The importance of eating a healthy and well-balanced diet cannot be stated enough. Experts often emphasise that a balanced diet with all the nutrients is the key to good health. Be it macros like protein and carbohydrates or micronutrients like potassium and magnesium, there are so many components of a healthy balanced diet. But we often tend to neglect some of them in our everyday diet. Magnesium is one of them. Here's what you need to know about this vital mineral and how we can get enough of it in our daily diet.
Why Is Magnesium Important For Our Health?
Magnesium is one of the most vital elements of our body. It is present in our bones and forms 60-70% part of them. It also plays an important role in our day-to-day functioning. "Magnesium is important for many processes in the body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, blood pressure and making protein, bone, and DNA," says the National Institute of Health on their website. Usually, men should have a minimum daily intake of 400mg while women should take at least 310mg of magnesium every day.
So, is it possible that we can have a magnesium deficiency? Bangalore-based nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood explains, "Magnesium deficiency is highly improbable, especially if you are consuming a balanced diet. This is because magnesium is abundantly present in the soil, therefore it finds its way into our food in one way or the other." However, in certain people, magnesium deficiency does occur especially with those having long-term illnesses like gastrointestinal diseases or type-2 diabetes. Magnesium deficiency can cause symptoms like loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, sleepiness and muscle spasms.
What Food Is Highest In Magnesium? Foods Rich In Magnesium To Consume Everyday
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), magnesium is widely available to us in terms of food and animal consumption. The food highest in magnesium is pumpkin seeds, with about 156 milligrams of the nutrient in just one-ounce serving. There are a number of other foods that are rich in magnesium that you can add to your daily diet.
Here Are 7 Foods Rich In Magnesium For Your Daily Diet:
Avocado is known for its healthy fat content as well as good quantities of fibre. But did you know it can also be a great source of magnesium? A medium-sized avocado, about 150 grams in weight, may contain up to 29mg of magnesium, which can fulfil up to 7% of the daily recommended value as per USDA data.
One of the healthiest fish varieties out there, fresh tuna has plenty of magnesium in it too. It is also enriched with Vitamin D and healthy fats and makes for an excellent addition to the daily diet. Just a 100-gram portion can provide up to 35 grams of your magnesium intake as per USDA. Make sure to cook it in healthy ways such as steaming and grilling, and avoid deep-frying.
3. Pumpkin And Chia Seeds
Not just pumpkin seeds, but even chia seeds are a great way to up your magnesium intake and avoid deficiency. While pumpkin seeds contain 156mg of magnesium per ounce serving, chia seeds have a whopping 111mg of it per ounce, as per NIH. This means that together, they can add up to 62% of your daily magnesium requirement!
4. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate with about 70% cocoa solids can actually be beneficial for the body in more ways than one. Firstly, it is loaded with antioxidants and may even have a positive effect on heart health. Then, it is also enriched with essential minerals including magnesium, copper, iron and manganese. So, stock up on this healthy treat and enjoy it guilt-free.
5. Beans And Legumes
Both these plant-based foods are touted to be excellent sources of vegetarian protein. But surprisingly, they also contain plenty of magnesium. Be it green beans, peanuts, soy, kidney beans, or even edamame - these are some amazing magnesium-rich foods to add to your daily diet. You can also use products derived from these such as soya milk, tofu, or tempeh.
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Among the various other benefits that it offers, spinach is also an excellent source of magnesium. Just half a cup of boiled spinach can provide up to 19% of your daily magnesium requirement, as per NIH. Other leafy greens such as collards or kale are also good sources of magnesium in your daily diet.
The debate around cashew nuts is a never-ending one. But one aspect about them that is irrefutable is their magnesium content. A single ounce of cashews has almost the same quantity of magnesium as half a cup of spinach. Thus, it is an excellent way to add this nutrient to your diet!
Always remember to consult a dietitian or qualified medical practitioner before making any major changes to your diet. Stay healthy, stay happy!
About Aditi AhujaAditi loves talking to and meeting like-minded foodies (especially the kind who like veg momos). Plus points if you get her bad jokes and sitcom references, or if you recommend a new place to eat at.