Magnesium is one of the 7 macro minerals needed by our body. We’ve already talked about foods high in calcium, so today we’ll take a look at magnesium-rich foods.
Magnesium is essential for enzyme activity, for absorbing calcium and potassium, for bone formation, for nerve transmission, for regulating the acid-base balance of the body, and for metabolism of carbohydrates and minerals. Magnesium helps to form the enamel of our teeth and makes them more resistant to decay.
Magnesium deficiencies can result in many diseases and conditions, including hypertension, atherosclerotic vascular disease, fatigue and impaired brain functions.
As shown in the following table, that features the top 25 foods high in magnesium, magnesium is plentiful in whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes: whole wheat, whole oats, barley, rye, millet, buckwheat, quinoa, brazilnuts, almonds, poppy seeds, beans, lentils, chickpeas. It can also be found in good amounts in shitake mushrooms, swiss chard, spinach and beet greens.
It is important to note that foods like whole grains, beans and vegetable greens, although they contain high amounts of magnesium, also contain anti-nutrients (phytic acid, oxalic acid) that can inhibit magnesium absorption. It is therefore particularly important to cook vegetable greens, which inactivates oxalic acid, and to soak and/or ferment whole grains, which reduces phytic acid levels.
Foods like meat (beef, chicken) and fish broths contain less magnesium but it is actually absorbed better, because minerals are usually absorbed in ionic form.
In most Western countries, and in America in particular, as soils have become depleted by modern, intensive agriculture, the level of magnesium has decreased. Water also lacks minerals. This is why it is important to buy clean food, be it organic or anyway grown on mineral-soils that have not been depleted.