Introduction: Micronutrients & Magnesium

Micronutrients refer to a group of minerals and vitamins that are essential for maintaining a healthy body and mind. Vitamins are crucial for energy synthesis, the immune system, blood coagulation, and other processes. Minerals, on the other hand, are vital for bone health, development, fluid balance, and a number of other functions.

Today, let’s focus on one essential mineral: magnesium. This mineral plays a significant role in several brain and body functions, making it important to understand its benefits and how to incorporate it into your diet.

Significance of Magnesium

Magnesium is involved in approximately 300 enzymatic reactions in the human body. Key functions that require magnesium include:

  • Neuron function
  • DNA synthesis
  • Stress response
  • Healthy muscle function
  • Blood pressure regulation
  • Blood sugar regulation
  • Bone health maintenance

Magnesium helps maintain proper cardiac rhythm, controls cholesterol production, and plays a crucial role in bone formation and maintenance. It also facilitates the relaying of signals between the body and mind.

Magnesium Requirements

The amount of magnesium required varies based on age, gender, and pregnancy status. Generally, an adult male needs 400 to 420 milligrams of magnesium daily, while most adult women require 310 to 400 milligrams.

Deficiency and Excess

Despite magnesium’s importance, many people do not meet the recommended daily intake. Studies show that most adults have magnesium deficiency, which can lead to health issues such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis. While natural food sources of magnesium pose no health risks, magnesium supplements should be consumed within the prescribed limits to avoid side effects like cramps and diarrhea.

Natural Sources of Magnesium

It is advisable to obtain vitamins and minerals from natural food sources. Here are some foods rich in magnesium:

  • Pumpkin seed kernels: 1 oz, 168 mg
  • Almonds, dry roasted: 1 oz, 80 mg
  • Spinach, boiled: ½ cup, 78 mg
  • Cashews, dry roasted: 1 oz, 74 mg
  • Pumpkin seeds in shell: 1 oz, 74 mg
  • Peanuts, oil roasted: ¼ cup, 63 mg
  • Cereal, shredded wheat: 2 large biscuits, 61 mg
  • Soymilk, plain or vanilla: 1 cup, 61 mg
  • Black beans, cooked: ½ cup, 60 mg
  • Edamame, shelled, cooked: ½ cup, 50 mg
  • Dark chocolate (60-69% cocoa): 1 oz, 50 mg
  • Peanut butter, smooth: 2 tablespoons, 49 mg
  • Whole wheat bread: 2 slices, 46 mg
  • Avocado, cubed: 1 cup, 44 mg
  • Baked potato with skin: 3.5 oz, 43 mg
  • Brown rice, cooked: ½ cup, 42 mg
  • Yogurt, plain, low-fat: 8 oz, 42 mg
  • Fortified breakfast cereals: 10% fortification, 40 mg
  • Instant oatmeal: 1 packet, 36 mg
  • Canned kidney beans: ½ cup, 35 mg
  • Banana: 1 medium, 32 mg
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: 1 tablespoon, 27 mg
  • Atlantic salmon, farmed: 3 oz, 26 mg
  • Milk: 1 cup, 24–27 mg
  • Cooked halibut: 3 oz, 24 mg
  • Raisins: ½ cup, 23 mg
  • Roasted chicken breast: 3 oz, 22 mg
  • Ground beef (90% lean): 3 oz, 20 mg
  • Cooked broccoli: ½ cup, 12 mg
  • White rice, cooked: ½ cup, 10 mg
  • Apple: 1 medium, 9 mg
  • Raw carrot: 1 medium, 7 mg


People with magnesium deficiency are often prescribed supplements to meet their daily needs. It is always advisable to consult a healthcare professional and undergo necessary tests to determine your body’s specific micronutrient requirements. Only take supplements if prescribed by your doctor, and adhere to the recommended dosage.


Magnesium plays various important roles in the body, ensuring proper functioning. Magnesium deficiency can lead to numerous health issues. Natural sources are the best choice for obtaining micronutrients, and I’ve listed foods rich in magnesium to help you meet your daily requirements. While supplements are available, they can have side effects, so always consult your doctor before starting any supplementation.

Similar Posts