Magnesium is magnificent! It’s essential for good health, and most people are probably not getting enough of it. Magnesium is said to be required for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Magnesium contributes to good sleep, healthy blood pressure, proper nerve activity, working with calcium for strong bones and teeth, and a sense of well-being, among many other benefits, including lower risk of stroke and improved memory.
Unlike some nutrients, such as zinc, it’s unlikely that you’ll get enough magnesium daily from just one or two sources. Many foods are good sources of magnesium, and you’ll need to include some of those foods in each meal throughout the day in order to total the right amount of this important mineral in your diet.
Because bran is rich in magnesium, whole, unrefined grains are an important part of healthy eating. That’s one reason it’s important to eat wheat products, such as bread or pasta, that are made with whole grain, not refined, white flour. Other whole grains for this necessary nutrient include millet, brown rice, black rice, oatmeal, and hulled barley.
Leafy green vegetables contain dietary magnesium because that element is part of the chlorophyll in those plants. So besides the other benefits of eating leafy greens, their contribution to the day’s intake of magnesium is a big part of why they’re so good for us. Spinach and Swiss chard are especially good for this particular nutrient.
Certain seeds, nuts, and legumes are also important foods for magnesium. Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, black beans, almonds, Brazil nuts, and sunflower seeds all make generous contributions to the daily collection of this mineral.
So you see, it’s an all day kind of thing. Eating good, simple, whole foods that don’t cost a lot can provide you with complete nutrition. In the case of magnesium, it’s a matter of eating right all day so it all adds up to what’s right for you. For instance, eating some oatmeal with sunflower seeds and a glass of milk in the morning, another glass of milk with a falafel sandwich between a couple of slices of whole wheat bread at lunch, and a dinner of brown rice and black beans, plus collard greens or kale, with a snack of mixed nuts — that all adds up to more than enough magnesium for a day.
Eat a variety of all these kinds of food every day, and you’ll be eating far healthier than most people do, and you can still be spending a lot less money than people who are spending so much money on refined convenience foods.