Magnesium is a critical mineral needed for a variety of normal health functions. Headaches, insomnia, irregularity, moodiness, fatigue, general sadness or a lack of motivation, and even cramps or joint pain are said to be caused by a lack of magnesium. The critical mineral is found abundantly in plants and it’s also the first that’s depleted by stress, fatigue, or too much calcium in the body. Calcium and magnesium both compete for absorption, and if one is out of balance, the other is as well. This may be one reason why excess dairy in a person’s diet leads them to experience more muscle fatigue, inflammation, nervousness or anxiety, and can even lead to constipation or worse, osteoporosis. Dairy milk may actually deplete calcium from the bones, along with other critical minerals such as magnesium, making it an unsafe source to depend on for our nutrient needs.
Luckily, magnesium is found in so many delicious plant foods, while animal foods have little to no magnesium at all. If you fill up your plate with more magnesium-rich foods that also happen to be high in plant-based calcium, you can be sure you’re giving your body what it needs through your diet. Still, some people may find that if they work out a lot or suffer other forms of stress, an additional supplement of magnesium may provide benefits.
Here are some ways to get plant-based foods rich in magnesium into your meals, along with some helpful resources, recipes and foods and/or supplements you can purchase to ensure you’re getting enough!
Magnesium is a crucial mineral that’s responsible for over 400 different reactions in your body. It affects your mood, weight, sleep health, regularity, heart beat, energy, metabolism, how you feel through the day physically, and can even affect PMS and depression. It is obtained through the soil and our food, along with fortified supplements.
It’s actually approximated that 80 percent of Americans are deficient in this important mineral due to soil depletion, poor intake of whole, nutritious foods, and a lack of plant-based foods in the diet. Stress may also affect levels, as well as other nutritional deficiencies. Magnesium helps regulate the nervous system, blood pressure, and can even go as far to help prevent heart attach, stroke, and cardiac arrest. It is also essential for maintaining regularity and can help with overall feelings of well-being. It is found abundantly in plants, much more so than animal sources.
RECOMMENDED DAILY INTAKE
Everyone needs varying levels of magnesium, with a minimum of 400 milligrams per day. Depending on how active you are or how much stress you suffer, you could need more since magnesium is quickly depleted in the body during mental or physical stress (such as exercise).Luckily, plant-based foods are packed with magnesium, making it easy to get enough. However if you’re not eating a balanced diet and finding yourself fatigued, irritable and suffering irregularity or insomnia, you may want to consider a supplement.
If you need to supplement, be aware that some forms of magnesium may make you sleepy, which include magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide, though these both aid in regularity. Some people take magnesium at night before they go to sleep to further aid sleep health and also increase regularity in the morning, along with energy and focus. A 400 milligram supplement is enough for most people who are eating enough whole, plant-based foods.
- leafy greens
- nuts (especially cashews and almonds)
- winter squash
- dried figs
- cacao and cocoa
- coffee beans
- root vegetables
RECIPES WITH MAGNESIUM
Most all plant-based recipes and foods are a great source of magnesium. Our entire recipe section is full of magnesium-rich recipes, but here are some recipes that offer exceptionally high amounts:
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Not all multivitamins contain 100 percent of your daily magnesium needs. You can supplement with nutritional supplements, powders, a meal replacement product, or eat a variety of magnesium-rich foods. Here are some options:
- Plant-based Nutrition 101: Protein
- Plant-based Nutrition 101: Healthy Fats
- Plant-based Nutrition 101: Complex Carbs/Fiber
- Plant-based Nutrition 101: Vitamin A
- Plant-based Nutrition 101: B Vitamins
- Plant-based Nutrition 101: Vitamin C
- Plant-based Nutrition 101: Vitamin D
- Plant-Based Nutrition 101: Vitamin E
- Plant-based Nutrition 101: Vitamin K
- Plant-based Nutrition 101: Calcium
- Plant-based Nutrition 101: Iron
- Plant-based Nutrition 101: Zinc
- Plant-based Nutrition 101: Magnesium (CURRENT PAGE)