3. Food Sources of Magnesium
Fortunately, there are many delicious and nutritious sources of magnesium-rich foods available. A handful of nuts can supply 20% of the RDA for magnesium. Almonds, dry roasted cashews, oil roasted peanuts, or two tablespoons of peanut butter are all good options. One cup of soy milk, ½ cup of cooked black beans, or two slices of whole wheat bread each provide 15% of the RDA. Spinach is an excellent source of magnesium, with ½ cup providing 20% of the RDA. Some breakfast cereals are fortified with magnesium as well.
2. Magnesium Supplements
There are a variety of magnesium supplements on the market in a variety of forms. The supplements come as compounds such as magnesium oxide, magnesium chloride, and magnesium citrate. The label on the bottle is required to give the amount of elemental magnesium in the supplement, not the weight of the entire compound. Magnesium citrate and magnesium chloride appear to be absorbed more completely in the gut than magnesium oxide. Dietary magnesium from whole foods is superior to that in supplements.
1. Risks of Magnesium Supplements
As with any supplement or medication, there are risks and side effects involved with taking magnesium. Side effects include nausea, cramping, and diarrhea or loose stools. If you are taking diuretics, heart medications, antacids, antibiotics, or muscle relaxants, be sure to check with your physician to make sure there will be no drug interactions. People with gastrointestinal diseases, heart disease, or kidney disease should not take magnesium supplements without medical supervision. It is possible to overdose on magnesium. Signs of overdose are nausea, diarrhea, muscle weakness, fatigue, and decreased blood pressure. At extremely high doses magnesium can cause death.