According to the UK government, the recommended daily allowance of magnesium for adults is 300 mg a day for men and 270 mg for women – yet because people over the age of 55 tend to find magnesium more difficult to absorb, older adults may sometimes require more. You should always talk to your doctor if you think you might be deficient in magnesium.
The easiest and best way to ensure you’re getting enough magnesium is to make some dietary changes – and the good news is that magnesium is present in a lot of common, healthy foods.
Generally speaking, people who want to get more magnesium through their diet should incorporate more high-fibre foods like cereal and whole grains, as well dark leafy greens. Some of the foods that are highest in magnesium include:
Pumpkin seeds: 46% of the RDI in a quarter cup (16 grams)Spinach (boiled): 39% of the RDI in a cup (180 grams)Swiss chard (boiled): 38% of the RDI in a cup (175 grams)Dark chocolate (70–85% cocoa): 33% of the RDI in 3.5 ounces (100 grams)Black beans: 30% of the RDI in a cup (172 grams)Quinoa, cooked: 33% of the RDI in a cup (185 grams)Almonds: 25% of the RDI in a quarter cup (24 grams)Cashews: 25% of the RDI in a quarter cup (30 grams)Mackerel: 19% of the RDI in 3.5 ounces (100 grams)Avocado: 15% of the RDI in one medium avocado (200 grams)Soya milk: 15% of the RDI in a cup (175 grams)
Because nutrients work better when they’re combined with other nutrients, it’s always best to obtain vitamins and minerals through your diet than through supplements.
However, if you’re concerned about your low magnesium levels, or you suffer from any health conditions that might reduce your ability to absorb magnesium (or increase the likelihood of you excreting it), then you might want to talk to your doctor about taking a supplement.
Forms of supplementation include magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate, magnesium glycinate, magnesium orotate, magnesium carbonate, and magnesium lactate. While magnesium oxide is found in many of the most popular supplements on the market, it’s also the hardest for the body to absorb. Magnesium lactate is twice as easy for our bodies to absorb as magnesium oxide, which means that you need to take less to achieve the same results.
However, the right supplement for each person can vary, so be sure to speak to a health practitioner before deciding to take magnesium supplements. You can buy magnesium supplements on Amazon or at Holland & Barrett.
It’s worth noting that taking high levels of magnesium (more than 350mg daily) in supplement form can also be harmful. This is because it can build up in the body and cause side effects such as irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, slowed breathing, and confusion. So, if you do take a magnesium supplement, it’s important to follow the Government guidelines, or the advice set out by your doctor.