Magnesium 101: A simple overview of a very important nutrient

Magnesium (Mg2+) may be one of the most underrated nutrients out there. This mineral plays such a significant role in literally hundreds of processes in your body, including energy production and hormone regulation... and crazy enough, a lot of people don't even come close to meeting their daily requirements. Below is a simple overview of this very, very essential nutrient.

Functions in your body

Magnesium plays a role in over 300 chemical reactions in your body. Some of these include:

  • protein formation

  • muscle movements

  • nervous system regulation

  • energy production

  • DNA synthesis

  • blood glucose control

  • blood pressure control

  • hormone regulation

  • management of calcium stores (bone health)

Those at risk of low levels

  • Those eating a highly processed diet

  • Those on a gluten free diet

  • Those with diabetes / insulin resistance

  • Those with chronic diarrhoea

  • Those with malabsorption

  • Those with vitamin D deficiency

  • Those who sweat a lot

  • Those with high stress

  • Those who are pregnant

  • Those who drink excess alcohol

  • Those on certain medications, including: some antibiotics, reflux/antacid meds, hypertensive drugs, and laxatives

Symptoms of low levels

  • Muscle cramps

  • Poor sleep

  • Fatigue

  • Low mood / depression

  • Nausea

  • Poor appetite

  • Headaches and migraines

  • High blood pressure

  • Heart arrhythmia

  • Low bone mineral density

Recommended requirements

Women = 310 - 320mg per day

Men = 410 - 420mg per day

Foods sources


  • pumpkin seeds = 150mg per 30g

  • sunflower seeds = 100mg per 30g

  • flaxseeds = 110mg per 30g


  • almonds = 80mg per 30g

  • cashews = 75mg per 30g

  • brazil nuts = 105mg per 30g


  • black beans = 120mg per cup

  • kidney beans = 70mg per cup

  • lentils = 70mg per cup


  • oats = 60mg per 30g

  • brown rice = 85mg per cup

  • quinoa = 120mg per cup

  • wholemeal spaghetti = 45mg per cup

  • wholemeal bread = 50mg per 2 slices


  • tempeh = 80mg per 100g

  • tofu = 50mg per 100g

  • dark chocolate = 65mg per 30g