Magnesium: Best Food Sources, Absorption, Deficiency, Types + Supplements

Magnesium: Best Food Sources, Absorption, Deficiency, Types + Supplements

Magnesium is an important mineral that has so many functions in the body, yet many people are not getting enough magnesium from their diet.

In this blog post, you will learn:

👉🏼 What is magnesium + what role does it play in the body?

👉🏼 What are the best food sources of magnesium?

👉🏼 How much magnesium should you consume each day?

👉🏼 What can help improve magnesium absorption – and which minerals decrease absorption?

👉🏼 Who is at risk of magnesium deficiency?

👉🏼 When should you consider magnesium supplementation?

👉🏼 What are the different types of magnesium supplements – and which one is right for you?


Are you worried about nutritional deficiencies? Are you looking to optimise your diet and transform your health? Head to Consultations to see how I can help you start your journey to the healthiest version of yourself today!


What is magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential mineral that is involved in over 600 cellular reactions in the body. It is a co-factor in over 300 enzyme reactions, which means it is needed for them to take place. Magnesium also plays a key role in supporting brain function, maintaining a healthy heartbeat, making DNA and allowing so many other processes to take place in the body.


What are the best food sources of magnesium?

The best food sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, as well as pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, almonds, cashews, avocado, and personal favourite, dark chocolate!

Top Tip: You can also absorb magnesium through the skin by adding some Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) to a bath. This is a great way to soothe sore muscles and aid recovery after exercise while winding down in the evening.

How much magnesium should we consume a day?

The UK recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium is 300mg for men and 270mg for woman.


How can we maximise magnesium absorption?

The amount of vitamin B6 in the body determines how much magnesium will be absorbed, so if you take a multivitamin containing B vitamins, or a B-vitamin complex, take this along-side eating your magnesium-rich foods to optimise absorption.

Taking zinc supplements and eating calcium-rich foods at the same time as magnesium-rich foods both reduce how much magnesium you absorb, so it’s a good idea to avoid having these at the same time.


Who Is At Risk of Magnesium Deficiency?

People following a restricted diet (low in vegetables and nuts) may not be getting enough magnesium in their diet, and low magnesium levels are more common in older adults, as magnesium absorption from the gut decreases with age.

Certain gastrointestinal conditions such as Crohn’s and coeliac disease have been associated with magnesium deficiency, and various medications may deplete magnesium or make it harder to absorb, including blood pressure medications, antibiotics or diuretics.


Should You Consider A Magnesium Supplement?

In theory, you can get all the magnesium you need from a healthy, balanced diet. However, so many of us don’t eat a balanced diet – at least not consistently, day in, day out – and many of us are not meeting our daily requirements for magnesium. If any of the above applies to you, it might be worth considering a magnesium supplement. But before you do, make sure you know what to look out for…


What Should You Look For In A Magnesium Supplement?

There are many different forms of magnesium, which all have different effects – so you will need choose the type that is most appropriate to your own unique nutritional needs. For example:

  • magnesium glycinate may be helpful for sleep and anxiety
  • magnesium threonate may support brain function
  • magnesium malate may help support energy levels
  • magnesium citrate can have a slight laxative effect, so may be helpful for constipation.

Note: It is important to note that magnesium can interact with common medications, so always speak to a healthcare professional before taking supplements.


Everyone’s nutritional requirements will be different, which is why I take a personalised approach with all of my 1:1 clients and tailor each nutrition plan (and supplement recommendation) to their unique needs and goals.


This is just a small insight into the types of things I discuss with my 1:1 clients. If you’re looking to optimise your nutrition, transform your health and elevate your quality of life, please get in contact via Consultations or book a FREE 15-minute call and let’s chat about how I can help. 


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