Magnesium is an important trace mineral required by the human body, for maintaining basic muscle and nerve function, and plays a role in brain biochemistry. Magnesium is also involved in production of an important antioxidant called glutathione which protects our cells from damage. Deficiency in magnesium is known to cause – neuromuscular and psychiatric symptoms, including different types of depression, anorexia – a kind of eating disorder, irritability and seizures.
Most of the magnesium is stored in our bones and muscles.
The required amount of magnesium per day is between 300 and 400 mg for adults.
- Green leafy vegetables including spinach, mustard, pudina, amaranth are great sources of magnesium. One cup of any of these greens on an average provides almost 50 % of the required daily amounts of magnesium. Cook up gravy with greens or chop some greens into your parantha, dosa or idli
- Whole grain cereals – Whole grains such as wheat, brown rice are storehouses of magnesium. This mineral is mostly found in the outer bran and germ, hence refined and polished cereals like white rice and processed wheat flour would not have any magnesium
- Millets– Millets such as ragi, foxtail, bajra are great in magnesium since they are used as staples in many parts of the world. A multimillet mixture can be used to make khichdi, parantha or dosa for a boost of magnesium
- Pulses like black beans, rajma, horsegram are also rich sources. One cup of cooked pulses including black beans, rajma and so on provide about 30 % of the required daily amounts of magnesium. Sprout them or make gravy, add them to salads, get creative on ways of adding whole pulses in your daily diet
- Seeds – Seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds are great sources of magnesium. Sprinkle some in your glass of lassi or yoghurt. Else blend them into porridge or kheer for a good dose of magnesium
- Almonds: One fourth cup of almonds adds exactly one fourth of day’s requirements of magnesium! If you love these tasty nuts, you can munch on them any time of the day. If you are one of those who are not exactly a fan of almonds, powder them and blend into a smoothie or sprinkle on salads or gravies
- Banana – One medium sized banana packs in about 35 mg of magnesium. Make this an in-between meal magnesium rich snack
- Dark chocolate- Good news for chocoholics! This is also a magnesium rich food, packing almost 24% of day’s needs in just one square of dark chocolate. Note that only the dark chocolate varieties that have 80 % or more of cocoa have such amounts of magnesium
- Quinoa – Half cup of these seeds provide 62 mg of magnesium. Quinoa is quite versatile and can be used in many Indian dishes such as pulao, porridge, upma and so on
- Fish: Fish is a good source of magnesium and provides around 25 % of the day’s requirements. Eat grilled or steamed fish at least twice a week to get a good dose of magnesium
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