Incorporating Magnesium Into Your Diet With Food & Supplementation
In this article, I’ll explore options for increasing magnesium in your diet, and I will give some suggestions about which magnesium supplements you might use. Please keep in mind that these articles are touchstones for your own research, and as always, you are welcome to come into my pharmacy where we are happy to help guide you.
Eating for Optimum Magnesium Intake
A raw salad a day—or even twice a day—is a great way to increase your magnesium intake. There are two things to consider when creating your magnesium-rich grocery list. First, the darker the color, the better. Second, foods always contain more vital nutrients when consumed raw. If eating raw vegetables isn’t appetizing to you, that’s okay. Blanching, steaming, or baking until they are crisp-tender works well. However, overcooking your vegetables can reduce their nutrient value. Nuts and seeds are another good natural source of magnesium. I like them raw. I prefer the natural flavor over some of the “added flavors” that are on the market. Some of these additions aren’t healthy, so my rule of thumb is “simple is best.” Again, this may not be something that appeals to you; nuts and seeds lightly roasted and/or lightly salted are okay in moderation.
Legumes and lentils are another food source for excellent magnesium. Black beans in particular are touted as having the highest value of magnesium in the legume family. Truly, if you want the highest vitamin and mineral value from your food, you have to eat more whole foods, preferably at every meal. Eating processed foods and beverages, even if they advertise “value added” minerals or vitamins, is not the same as consuming it in its natural state. That being said, I know that in today’s world, unless you have a personal chef and your meals are prepared for you, it can be difficult to eat this way. Hence, the reason supplementation is important.
Magnesium to the Rescue; Part Two
Eating processed foods and beverages, even if they advertise “value added” minerals or vitamins, is not the same as consuming it in its natural state.
Magnesium Products: Tablets, Capsules, and Topical Applications
Supplementing magnesium through tablets or capsules is a good way of getting magnesium.They are easy to add to your daily vitamin routine, and you could even keep some in your desk drawer, purse, or briefcase. Be sure to check your multivitamin ingredients for the magnesium content, and supplement according to the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
Adult men over the age of nineteen should take between 400 and 420 milligrams daily. Adult women over the age of nineteen should take between 400 and 420 milligrams daily.
While there are many different forms of magnesium on the market, I want you to be aware of and consider some important points before you make a purchase. Not all manufacturers make a quality product. You’ve probably noticed that some supplement labels have a long string of ingredients and others have just a few. When purchasing supplements, stick with the “less is more” approach. As a provider of vitamins and minerals, I only stock manufacturers with proven reputations who put quality over quantity. Supplements can be loaded with cheap fillers, additives, colors, flavorings, and oils. All of these additives can decrease absorption, and you may have to take a larger dose in order to reach the RDA. With a quality supplement, your dosage may be smaller, and your body won’t have to filter through and clear out foreign ingredients.
There are approximately sixteen types of magnesium on the market: magnesium citrate, magnesium glycinate, magnesium malate, and the list goes on. Each form has a function in your body. So which one do you try? I highly recommend a magnesium supplement called Reacted Magnesium. It contains three types of bioavailable forms of magnesium. There are many reasons I prefer this product over single source products, but for the sake of this overview, think of it as a product that covers your bases, especially if you aren’t able to eat a whole food diet every day, if you’re under a lot of stress, or if you’re recovering from an illness or injury.
Some magnesium supplements also have other minerals and vitamins within them, like zinc, calcium, and B6. These supplements are typically made with only one form of magnesium. I am an advocate for supplements that contain both magnesium and calcium. Magnesium, calcium, and D3 are a great option! These are the terrific triplets of immune, cardiovascular, cognitive, and bone health support.
Again, it is important to read the dosage amount for any vitamin and mineral supplement so that you know how to adjust your daily intake accordingly, especially if you’re already taking multivitamins.
When should you take your magnesium supplements? You should consume your supplement(s) with food. It doesn’t have to be a large meal, but adding a little something to your stomach helps the magnesium digest. As far as time of day, that will be up to you and your lifestyle. I have patients who like to supplement night before bed for the relaxation properties of magnesium and some that supplement during the day when the stressors are at their highest. You might like to split a daily supplementation into two doses a day. You don’t have to supplement all at once. If you’re someone who uses supplements daily or is on medication, I recommend allowing time between supplementations, optimally twenty to thirty minutes, so your body has a chance to process one thing at a time.
Magnesium sprays and lotions, which primarily consist of magnesium chloride salts, are a beneficial topical treatment for restless legs and for achy muscles and joints. Will using a topical magnesium count toward your RDA? Yes. However, a typical supplement dose, approximately four sprays, may only garner sixty-six milligrams of magnesium. There are other liquid and solid magnesium products available for adding to foot baths or bathtubs. If you’re someone who experiences foot pain from neuropathy or swelling from being on your feet all day, you might benefit from these products. Epsom salt, which is magnesium sulfate, is a time honored remedy for drawing out toxins and relieving pain and swelling.
Should you take magnesium every day?
The answer is yes, and it can also be used periodically if you’re undergoing a stressful time in your life. If you are under the care of a medical doctor, please consult with your provider before using any type of vitamin or mineral supplement.
Common signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include:
Restless legs, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, constipation, bones and muscle pain, menstrual cramping, dehydration, trouble with thinking, reasoning, and mood.
To learn more about magnesium deficiency, click the link below: