Make Room for Magnesium

dietary-magnesium-sourcesThis week we will explore some foods that help promote relaxation, act as a natural sedative and may help you sleep better.  Magnesium is a critical factor for sleep & relaxation and the best way to get magnesium is through your food.  So, in today’s blog, I will list some foods that are particularly high in magnesium.  My challenge for you is to try and consume a few of these foods everyday!

What is magnesium?

Magnesium is usually referred to as a “macro mineral,” which means that our food must provide us with hundreds of milligrams of magnesium every day.

Inside our bodies, magnesium is found mostly in our bones (60-65%), but also in our muscles (25%), and in other cell types and body fluids. Like all minerals, magnesium cannot be made in our body and must therefore be plentiful in our diet in order for us to remain healthy.

Magnesium is sometimes regarded as a “smoothie” mineral, since it has the ability to relax our muscles. Our nerves also depend upon magnesium to avoid becoming overexcited, and this aspect of magnesium links this mineral to maintenance of healthy blood pressure.

Here are some of my favorite magnesium-rich foods:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Soybeans
  • Sesame seeds
  • Halibut
  • Black beans
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cashews
  • Almonds

How to use some of these foods: 

  • Make a black bean stir fry with swiss chard & spinach and sprinkle sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds on top.
  • Enjoy almond or cashew butter on your morning whole grain toast.
  • Snack on almonds, cashews, pumpkin & sunflower seeds (but keep the snacking to 1-3 tbsp. a day).
  • Enjoy a piece of halibut for dinner and a side of cooked soybeans & sprinkle with sesame seeds.