Magnesium: Why You Need it & How to Get More of it

Magnesium: Why You Need it & How to Get More of it

The Role of Magnesium

Magnesium (Mg) is the second most abundant mineral found in our bodies (most abundant in bone and muscle). It is also one that people who suffer from chronic pain should take special note of. This key nutrient plays an important role in many of the body’s key functions, including:

  • muscle contraction and relaxation
  • energy balance
  • sending neuro-electrical signals to and from the muscles
  • learning and memory
  • energy production
  • regulating calcium levels (as well as those of copper, zinc, potassium and vitamin D)
  • heart, muscles and kidney function
  • bone and teeth health


Effects of Low Mg Levels

Low levels of this crucial mineral have even been tied to a long list of chronic conditions, including Alzheimer’s, diabetes and heart disease. Symptoms of poor magnesium intake can include muscle cramps, facial tics, poor sleep, chronic pain and inflammation. Ask your Primary Care Physician to run a blood test if you think you may have low magnesium.

How Much Mg Do You Need?

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) includes magnesium you get from both the food you eat and any supplements you take.

  • Women aged 19 years or older: 310 milligrams per day
  • Men aged 19 years or older: 400 milligrams per day


Add More Mg Into Your Diet

Unfortunately, it’s possible to have a magnesium deficiency even with a healthy diet. Therefore, it’s important to ensure you’re eating enough magnesium-rich foods to maintain optimal health. Be aware that diets high in refined foods are void of a lot of essential nutrients including magnesium. Remember it’s important to get a VARIETY of food and a VARIETY of colors on your plate.

Need to increase your magnesium intake? Try adding some of the following magnesium-rich foods to your diet:

  • Spinach, cooked — 1 cup: 157 milligrams (39 percent DV)
  • Swiss chard, cooked — 1 cup: 150 milligrams (38 percent DV)
  • Dark Chocolate — 1 square: 95 milligrams (24 percent DV)
  • Pumpkin seeds, dried — 1/8 cup: 92 milligrams (23 percent DV)
  • Almonds — 1 ounce: 75 milligrams (19 percent DV)
  • Black beans — 1/2 cup: 60 milligrams (15 percent DV)
  • Avocado — 1 medium: 58 milligrams (15 percent DV)
  • Figs, dried — 1/2 cup: 50 miligrams (13 percent DV)
  • Yogurt or kefir — 1 cup: 46.5 milligrams (12 percent DV)
  • Banana — 1 medium: 32 milligrams (8 percent DV)


For a flavorful meal packed with magnesium, check out this month’s recipe for Everything but the Kitchen Sink Soup.

REMEMBER: Nutrients from foods are usually better absorbed than nutrients from supplements. Although, if your doctor instructs you to take a certain supplement always follow their advice until instructed otherwise. 


The Pain Management Group_AdvancedHEALTHFor more information on The Pain Management Group, please visit or schedule an appointment at one of our locations throughout Middle Tennessee.

We are committed to providing individualized care and vow to treat each patient with compassion and respect, never turning anyone away. Our physicians are fellowship-trained pain specialists who utilize a combination of interventional procedures and medication management services to tailor a personalized care plan for each patient’s long-term pain relief.