Magnesium is a mineral that plays an essential role in the body. It is required to maintain healthy nerve function, regulate heart rate, and preserve bone strength. Deficiency is rare, but low magnesium levels have been associated with high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, and may play a role in diabetes and insulin function. Therefore, it is important to have a diet rich in magnesium.
The recommended dietary intake for magnesium is based on age and gender. Males ages 19 to 30 need 400mg of magnesium, females need 310mg. Males ages 31 and older need 420mg, and females need 320mg.
Dark green, leafy vegetables like kale, Swiss chard and spinach are good sources of magnesium with 75mg per 1/2 cup.
Almonds, cashews, peanuts and nut butters are rich in magnesium. One oz. or 2 tbsp. of nut butter has 50 to 80mg, which is or 20 percent of your recommended intake.
Magnesium is found in the germ (outer covering) of grains, so whole-grain bread has more magnesium than white bread, which has had the germ removed. Oatmeal, bran cereal and brown rice are high in magnesium with about 50mg per serving. Natural peanut butter on whole-grain bread is a good combination.
Beans and Legumes
Beans, peas and lentils are good sources of magnesium with about 35mg per serving. Try lentil soup or beans and brown rice to increase your magnesium intake.