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How much magnesium do you need each day?


The recommended daily allowance is 310–320 mg per day for women and 400–420 mg per day for men.For pregnant women, the requirements are increased to 350–360 mg per day. Certain diseases and conditions are associated with magnesium deficiency, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and alcoholism. 

Despite its importance, most of us don't get enough magnesium in our diets. Why..a combination of low dietary intake coupled with over-farmed soil, mineral free water, sleep deprivation, constant stress, consumption of alcohol and caffeine and loss of magnesium through sweat. 


What are the best food sources? 


The following foods are good sources of magnesium:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Spinach, boiled
  • Swiss chard, boiled
  • Dark chocolate (70–85% cocoa)
  • Black beans
  • Quinoa, cooked
  • Halibut
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Avocado
  • Salmon


Getting enough magnesium is essential for maintaining good health. Without enough of this important mineral, your body can’t function optimally. Magnesium affects how every part of your body functions. It works with over 300 enzyme systems to catalyze biochemical reactions and is a necessary nutrient to enable your body to perform at its best.


What are the signs of a magnesium deficiency? 


Magnesium deficiency can be hard to diagnose, but if you suffer chronically from two or more of these symptoms, it's a clue that you may be deficient. 

  • Fatigue: Magnesium is required for the production of energy. If the body has inadequate access to magnesium, then energy production suffers, leaving you prone to fatigue.
  • Chronic inflammation: Magnesium plays a key role in managing the body's normal inflammatory response. 
  • Restless leg syndrome and leg cramps: Evidence suggests that low magnesium levels can cause restless leg syndrome (RLS)
  • Stress and mood swings: Magnesium is important for the regulation of the "feel-good" neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin as well as the stress response. Low magnesium results in lower serotonin levels which can lead to mood swings and depression.
  • Migraines and headaches: Magnesium can be a effective in the management of migraines. Normal magnesium level helps maintain the function of brain neurons.
  • Irregular heartbeat or rhythm: Magnesium is a mineral and electrolyte that the body requires to maintain heart health. Heart flutters, elevated or slow heart rate, and a "racing" heartbeat are all signs of a possible magnesium deficiency.

What tests determine magnesium deficiency?


Testing for magnesium deficiency presents a challenge since up to 99% of magnesium resides within your cells and tissue with only about 1% found in the blood.  There are several lab tests you can discuss with your doctor 

  • A serum magnesium blood test can be obtained with a blood draw 
  • Urinary magnesium excretion testing is performed urine collection over the period of a day.

These tests can be a poor indicator since magnesium levels are difficult to accurately measure. The best bet is if you think you may be deficient, supplement your daily routine with magnesium and see if your symptoms improve.

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