- “Magnesium,” National Institutes of Health, 2016, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/
UF/IFAS Photo by Marisol Amador