I keep reading about foods that are high in magnesium, and I nod my head and I think "Great." Today, when nodding my head I finally asked myself if I knew why this mineral is important to health and I realized I was clueless. So, I did a little research and here's what I found.

  • Magnesium is in our bones!!!! Approximately 50% of total body magnesium is found in bones. The rest is found in cells of body tissue and organs.
  • Our bodies cannot produce magnesium so it is important to eat a diet rich in the mineral. The recommended daily intake (RDI) of magnesium is 300 to 320 milligrams for pre-menopausal adult women. If you are under 18 years the RDI is higher - 360 milligrams. Chard and spinach are both excellent sources of magnesium. A cup of each has a little over 35% of your RDI. Tofu is a great source as well - containing 130 milligams per 120 grams.
  • Magesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system.
  • This mineral helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.
  • There is a complex and not completely understood relationship between the mineral calcium and magnesium. So it is important to eat a diet rich in both.
  • It is believed that magnesium plays a role in preventing and managing disorders such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Dietary magnesium is absorbed in the small intestines.

If you are experiencing muscles cramps, you could make sure you are getting enough magnesium since a deficiency in the mineral can lead to cramping. In fact magnesium is required for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. I'd say that is why it is considered an essential mineral.