Did you know that magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body after calcium, potassium, and sodium?
The recommended magnesium intake for us is 420 mg per day. But the latest research says more than 50% of adults are getting less than that from their diets due to consuming processed foods high in fats, refined grains, and sugar.
Vitamin Dis is also very important for us guys over 40, because it helps protect against all sorts of age-related crap that kick in around 40. Deficiencies in vitamin D have been linked to diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and some types of cancers.
And what’s important is Vitamin D cannot be metabolized without enough magnesium. Therefore, it’s a one-two punch effect. One can’t fight for you, without the other.
What Does Magnesium Do For Us?
Magnesium plays a big role in helping to regulate your blood pressure, which is especially important for us guys over 40s. Plus, if you’re not getting enough, deficiencies have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and inflammation. Also, magnesium helps your body absorb calcium and is also important in muscle, nerve, and heart functions.
And now you’ve decided to join the GTW Health and Fitness Lifestyle Program (GTW) or at least thinking about it, it’s even more important than ever to avoid these potential ailments.
Of course, deficiencies in any vitamin or mineral are always bad, but when you are involved in high-intensity training like the GTW Program, it’s even more important to get your diet and nutrition dialled in.
Why Is Magnesium So Important For Men Over 40?
Magnesium is also vital in avoiding cardiovascular disease. It is also important if your doctor has told you that you are at risk of diabetes. And another benefit is helping your brain function properly. If you often get leg cramps, this could be a sign you’re running low on magnesium. Or perhaps you’re often feeling weak or fatigued. Although this could be also due to low testosterone which I talked about in yesterday’s post.
If you missed it, here is the link:
As always, make sure you check with your doctor if you’re worried that your magnesium levels could be below. And if you should take a magnesium supplement to give yourself a boost.
It makes sense to follow a well-balanced diet, but I know sometimes that isn’t always possible, so you may need to add a supplement to your diet. (Details below)
But next up is a bunch of foods that are rich in magnesium and you should consider making sure you have a selection in your diet.
Ok, So How Do I Get Magnesium?
A varied and healthy diet should help you get the 320 mg of magnesium you need per day, usually from dark leafy greens, beans, nuts, seeds, and avocados.
The Power Shakes Guide you get when you join the GTW Health and Fitness Lifestyle Program has some really tasty shakes which are high in magnesium. A staple for my Power Shakes includes flax seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. And also often include avocados and bananas. So, you could potentially get your whole daily intake of magnesium in one GTW Power Shake. These are also perfect for guys who say they don’t like fruits and vegetables.
So, let’s dig deeper into some of the foods which are highest in magnesium…
Flax Seeds are great for magnesium
Magnesium content: 392mg Magnesium (98% DV)
Flaxseed is generally credited with high levels of omega-3s, but it is also an excellent source of magnesium. You don’t need to eat 100 grams of flax seeds to get all the benefits. A small serving will still give you plenty of magnesium and you can get more from other foods through your day.
It’s best to grind up your flax seeds for better absorption into your body. You don’t want to poop out all the benefits.
You can also choose flaxseed oil. The big amount of omega-3s found in flaxseed will help the body fight off free radicals. Mostly omega-3s are found in oily fish but flaxseed is an excellent plant-based source.
Eating tips: Flaxseed powder is one of the easiest ways to eat more because it disappears into soups and stews and goes relatively unnoticed on top of a salad. Flaxseed oil can also be sprinkled on salads instead of your salad dressing.
Sunflower Seeds have a ton of magnesium
Magnesium content: 325mg Magnesium (81% DV)
Sunflower seeds work well when it comes to magnesium, and they also provide other nutrients and minerals that make them the perfect breakfast choice.
The magnesium found in sunflower seeds will help you stay calm when things get stressful. They also contain protein and fibre, which can help you feel full for a long time, and are a good source of selenium, which has been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
Don’t worry about the fat in sunflower seeds because the fats in them are mostly healthy fats in the form of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. You will still want to check their intake so that your total fat is kept at a healthy level throughout the day.
Eating Tips: The easiest way to get sunflower seeds in your diet is to grind them up and add to your GTW Power Shakes.
Boost your magnesium intake with Pumpkin Seeds
Magnesium content: 262mg Magnesium (66% DV)
Pumpkin seeds are one of the healthiest breakfast options, and the magnesium content in them is just part of the equation. The magnesium and tryptophan in pumpkin seeds will help the body relax and sleep at night. The protein in them will work to keep your blood glucose under control. They are also a good source of zinc, which benefits the prostate, as well as omega-3s, which protect against inflammation, heart disease, and free radical damage.
Instead of the traditional roasted variety, go with organic raw pumpkin seeds that you will often find in stores. It is worth finding out if you are getting a high-quality product, and if you are eating pumpkin seeds for health, you will want to make sure that you are aware of the unhealthy ingredients found in traditional seeds.
Eating Tips: Pumpkin seeds are great for salads, and they can be eaten as a snack, just like sunflower seeds. Plus, simply grind the sunflower seeds and add to your GTW Power Shakes.
Try some beans for more magnesium
Magnesium content: 160mg Magnesium (40% DV)
Beans are a great source of magnesium, not just black beans. They are also rich in calcium, iron, and fibre, which make them a highly nutritious food. As beans provide a ton of fibre, they’ll help your digestive system and make you regular. They are also good for your heart and can help you lower your blood sugar levels if you are trying to prevent diabetes.
They are also an excellent source of protein which is great if you need a boost in protein due to training hard, and especially if you are trying to cut down on animal products and/ or are vegan.
Eating Tips: Beans are a great side dish, but they can easily be added to a main dish, stew, or salad. Add more beans to your diet to boost your magnesium, fibre and protein intake.
Cashews have magnesium too
Magnesium content: 292mg Magnesium (73% DV)
Cashews contain excellent amounts of magnesium, and even a small serving will provide you with about 20% of your daily requirement. This will boost the strength in your bones and balance your blood sugar levels.
In addition to magnesium, cashews provide you with iron and potassium as well as protein. This makes it a great food to build muscle, avoid anaemia and maintain a healthy blood pressure level.
Eating Tips: Cashews can be added with chicken to make a famous Thai stir-fry called ‘gai pad med mamuang’.
Lentils have some magnesium too
Magnesium content: 122mg Magnesium (31% DV)
Lentils are an excellent source of magnesium, and give you about 30% of your daily amount from a 100 gram serving.
Lentils are also a good source of energy thanks to the magnesium they contain, but also because they will help prevent high blood sugar, keeping your mind focused and alert during the afternoon instead of that awful foggy feeling.
Lentils are a good source of iron and vitamin B-6. Iron is great for your blood and muscles, as well as your brain and your nervous system.
Eating Tips: Lentils are great in soups, and have many of the same benefits as beans.
Bananas have some magnesium
Magnesium content: 27mg Magnesium (7% DV)
Bananas will boost your magnesium intake and give you many other benefits like fibre to keep your digestive system regular. They are also a good source of vitamin C, which is great if you are bored of oranges. A banana will give you vitamin B-6 for better overall health.
An average size banana will give you 8% of your total daily magnesium. So, you will need some more magnesium from other sources. Bananas are also high in potassium.
Eating Tips: Bananas are easy to take in your packed lunch. And great if you play any outdoor sports like tennis or football as an energy-boosting snack. I often put them in my GTW Power Shakes as I have a good few banana trees in my garden.
Have some Sweet Potatoes for your lunch
Magnesium content: 25mg Magnesium (6% DV)
Sweet potatoes have magnesium but not a ton. Sweet potatoes are great and provide you with the antioxidants that your body needs to help prevent damage from free radicals.
They contain beta-carotene, the same antioxidant found in carrots, which not only helps your eyesight but also protects you from heart disease and cancer.
Eating Tips: I think it’s easiest to steam, or boil them and mash them like ordinary potatoes. Throw in my ground-up nut mix, some chopped up spring onions, tomatoes and garlic, and then a few scoops of mustard for a really simple, fast and highly nutritious lunch.
Not just Popeye loves spinach
Magnesium content: 79mg Magnesium (20% DV)
Admittedly, 20 or 30 years ago, the nutritious value of spinach was much higher. But it’s still considered one of the healthiest foods you can eat.
Spinach has phytonutrients that act as an antioxidant in your body, making it helpful in the fight against cancer to heart disease. It is high in vitamins, minerals and fibre. It even has a lot of protein for a vegetable.
Eating Tips: I often put a bunch of spinach in my GTW Power Shakes. You just know you are getting a ton of nutrients into your body in such as fast and simple way.
Avocado, a good source of fats
Magnesium content: 29mg Magnesium (7% DV)
Avocados may not have as much magnesium as the other foods in this post, but they still provide other benefits like healthy fats.
The healthy fats in avocados will help make you feel full, and they also contain vitamins and fibre that help your digestive system.
Avocados are also a great source of potassium, even more so than bananas.
Eating Tips: Avocado is great in a salad, a GTW Power Shake or as a simple side dish. And my favourite of course is in Mexican food with an iced Margarita.
Final Thoughts on Magnesium for over 40s men
There are also some other foods like dark chocolate and quinoa which are relatively high in magnesium. There are also soy beans, but you probably want to steer clear of these so as not to affect your testosterone levels. If you’d like information on GTW Power Shake, drop me a quick email.
Ok, it’s time to get out in the garden and work out. It’s back day and I gotta beat my personal best for pull-ups. So, until next time…
Keep training hard (mentally & physically),
Greg ‘Take No Prisoners’ Noland
CEO & Founder
Grey Top Warriors