A Guide to Magnesium: Supplements and Magnesium Rich Foods

A guide to magnesium supplements and magnesium-rich foods. Everything you need to know about magnesium deficiency, the benefits of magnesium, and why you should be taking magnesium baths!

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Magnesium is one of 6 essential minerals that the body needs in relatively large quantities. It is involved in over 300 biochemical pathways in the body – from muscle and function to maintaining blood pressure, bone growth, producing energy, and DNA synthesis. It plays an important role in transporting calcium and potassium across cellular membranes and is directly involved in conducting nerve impulses to the brain and muscle contraction.

You can see how an imbalance or lack of magnesium in the body could have far-reaching effects. Headaches, hypertension, muscle spasms, trouble sleeping, anxiety, and even high blood pressure can be linked to a magnesium deficiency!

The current U.S. RDA (recommended daily allowance) of magnesium for an adult is 320 – 420 mg per day, but the actual average intake in our population is very low. The World Health Organization estimated in 2006 that 75% of adults in the U.S. consume a diet that is deficient in magnesium [1].

Magnesium deficiency

Magnesium absorption can be impaired when you are stressed, sick, or when there are mineral imbalances in the body (for example actively supplementing with calcium). Drinking carbonated beverages will also deplete the body of magnesium. Due to factory farming and mineral nutrient depletion in our soil, our fruits and vegetables do not contain as much magnesium as they used to.

Magnesium rich foods

If you are deficient in magnesium, you might try incorporating more of these magnesium-rich foods [2] into your diet:

  • almonds – 80 mg per serving
  • cashews – 74 mg per serving
  • steamed spinach – 78 mg per 1/2 cup
  • black beans – 60 mg per serving
  • avocado – 44 mg per serving
  • brown rice – 42 mg per serving
  • edamame – 50 mg per serving
  • pumpin seeds – 74 mg per 2 tablespoon

The easiest way to prevent magnesium deficiency

Magnesium can be absorbed very easily through the skin. This is a great way to get around the digestive system since so many people have difficulty absorbing magnesium from food or supplements. Magnesium baths (or transdermal magnesium gels) are one of the easiest ways to prevent magnesium deficiency.

Taking a bath 2-3 times per week in a 1% solution of magnesium is all it takes to increase magnesium levels in the body [3].

What are the health benefits of Magnesium Baths?

  • Relieves tension and headaches
  • Reduces muscles spasms, aches, and pain
  • Healing for topical skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis
  • Increases relaxation
  • Helps manage stress
  • Improves sleep
  • Boost mood

Magnesium chloride is easily soluble and highly bioavailable. For the best results, look for magnesium chloride bath salts – because of the superior absorption and high potency, magnesium chloride bath salts have more therapeutic benefits.

epsom salts in a glass jar, with an amber bottle of essential oil

Take your magnesium bath to the next level…

Try adding 10-20 drops of your favourite relaxing essential oil to the bath salts before you add them to the water. Some of my favourite essential oils for relaxation are…

  • Lavender
  • Peace & Calming
  • Stress Away
  • Joy
  • Orange
  • Geranium
  • Gentle Baby

Read more about essential oils for stress and sleep —>>

  1. World Health Organization. Calcium and Magnesium in Drinking Water: Public health significance. Geneva: World Health Organization Press; 2009.
  2. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
  3. Report on Absorption of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) across the skin.


My name is Jasmine! Im a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and absolute foodie from the Kawartha Lakes in Ontario Canada. Here on NourishMint Kitchen I share healthy recipes, tips for natural living, holistic health and mindfulness. You can expect to see lots of photos of lake life, delicious food, the outdoors and our black lab Otter here!

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