Magnesium: Tne Magic Mineral

Magnesium is like the PTO president in your body… active behind the scenes in so many functions that almost nothing can get done without it.  In fact, magnesium is involved in over 300 reactions in the body and is an especially important mineral for women’s health. Yet, up to 80% of us are likely not getting enough magnesium despite the fact that it is abundant in many delicious plant-based foods.

Why is magnesium so essential?

To enable our body to do what it does best, we need an adequate supply of magnesium. There are so many important functions but here are just a few:

  • Magnesium is critical for bone health working alongside calcium to support bone density – a big issue for so many women as we age.
  • The magic mineral is essential for preventing and/or managing metabolic syndrome and symptoms of diabetes effectively lowering fasting glucose levels, high blood pressure and triglyceride levels in one study after only four months.
  • Magnesium relaxes the body and nerves from tightness, tension, cramps and stiffness which is one reason it can help prevent migraines, PMS and high blood pressure.
  • Magnesium deficiency is also associated with depression due to its role in activating key brain chemical receptors.
  • Magnesium directs the energy production process which when on the fritz can contribute to fatigue.

How can we get enough magnesium?

Magnesium can be found in many of our favorite foods, including sea vegetables, nuts, beans, grains and leafy greens. Adding one to three servings of the foods below can boost your magnesium significantly.

Top magnesium sources include:

  • Pumpkin Seeds (1/4 cup) 191 mg
  • Spinach (1 cup) 157 mg   
  • Swiss Chard  (1 cup ) 150 mg
  • Beet Greens (1 cup ) 98 mg
  • Soybeans (1 cup) 148 mg
  • Sesame Seeds (1/4 cup)   127 mg         
  • Black Beans  (1 cup) 120 mg
  • Quinoa (3/4 cup)    118 mg
  • Cashews (1/4 cup) 116 mg
  • Sunflower seeds (1/4 cup) 114 mg       

The RDA for magnesium is 320 mg for women over 30 and 400 mg for men over 30 but could be more depending on weight and lifestyle. For example, alcohol use, high calcium intake and birth control pills all reduce absorption of magnesium.

To really supercharge your magnesium intake, make yourself a batch of my nourishing mineral broth which provides 343 mg magnesium per cup! 

There are other non-food ways to increase your magnesium intake. My favorite ways are a lavender-infused Epsom salt bath which helps to relax as well as provide a healthy dose of magnesium and enjoying Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil which can be rubbed in before bedtime.

Additional References:

  • Brogan, Kelly, MD. “Why Women Need to Get Enough Magnesium,” retrieved from:
  • Murray, Michael. ND. 2005. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York: Atria Books.

Amy Jackson Rind

Amy Rind works with busy women to reclaim their lives from the health burdens of stress, aging and fatigue. With practical, real food changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can truly begin to nourish your mind, body and spirit. Journey into healing by identifying your unique nutrition needs that will help you and your family feel better, think better and create the life you were meant to live.

Amy earned her 700-hour nutrition consultant certification with honors from Bauman College. She also holds a B.A. in Psychology from the College of the Holy Cross.