Magnesium is a mineral your body needs for a variety of different tasks. For instance, your muscles (including your heart) and nerves need it to work properly, and your bones need it to stay strong (source).
So any time your muscles are under a lot of strain (if you work out a lot, suffer from PMS, have a headache or feel stressed), it might help to take some magnesium. It’s not a scientifically proven remedy, but it has shown to be effective in some cases. Whenever I feel like my muscles are cramping easily, or I’m under a lot of stress, I take magnesium to support my body.
The recommended daily intake for magnesium lies around 300mg for female adults and around 400mg for male adults. It’s unlikely to get an overdose of magnesium through food because the body gets rid of any excess through the urine. However, overdosing on magnesium supplements can lead to symptoms like diarrhea or nausea (source). People with kidney disorders should not take magnesium supplements unless advised by their doctor. Magnesium supplements can also interact with some medications, so make sure to check with your doctor if you are taking any medication and want to use a supplement.
What’s tricky about magnesium is that you can’t measure its level in the blood, so it’s difficult to determine whether you’re deficient. If you suspect a deficiency, I would always advise to try to get enough magnesium through food first. Only if you have a persisting magnesium deficiency, you can try adding a supplement.
These are the foods you can eat to get magnesium:
- leafy green vegetables like spinach & kale
- potato (with skin)
- nuts like almonds & cashews
- whole grains
And here are some recipes you can make to eat more magnesium: