Magnesium is an often-overlooked mineral in our diets, as we focus the most on iron and calcium content of our foods usually. But just because its ignored, does not mean it doesn’t play several important functions in our body. (In fact, it supports over 300 processes in the body). Read on to find out why its possible you may have low magnesium, why it matters and how to fix it.

The recommended daily amount of magnesium for adults is 300-400 mg but it is highly likely most adults get far less than this. This is due to magnesium levels being low in food. Magnesium levels are depleted in farming soils worldwide, probably due to modern farming practices, resulting in lower levels in our food. Add to this, the low bioavailability of plant-based magnesium and our modern, processed food laden diets and it means, we are probably getting less magnesium through our food than our ancestors did, and that’s not a good thing.

Benefits of good Magnesium levels-

Magnesium plays so many roles in your body, that’s its present in every cell. It is involved with our glucose regulating mechanisms, brain, muscles, nervous system and gene function and repair.

Magnesium has been shown to:

  • Control the effects of ageing by decreasing oxidative/free radical damage in our bodies (source)
  • Reduce chronic / silent inflammation (source)
  • Maintain bone strength and increase calcium absorption in the body (source) which lowers the risk of bone osteoporosis
  • Maintain exercise stamina and fight muscle fatigue (source)
  • Regulate mood and fight depression (source)
  • Reduce probability of getting type 2 diabetes (source) and improve insulin resistance (source)
  • Reduce probability of coronary artery calcification and thus improve heart health (source)
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure (source)

Magnesium has been shown to have a mild blood pressure reducing effect in hypertensive people


With so many important functions in the body, the low focus on getting enough magnesium is shocking. We are writing this article to help you become more magnesium-aware and to guide you on how to maintain optimum levels in the body.

Signs of low magnesium-

As per Healthline, the most common signs of magnesium deficiency are:

  • Muscle twitches and cramps (including eye twitches)
  • Mental disorders and anxiety
  • Osteoporosis and weak bones
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness
  • High blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Irregular heart beat

Apart from Healthline’s, list, you could also experience nausea and lack of appetite, insomnia, PMS, frequent tooth cavities, and fingertip numbness.

Please note that these symptoms individually can be caused by other health issues or lifestyle factors as well. Plus, symptoms don’t show for slight deficiencies usually, only when one is severely deficient in magnesium. Given most people’s diets are somewhat magnesium deficient, it doesn’t hurt to try and add some magnesium rich foods to your diet. You can’t overdose on magnesium though food usually so there is no downside.

The recommended daily intake of magnesium (as per the NIH) for various people are:

  • Infants–6 months: 30 milligrams
  • 7–12 months: 75 milligrams
  • 1–3 years: 80 milligrams
  • 4–8 years: 130 milligrams
  • 9–13 years: 240 milligrams
  • 14–18 years: 410 milligrams for men; 360 milligrams for women
  • 19–30 years: 400 milligrams for men; 310 milligrams for women
  • Adults 31+ years: 420 milligrams for men; 320 milligrams for women
  • Pregnant women: 30-40 milligrams more than non-pregnant women of same age

How to get more Magnesium-

There are two ways to get more of any mineral – eat the right foods or take supplements. There are many magnesium supplements available. Be warned, the commonly found magnesium salts in cheaper multivitamin pills tend to make one have looser bowels. The worst offender in this matter is magnesium oxide, though even magnesium citrate can cause this in some people. The best (non-diarrhoea) causing supplements are those which are amino acid chelated, the common ones being magnesium glycinate or magnesium aspartate. In any case, unless a doctor has diagnosed a magnesium deficiency for you, we do not recommend supplements as the first way to build your magnesium stores. For more information on which type of supplement is best for you, check here. While magnesium supplements are usually safe, check with you doctor if you can take magnesium supplements if you are a kidney or heart patient, or are pregnant or on psychiatric medication.

For most people though, eating magnesium rich food instead should be the first port of call. As stated earlier – it’s almost impossible to get too much magnesium through food, so you needn’t worry about an overdose if getting your magnesium via magnesium rich foods. If you suspect you might be low on magnesium, try incorporating dark green vegetables, organic dark chocolate, bananas, nuts, legumes and beans, seeds etc, in your diet. You can try seed butters on your toast instead of regular butter for a tasty flavour.


Image source

Find a simple and easy to make, magnesium rich pumpkin seed butter here. This butter is super rich in zinc, iron, magnesium and loads of other minerals, and is easily spreadable on toast/ parantha.

About the author-

This is a guest blog post by Riddhi Kaul. She is the editor of – a shiny new website dedicated to natural living and healthy lifestyle in India. She is an alumnus of IIM Lucknow and is an experienced management consultant. Reading, researching, travelling and parenting takes up most of her time.  She lives in Mumbai with her spouse, three-year-old son and her furry little friends.



Hello, Iam a Nutritionist & Food Analyst . I like to write blog on Healthy Nutrition aspects & lifestyle ...I believe that healthy eating is an art of Life, Nutrition doesn't only revolves around weightloss or crash dieting , rather its about understanding the role of foods you consume.


Travelquartz · March 11, 2018 at 4:04 pm

Wow , I always heard so much about the benefits of Magnesium. After reading this post I realized how very important it is . I need to relook at my diet chart now. Thank you for valuable information.

kumamonjeng · March 11, 2018 at 4:38 pm

My cousin who is a nutritionist always told me the importance of Magnesium. I am glad to came across this article and have another good read and understanding of magnesium.

    nutrilifeiq · March 11, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    Thank you…hope u liked this !!

What Corinne Did · March 11, 2018 at 9:26 pm

When I was a kid, I used to take magnesium supplement because i was seriously lacking it. I have improved as I grew older but I know I might still lack some magnesium input so it is all about how i change my diet!

Sarah · March 12, 2018 at 2:44 am

Magnesium is so important with regards to inflammation. I have chronic inflammation and know that the more magnesium-filled items I consume, the less likely I am to have a flare-up of pain.

Emily Leary · March 12, 2018 at 1:53 pm

I try to make sure that my family has a healthy, balanced diet which includes magnesium rich foods!

Nina · March 12, 2018 at 4:44 pm

I definitely agree that eating foods to get a nutrient is always better than a supplement. I love bananas, so I suppose I’ll incorporate more info my diet.

Joanna · March 12, 2018 at 4:46 pm

I have actually heard about the benefits of magensium, especially when combined with vitamin B6. It is a great supplement to take when you feel stressed or when your energy levels are low.

Elizabeth O · March 12, 2018 at 11:09 pm

This was a really interesting read. How fantastic to know all the health benefits of magnesium and how to get it into your diet easily.

Amy Dong · March 13, 2018 at 5:10 am

It’s funny that you’re posting on this, as we’ve been learning a lot about magnesium this past year! Our doctors for the kids and ourselves are really advising to get enough magnesium.

Alaina Monster · March 13, 2018 at 5:47 am

I had horrible leg cramps in my 3rd pregnancy, and it turned out to be low magnesium. My doctor suggested a lot of these foods too, especially bananas.

Ummu Kulthum · March 13, 2018 at 6:21 am

You know what I really need to get grow up is more more a magnesium.

Hannah · March 13, 2018 at 2:30 pm

Really useful information. We hear so much about vitamins, iron, and various other dietary requirements, but yet so little about magnesium. My husband was actually told to take magnesium supplements for migranes. Hope it works!

Stephanie Jeannot · March 13, 2018 at 4:33 pm

A lot of things that indicate you are low of magnesium is new to me. Glad to know about it now.

NAti · March 13, 2018 at 4:56 pm

What a grat article! We need to be reminded all the time of the benefits of different minerals, sometimes we feel bad and all it takes is getting a better diet.

Amanda · March 13, 2018 at 6:55 pm

I heard that magnesium is really good for headaches as well. I am glad to see there are so many other health benefits. This is a nutrient that is often overlooked.

UmmAnas · March 13, 2018 at 8:29 pm

Magnesium is truly overlooked when compared to iron and calcium. I’ve taken note of the magnesium-rich foods now, thanks for the timely reminder.

Peps Goh · March 13, 2018 at 9:22 pm

My girlfriend gets a lot of the symptoms, and it didn’t occur to me that it might be due to the lack of magnesium! I’m glad you’ve addressed the concern of “what if there’s an overdose of magnesium too”.

Shubhada Bhide · March 14, 2018 at 1:51 pm

This is my first time to hear about the benefits of magnesium. I have no idea about it. Thanks for sharing this information!!!

Fozia S · March 14, 2018 at 4:31 pm

I recently learnt about the benefits of magnesium. Thanks for sharing, not everyone realises its an important part of our diet

Farhana · March 14, 2018 at 7:06 pm

Yes to more Magnesium supplements, so beneficial to keep your cool and carry on ;).

Acupofassamtea · March 14, 2018 at 8:33 pm

Great informative post. It was great to know about super benefits of magnesium.

Samira · March 15, 2018 at 6:45 pm

Thank you for the informative article, I had a look into my multi vitamins and noticed that it doesn’t have enough. So I will be adding more magnesium into my diet somehow.

Hafsa · March 16, 2018 at 11:11 pm

wow after reading those symptoms – I actually feel I need more magnesium inside me! Thank you for the natural food suggestions – I would prefer that route! Thankyou for a beneficial health post!

ThrifDeeDubai · March 17, 2018 at 9:03 am

SubhanAllah I literally was scouring the pharmacies for magnesium yesterday as I was advised to take it. Wish I’d have read your post sooner! Really informative & I may need to pick your brain further on other supplements I should be taking if you don’t mind?
Thanks for making this post, REALLY needed this info right now!

    Nutrilife · March 17, 2018 at 11:35 am

    JazakAllah khair sister glad u loved reading the post.

Yousra Naeem · March 19, 2018 at 10:45 pm

Absolutely loved this post, very beneficial. Magnesium is very important & we neglect it the most I guess. Thank you for sharing ❤

Aishah · March 21, 2018 at 12:08 am

This is a great post! I love how in depth it is but at the same time easy to digest and understands.

Aishah x

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