Saturday, September 18, 2010

Magnesium and Sleep Part 2 Foods Rich in Magnesium

In order to maintain normal muscle and nerve function, support our immune system and regulate our heart rhythms we need magnesium. In fact, our body uses magnesium in more than 300 metabolic reactions including enhancing our metabolism and regulating our blood sugar levels as well as our blood pressure. A magnesium deficiency can cause many health problems including sleep disorders. Eating foods rich in magnesium or taking a magnesium supplement will ensure our body is getting what it needs to fall asleep easy. Magnesium also aids the adsorption other vital minerals; sodium, phosphorus and calcium that are essential to maintain our health.

Magnesium is unique for sleep due to its calming effect on the nervous system as it is known as the anti-stress mineral, a natural tranquilizer. Seniors take a magnesium supplement to decrease the release of cortisol which can disrupt sleep. Cortisol is released when people are stressed, stress depletes magnesium, and taking magnesium reduces stress. Read more about how cortisol affects your sleep:

When your magnesium levels are low it could result in muscle cramps. When we sleep our muscles are preparing for the next day’s activities by contracting and relaxing. Without enough magnesium the muscles cannot fully relax causing muscle cramps. Magnesium eases anxiety and relaxes muscles to improve overall sleep.

Magnesium supplements are available in capsules, tablets or powder and studies suggest that a dose of 250 milligrams can induce sleep. Foods rich in magnesium are green leafy vegetables such as spinach because magnesium is in the center of the chlorophyll molecule. Note: processed food such as white flour, the magnesium rich germ and bran are removed. In fact, in many modern diets include highly processed foods and these processes deplete magnesium. Did you know that tap water contains magnesium? Hard water contains more minerals including magnesium than soft water.

Other green leafy vegetables and spices such as broccoli, lettuce, paprika, basil, parsley and lemongrass contain high amounts of magnesium. Whole grains, nuts, beans, fish, fruit and tomato paste are also good sources. Some foods that may not be on your diet like chocolate pudding, milk chocolate and dairy products, but they are a way to include magnesium. Pumpkin and pumpkins seeds are not only a rich source of magnesium they also contain tryptophan which will make you drowsy. Cocoa and coffee are important sources of magnesium but don’t drink caffeinated beverages too close to bedtime as they may keep you awake.

Here is a list of foods rich in magnesium:



Brazil nuts

Cashew nuts

Coconut, dried

Hazelnuts, filberts


Pine nuts

Sesame seeds



Barley, Whole grain

Oat bran

Rice, brown

Wheat flour, whole

Whole wheat bread




Oatmeal, cooked

Rye flour

Wheat bran

Wheat germ

Shredded wheat

Chocolate Candy Bar



Avocado, California

Avocado, Florida

Beans, black

Beans, kidney

Beans, Lima

Beans, navy

Beans, pinto

Beans, refried

Beans, white

Beet greens

Broccoli, frozen

Broccoli, raw

Chick peas, garbonzos

Cowpeas, black eyed

Kale, boiled


Okra, cooked


Peas, frozen

Pumpkin, canned

Pumpkin seeds

Seaweed, kelp

Seaweed, Spirulina


Spinach, canned

Spinach, cooked

Squash, summer

Sweet potatoes, canned

Swiss chard


Tomato paste

Turnip greens



Figs, dried




Soy milk

Cow's milk, 2%

Chocolate milk


Halibut, broiled


Rock fish


Tuna, broiled


Beef, ground

Beef, tenderloin

Chicken breast

Chicken, dark meat


Turkey breast * has tryptophan

Beans, black 1 cup 120

Broccoli, raw 1 cup 22

Halibut 1/2 fillet 170

Nuts, peanuts 1 oz 64

Okra, frozen 1 cup 94

Oysters 3 oz 49

Plantain, raw 1 medium 66

Rockfish 1 fillet 51

Scallop 6 large 55

Seeds, pumpkin and squash 1 oz (142 seeds) 151

Soy milk 1 cup 47

Spinach, cooked 1 cup 157

Tofu 1/4 block 37

Whole grain cereal, ready-to-eat3/4 cup 24

Whole grain cereal, cooked 1 cup 56

Whole wheat bread 1 slice 24

USDA Nutrient Database for Standard References, Release 15 for Magnesium, Mg (mg)

It is often recommended when taking calcium supplement that you take a magnesium supplement to avoid bone spurs and headaches. In fact taking magnesium you can improve your absorption of calcium to avoid osteoporosis as well as promote easy sleep. Magnesium sleep supplements are generally inexpensive. Sleep Minerals II contains six types of calcium and three forms of magnesium and is a safe, natural herbal supplement. Contact your doctor before taking any supplements to avoid an interaction with other medication or health issues. The content in Magnesium and Sleep Part 2 – Foods Rich in Magnesium is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for sleep disorders and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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