Magnesium is an essential mineral responsible for several functions in the body. Among these are contraction and relaxation of muscle, proper function of certain enzymes, production and transport of energy, and the production of protein. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), magnesium may protect the body against cardiovascular disease and immune deficiency. The recommended dietary allowance for magnesium increases with age. Males over the age of 14 also require more magnesium than females of the same age, the ODS advises. It is possible to get your recommended dietary allowance of magnesium by eating a variety of foods.
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Fruits and Vegetables
One-half cup of cooked frozen spinach yields 75 mg of magnesium. Other fruits and vegetables rich in magnesium include a medium baked potato, with the skin on, giving 50 mg; one-half cup of pureed avocado has 35 mg; one medium banana has 30 mg; and one-half cup of raisins carries 25 mg of magnesium.
Nuts are an excellent source of magnesium. One ounce of almonds and cashews yield 80 mg and 75 mg respectively. One ounce of mixed, dry roasted nuts will give 65 mg of magnesium and 1 ounce of peanuts or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter yields 50 mg.
Peas and Beans
Black-eyed peas are the richest in magnesium in this category. They contain 45 mg per one-half cup cooked. Vegetarian baked beans contain 40 mg per one-half cup; and one-half cup of lentils, kidney beans, and pinto beans will each yield 35 mg of magnesium.
One half cup of mature, cooked soy beans yields 75 mg of magnesium.
Fortified oatmeal is an excellent source of magnesium, yielding 55 mg per cup. Adding 2 tablespoons of wheat bran to your food will give an extra 45 mg of magnesium, and the same amount of wheat germ will add 35 mg. Eating whole wheat bread will also help increase your intake of magnesium, as it contains 25 mg per slice.