Magnesium is vital for your body to function properly.
Recommended daily intake:
- From 1 to 3 years of age: 80 mg a day
- From 4 to 8 years: 130 mg a day
- from 9 to 13 years: 240 mg a day
From 14 years, the requirements are different for men and women.
- Males aged 14 to 18 years: 410 mg a day
- Males aged 19 years and over: 400 to 420 mg a day
- Females aged 14 to 18 years: 360 mg a day
- Females aged 19 years and over: 310 to 320 mg a day
- During pregnancy: 350 to 400 mg a day
- During breast feeding: 310 to 360 mg a day
The best sources of magnesium are nuts and seeds, dark green vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Magnesium is also added to some breakfast cereals and other fortified foods.
Here are some good sources of magnesium:
- Sunflower seeds, dry roasted, 1 cup: 512 mg
- Almonds, dry-roasted, 1 cup: 420 mg
- Sesame seeds, roasted whole, 1 ounce: 101 mg
- Spinach, boiled, 1 cup: 78 mg
- Cashews, dry-roasted, 1 ounce: 74 mg
- Shredded wheat cereal, two large biscuits: 61 mg
- Soymilk, plain, 1 cup: 61 mg
- Black beans, cooked, 1 cup: 120 mg
- Oatmeal, cooked, 1 cup: 58 mg
- Broccoli, cooked, 1 cup: 51 mg
- Edamame, shelled, cooked, 1 cup: 100 mg
- Peanut butter, smooth, 2 tablespoons: 49 mg
- Shrimp, raw, 4 ounces: 48 mg
- Black-eyed peas, cooked, 1 cup: 92 mg
- Brown rice, cooked, 1 cup: 84 mg
- Kidney beans, canned, 1 cup: 70 mg
- Cow’s milk, whole, 1 cup: 33 mg
- Banana, one medium: 33 mg
- Bread, whole-wheat, one slice: 23 mg
Magnesium is lost as wheat is refined, so it is best to choose cereals and bread products made with whole grains. Most common fruits, meat, and fish, are low in magnesium.
An overdose of magnesium through dietary sources is unlikely, because any excess magnesium that is consumed in food will be eliminated in the urine.
However, a high intake of magnesium from supplements can lead to gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea, nausea, and cramping.
Very large doses can cause kidney problems, low blood pressure, urine retention, nausea and vomiting, depression and lethargy, a loss of central nervous system control, cardiac arrest, and possibly death.
Anyone with a kidney disorder should not take magnesium supplements, unless their doctor advises it.
Magnesium supplementation may also give rise to some drug interactions.