Susie Burrell

‘your food, your body, your life’

The Power of Magnesium

This is a sponsored post, brought to you by Australian Bananas.

Bananas are known as a nutrient rich superfood – packed full of Vitamin B, dietary fibre and potassium, bananas are frequently referred to as ‘natures energy food’. One nutrient that bananas also contain plenty of is magnesium, a mineral that is found in every cell in the body, and a mineral that plays important roles in metabolic, muscle functioning and mood regulation. For active individuals, magnesium is of particular importance, thanks to its role in muscle contraction and recovery. So here is everything you need to know about magnesium – how much you need, where you can get it from and how it may help you to look, feel and perform at your best.

What is magnesium?

Found in the bone, muscles and blood, the mineral magnesium is involved in more than 600 cellular reactions in the body including the relaxation and contraction of muscles, the regulation of neurotransmitters that play key roles in mood regulation and in energy and protein metabolism.

How much magnesium do I need?

Involved in so many functions, the body requires between 300-400mg of magnesium (for adults) daily and while magnesium is found in many foods, they are not necessarily foods busy people reach for each and every day.

Where do I find it?

Specifically, it is plant-based foods that contain the highest amounts of magnesium per serve with pepitas, spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds and oily fish with 10-30% of recommended daily intakes in a single serve. A single banana offers close to 30mg of magnesium, or at least 10% of the recommended daily intake of magnesium for adults.

What will it help me with?

Your muscles.

As magnesium is so intricately involved in muscle cell contraction and recovery, it is estimated that active people require 10-20% more magnesium than less active people. Specifically, magnesium helps to deliver glucose to the cell to keep it functioning, whilst also removing the by-product of glucose metabolism, the molecule that can give muscles the feeling of fatigue.

Magnesium salts have been in bath products used for many years to help promote muscle recovery, and while this may help, consuming more magnesium as part of a healthy diet is a powerful way you can support muscle cell recovery in the body.

Tip – add a banana to your recovery after big training sessions to help aid muscle recovery.

Your mood.

As we move out of Winter, and for some of us many weeks indoors, good mood food is at the top of mind for many of us, especially for those who are managing low Vitamin D levels. While research exploring the associations between low magnesium levels in the body and an increased risk of depression is in its early stages, if you have been struggling with your own mood over the past few months, boosting your intake of magnesium is simple, effective strategy to give yourself a natural mood boost. And for women who are susceptible to the monthly symptoms associated with PMS, magnesium too has been shown to help reduce the experience of bloating and mood disturbance commonly experienced.

Tip: Snack on a handful of nuts most days and include oily fish in your diet at least 2-3 times each week for a magnesium boost.

Your overall health.

Inflammatory conditions that are associated with ageing in the body including insulin resistance, high blood pressure and diabetes are all associated with a low intake of magnesium. For anyone interested in reducing inflammation, or prone to any of these conditions, bumping up your daily intake of this important nutrient is one of the simplest ways you can optimise your own health and wellbeing.

Tip: Aim to include one magnesium rich food at each meal to tick the box on this important nutrient.

Sample Magnesium Rich Daily Diet

Breakfast

Wholegrain Granola with nuts and seeds, milk topped with sliced banana

Mid-Morning Snack

Soy Milk Coffee

Lunch

Salmon and avocado salad

Afternoon Snack

Handful of nuts and a banana

Dinner

Mexican bean bowl

Dessert

30g dark chocolate