Magnesium is a mineral needed by every cell of your body. About half of your body’s magnesium stores are found inside cells of body tissues and organs, and half are combined with calcium and phosphorus in bone. Only one percent of the magnesium in your body is found in blood. Your body works very hard to keep blood levels of it constant.
Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, and bones strong. It is also involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.
Good sources of magnesium
• Soy products, such as soy flour and tofu
• Legumes and seeds
• Nuts (such as almonds and cashews)
• Whole grains (such as brown rice and millet)
• Fruits or vegetables (such as bananas, dried apricots, and avocados)
Although magnesium is present in many foods, it usually occurs in small amounts. As with most nutrients, daily needs for magnesium cannot be met from a single food. Eating a wide variety of foods, including five servings of fruits and vegetables daily and plenty of whole grains, helps to ensure an adequate intake of magnesium.
The magnesium content of refined foods is usually low. Whole-wheat bread, for example, has twice as much magnesium as white bread because the magnesium-rich germ and bran are removed when white flour is processed. The table of food sources of magnesium suggests many dietary sources of magnesium.
Water can provide magnesium, but the amount varies according to the water supply. “Hard” water contains more magnesium than “soft” water. Dietary surveys do not estimate magnesium intake from water, which may lead to underestimating total magnesium intake and its variability.
HOW TO PREPARE FOODS TO RETAIN MAGNESIUM
Magnesium is lost in cooking some foods even under the best conditions. To retain magnesium cook foods in a minimal amount of water. .Cook for the shortest possible time.
1-3 years old: 80
4-8 years old: 130
9-13 years old: 240
4-18 years old (boys): 410
14-18 years old (girls): 360
Adult females: 310
Breastfeeding women: 320-360
Adult males: 400[/code]
source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Magnesium plays an important role in maintaining the integrity of the myocardium, kidneys, and bone. Its deficiency has been shown to cause cardiomyopathy in several animal species, and to intensify myocardial lesions caused by a variety of modalities. Its deficiency has caused arteriosclerosis and has intensified formation of atheromata, or arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and even myocardial infarction, induced by atherogenic diets, high intakes of vitamin D, calcium, phosphate, and fat. Its deficiency has caused renal lesions and intensified damage produced by vitamin D, calcium, and phosphate. And its deficiency has been implicated in some forms of bone damage. Magnesium supplementation has prevented or reversed some of the lesions in the experimental models and been used clinically in cardiovascular disease and urolithiasis.