Magnesium – are you getting enough?

Magnesium is a mineral essential for over 300 enzymatic systems in the body, many of which relate to brain and nervous system function. Inadequate intake of magnesium is linked to cardiovascular disease, metabolic diseases, skeletal disorders and neurological abnormalities.

Magnesium and mental wellbeing

Magnesium comes up a lot when talking about muscle cramp relief, exercise recovery and sleep. However, magnesium is also a very beneficial mineral when it comes to supporting your body to adapt to stress and promoting mental wellbeing.

Magnesium has been shown to help reduce the release of hormones, which lead to over activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which plays a role in our stress response. Over activation of this axis is associated with increased stress and lower stress tolerance, which can lead to poor mental health such as increased anxiety and low mood.

Magnesium is also an important co-factor necessary to help synthesise neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, a deficiency in either of these can lead to symptoms of depression, nervousness, inability to concentrate and anxiety.

While magnesium is beneficial for stress, being in a state of prolonged stress can lead to depletion of magnesium.

How much magnesium do we need?

The Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand state that the recommended dietary intake for adults is:

19-30 years: 400mg/day
31+ years: 420mg/day

19-30 years: 310mg/day
31+ years: 320mg/day

Food sources of Magnesium

Look at the list I have prepared below – are you consuming enough magnesium?

100g cocoa = 510mg
100g chia seeds = 335mg
100g sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds = 425mg
100g almonds = 260mg
100g cashews = 250mg
100g uncooked oats = 100mg
100g dried figs = 73mg
100g firm tofu = 78mg
100g raw spinach = 68mg
100g cooked quinoa = 56mg
100g cooked black beans = 49mg
100g boiled brown rice = 49mg
100g green or brown cooked lentils = 31mg
100g cooked red kidney bean = 30mg
1 medium banana = 30mg
100g cooked chickpeas = 27mg
100g raw rocket = 23mg
100g cooked salmon = 34mg
100g cooked chicken breast = 27mg
100g cooked beef = 26mg
100g natural yoghurt = 17mg
1 boiled egg = 5mg

Try this Magnesium rich Chocolate Banana Smoothie for a delicious magnesium boost

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

1 cup soy milk
1 medium banana
20g avocado
10g baby spinach leaves
20g cocoa/cacao
20g chia seeds
honey to sweeten
ice, optional


Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

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