That is a really good question and it is something I have thought for years. People vastly underestimate the value of magnesium as a mineral. The focus over the years has been on calcium, but that is an error in my view when you look at the sheer number of processes in the body that require magnesium as opposed to calcium.
Vitamin D was always thought of as just another vitamin. I even remember in my original training with Dr Plaskett all those years ago that we never touched on Vitamin D that much. Now, of course, we all know it to be a sort of hormone, crucial to health, rather than ‘just another vitamin’. The same I think will be true of magnesium in the next decade or so. I hope so anyway.
This is why I try hard to make sure you have enough of it in your protocols or wellbeing prescriptions. Most ‘good’ multis will not contain much calcium or magnesium for the simple reason that it is bulky and makes the capsule – full of other goodies – too big. The general rule in ‘quality’ supplementation is to take your magnesium and calcium as a separate supplement to ‘top-up’ your multi, if you see what I mean.
A good quality multi might be this. Powders tend to have more in because they don’t have to cram it all into a capsule. See this one, for a good version. TGF (grain and dairy free) versions are NOT easy to find I’m afraid. You have to more or less make one up with separate supplements, although we are always trying to find new ones for you – check the master list here.
The balance of magnesium to calcium should be about 2:1 roughly – twice as much magnesium than calcium. Most people get that the wrong way around. One of my favourite supplements actually does that for you, you can see that here.
The forms of magnesium are also key. Not all magnesiums are the same. Have a look here at my Magnesium factsheet for more info on this – there’s a link to an article there that discusses the benefits of the various forms. You can also see magnesium deficiency symptoms and how to test for it (red blood cell, not serum please!).
Finally, here is a list of foods rich in magnesium. This is from Dr Axe’s article here. I haven’t checked it in my usual little book as that it still in the storage unit – oh for my bookshelves!!
Top 10 Magnesium-Rich Foods
Here the top 10 magnesium-rich foods, according to the USDA:
- Spinach, cooked — 1 cup: 157 milligrams (39 percent DV)
- Swiss chard, cooked — 1 cup: 150 milligrams (38 percent DV)
- Dark Chocolate — 1 square: 95 milligrams (24 percent DV)
- Pumpkin seeds, dried — 1/8 cup: 92 milligrams (23 percent DV)
- Almonds — 1 ounce: 75 milligrams (19 percent DV)
- Black beans — 1/2 cup: 60 milligrams (15 percent DV)
- Avocado — 1 medium: 58 milligrams (15 percent DV)
- Figs, dried — 1/2 cup: 50 miligrams (13 percent DV)
- Yogurt or kefir — 1 cup: 46.5 milligrams (12 percent DV)
- Banana — 1 medium: 32 milligrams (8 percent DV)
Anyway, here’s the article from Life Extension that triggered me to get on my magnesium soapbox again! I was interested in it initially because of it’s discussion about the importance of magnesium in pancreatic and colon cancers. I’ve just sadly lost a family member to the first and my friend has the second. Guess what I’m going to be recommending to her…