Magnesium, heard of it but unsure why it is important? It plays a big role in a lot of different processes within the body & is the 4th most abundant mineral in the body.
Magnesium is a truly multipurpose mineral. THINK: energy creation (conversion of food to energy); protein formation (creation of new proteins from amino acids); gene maintenance (create & repair DNA & RNA); muscle movements (helps with contraction & relaxation of muscles): & nervous system regulation (regulates neurotransmitters which send messages between your brain & nervous system). Plus of course, many more.
OK, given that it is involved in so many processes it isn’t surprising it is amongst the bodies go-to’s. There are numerous symptoms of magnesium deficiency, some of the common symptoms are listed below, (but again, there are many more).
👉 Leg cramps & muscle pain 👉 Insomnia 👉 Anxiety 👉 High blood pressure
👉 Fatigue 👉 Migraines & headaches 👉 Irritability
Good news though – magnesium is easy to get from a big variety of food sources. Here is a top 10 list of magnesium rich foods & of course, I’ve popped in some ideas on how to include them in your diet.
# 1 Dark Green Leafys
Honestly, dark green leafys are rich in a variety of vitamins & minerals, so there are a heap of health benefits to be had.
👉 Where can I get it? (Examples per 100g serving)
Kale 33mg / Spinach 74mg / Swiss chard 81mg
How do I get that into my diet? Try some of these:
💡 Try a salad. Mix in some rocket, baby spinach, watercress & romaine lettuce.
💡 Sauté them with olive oil, garlic & season with salt & pepper or a squeeze of lemon. Try it with bok choy, baby spinach, or Swiss chard; it’s an easy add to pastas, frittatas or with meatballs.
💡 Add a handful to your soup in the last few minutes. A large handful wilts down quickly, try with kale, baby spinach, or Swiss chard.
💡 Make it a wrap using the leaves. Butter lettuce is a great option for this. Fill with hummus, grated carrot, chopped cucumber, tomatoes & some feta, then roll it up like a burrito.
Are a great choice! These are an easy add into your diet with loads of choices.
👉 Are they all the same? (Examples per 100g serving)
Brazil nuts 350mg / Cashews 250mg / Peanuts 160mg / Walnuts 150mg / Hazelnuts 160mg.
Special shoutout to almonds at 260mg although technically not a nut but the seed of the almond fruit.
Here are some ideas on how to get them in your diet?
💡 Sprinkle chopped nuts on your yoghurt, soup or salad.
💡 Make your own trail mix with all your favourites. THINK: dry roasted almonds & pecans, pumpkin seeds, some sulphur free dried apricots, some popcorn or dark chocolate, with a sprinkle of cinnamon &/or sea salt.
💡 Toast them & add to your vegies.
💡 Nut butter & apple slices…delish!
👉 Hmm, which seeds? (Examples per 100g serving)
Pumpkin seeds 535mg / Flax seeds 392mg / Sesame seeds 340mg / Chia seeds 335mg
💡 Make a chia pudding or add to your smoothies BONUS chia seeds are also high in omega 3s.
💡 Grind some flax seeds & add to a salad dressing. THINK: water, lemon juice, garlic, flax seed meal & lots of fresh basil.
💡 Add seeds into your crumb mix for a yummy seedy herbed crust on your fish. I crumble some Ryvita, add garlic, seeds & fresh herbs, sometimes a little mustard…. delish!
💡 Roast some pumpkin seeds (200C oven for approx. 10minutes, just toss in some oil & your favourite spices). Use as a salad or soup topper, mix in with nuts or popcorn.
💡 Make your own dukkha to sprinkle over your roast vege.
#4 Whole grains
There are a lot of easy substitutes in the supermarket these days which make it easy to add whole grains into your everyday.
👉 What grains do I mean? (Examples per 100g serving)
Buckwheat 221mg / Bulgur 33mg / Wild rice 32mg / Whole oats 24mg
There are a lot of ways to get whole grains into your diet, here are just a few ideas:
💡 Swap in whole grain substitutes in the pantry. THINK: flour, pasta or cereals.
💡 Stuff a capsicum, tomato or zucchini boat with wild rice & other sauteed vegetables (pumpkins, onion & garlic are a great combo).
💡 Porridge or overnight oats for breakfast with some fresh fruit.
A great source of magnesium & loaded with plenty of other goodies too! Avocados are high in monounsaturated oleic acid, a heart healthy fat. Plus, they are also high in fibre making them great for digestive health & regularity.
👉 Example per 100g serving
Honestly, I think these are delish by themselves, but if you need some more ideas:
💡 Add into your garden salad … easy peasey
💡 On toast with some fetta & tomato
💡 Make up a guac & dip into it with fresh vegies
💡 Add into your smoothie
💡 A sneaky addition in desserts, try it in chocolate cakes, brownies, or even a mousse. It mixes well with dark chocolate.
#6 Dark chocolate
You need to aim for 70% cocoa content or higher (just remember to keep your serving size small as it still contains sugar & fats). Dark chocolate also contains flavanols, which are antioxidants that help the brain, improve blood flow & lower inflammation.
👉 Per 100g serving
Dark chocolate up to 120mg / Raw cacao 507mg
OK, honestly, I didn’t think you needed any ideas for this one!
These are better known for their potassium levels, but they are also great for magnesium & fibre. Bananas are an ideal pick me up when you are feeling sluggish in the afternoon PLUS they are super portable! Winning.
👉 Per 100g serving
There is a lot to love about bananas & they are an easy add in, try some of these ideas.
💡 Add as a yoghurt or brekky cereal topper … delish!
💡 Great in smoothies. In a blender add banana, milk, yoghurt & ice, pour into a glass & sprinkle with nutmeg.
💡 Make your own “nice cream”. Freeze banana chunks, then blitz until smooth, add in extra flavours (THINK: berries, vanilla, cacao powder, even a swirl of nut butter), this will give you a soft serve texture.
💡 Bananas are also a great substitute for sugar in baking THINK: cakes, muffins & biscuits.
Oily fish is known for being rich in omega 3 fatty acids, but did you know it is also great for magnesium? It is also a great lean protein, rich in vitamin A & D. Try & include fish a couple of times a week.
👉 Fish options (Examples per 100g serving)
Tuna 50mg / Salmon 25mg / Trout 30mg / Mackerel 60mg / Herring 30mg / Sardines 39mg
Special mention for some shellfish too!
Prawns 51mg / Crab 25mg
Some inspo to get it into your diet.
💡 Make a Niçoise salad, using mackerel or tuna.
💡 Add salmon to your pasta. Try linguine, lemon, dill, red onion & chunks of salmon.
💡 Fire up the BBQ & grill some fish or prawns, maybe try some kebabs.
💡 Plenty of cultures feature fish or seafood in their recipes THINK: Spanish paella, Japanese sushi, an Indian Goan fish curry or Vietnamese fish hot pot. Google up some recipe inspo with your favourite flavours!
A lot of us grew up with baked beans for brekky or three bean mixes as a BBQ salad staple; & that was our only bean exposure. Whether you opt for dry or tinned, have a think about the styles of eating you like. Love those South American & Mexican flavours, kidney beans are great; more a fan of Middle Eastern recipes, then chickpeas are an easy add; or are you more a Mediterranean inspired person, then butter beans or cannellini beans hold lots of options.
👉 Where can I get it (Examples per 100g serving)
Soybeans 230mg / Lentils 82mg / Chickpeas 27mg / Kidney beans 140mg / Split peas 85mg
Need more ideas?
💡 Add to soups or stews. Our pumpkin soup will often have red lentils or butter beans blitzed into it.
💡 Use pureed beans as a dip base. Try a white bean puree or make a hummus with chickpeas
💡 Try beans in your salad. Kidney beans in a Greek salad or Mexican salsa are great!
Tofu is made from condensed soy milk that is pressed into solid blocks. The process is pretty similar to cheesemaking. Whilst tofu is magnesium rich, it is also a good source of calcium, phosphorous, B vitamins & iron. Often seen as a vegetarian choice BUT it has traditionally been used in a lot of Asian dishes for centuries.
👉 Example per 100g serving
Need some inspo?
💡 Marinate slices, tofu has no distinct taste, but it soaks up flavours well. Try it baked or grilled.
💡 Silken tofu will add creaminess, so blend into salad dressings or creamy sauces, even puddings.
💡 Add it to a stir fry or a curry.
There are many more foods which also contain magnesium, but these are easily accessible at supermarkets & Farmer’s markers, plus they offer good amounts of magnesium. Make sure you are getting some at every meal, it is an easy inclusion & your body will love it.
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