While magnesium is present in nutritionally important quantities in many of the foods featured on our site, average American diets frequently fail to contain an adequate supply of magnesium. In fact, adults average only 66% of the Daily Value (DV) for magnesium from their food intake (even though they get another 8% from supplements). This average intake level leaves U.S. adults about 100-125 milligrams short in the magnesium department. A likely reason for this deficient magnesium intake is the tendency of the average U.S. diet to focus predominantly on heavily processed convenience foods at the expense of the green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, and legumes that are among our best food sources of the mineral. Increasingly, researchers are becoming aware of a link between poor magnesium nutrition and risks of several important chronic conditions.
Magnesium is an essential mineral required by the body for maintaining normal muscle and nerve function, keeping a healthy immune system, maintaining heart rhythm, and building strong bones. Magnesium is also involved in at least 300 biochemical reactions in the body. A deficiency in magnesium can lead to muscle