Are you getting enough magnesium? Up to a third of people may not be. Here’s how and why you should add more magnesium rich vegetables to your diet.
Are you getting enough magnesium in your diet? If you eat a diet of processed foods, you may not be getting sufficient amounts of this important mineral. When grains are processed much of the magnesium is stripped away making many foods on grocery store shelves inadequate sources of magnesium. It’s estimated that up to a third of people don’t get enough magnesium in their diet. Good sources of magnesium include nuts, whole grains, wheat bran, brown rice, and beans; but one of the best ways to get more magnesium is to add magnesium rich vegetables to your diet. By eating magnesium rich vegetables, you also get the benefits of the other vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that veggies have to offer.
Why Is It Important?
Magnesium plays a number of important roles in the human body. Several recent studies show that magnesium may help to prevent osteoporosis by enhancing the transport of calcium into bone cells. It’s also important in the regulation of blood pressure and helps to increase insulin sensitivity, making it an important mineral for diabetics. Some studies also show that higher magnesium levels are associated with a lower risk of heart attack and stroke. Another important function of magnesium is to regulate the activity of nerve cells. When it’s deficient, it can result in muscle symptoms such as weakness or spasticity. Because it also helps to regulate heart function, low levels of magnesium can increase the risk of an irregular heart rhythm or arrhythmia.
How Much Do You Need Each Day?
Men need between 400 and 420 milligrams of magnesium each, while women require around 310 to 320 milligrams.
Magnesium Rich Vegetables
To boost magnesium naturally while getting in five to seven servings of vegetables a day, add more magnesium rich vegetables to your diet. One of the best magnesium rich vegetables is spinach. A cup of cooked spinach provides almost forty percent of the daily recommended requirement of magnesium. In addition, you get the additional benefits of the vitamin A, vitamin K, and iron that spinach has to offer. Another veggie that’s quite high in magnesium is Swiss chard. Like spinach it’s rich in vitamins A and K along with vitamin C and has a taste that’s similar to spinach, although less metallic. Any green, leafy vegetable is a good source of magnesium because of the chlorophyll it contains. (magnesium is bound to the center of the chlorophyll molecule.) Other magnesium rich vegetables include broccoli and artichokes.
The Bottom Line
Magnesium rich vegetables such as dark, leafy greens are a healthy, low calorie way to boost dietary magnesium levels. Just one more good reason to put more green, leafy vegetables on the dinner plate.