Eating healthy this week. Foods that give you magnesium

Magnesium is an important mineral to have when you are pregnant. It helps to build and repair your body’s tissues. A severe deficiency during pregnancy may lead to preeclampsia, poor foetal growth, and even infant mortality.

Magnesium and calcium work in combination: Magnesium relaxes muscles, while calcium stimulates muscles to contract. Research suggests that proper levels of magnesium during pregnancy can help keep the uterus from contracting prematurely.

Magnesium also helps build strong bones and teeth, regulates insulin and blood sugar levels, and helps certain enzymes function. Research indicates it may help control cholesterol and irregular heartbeats. Magnesium may also be helpful in reducing leg cramps. Pregnant women, 19 to 30 years of age: 350 milligrams (mg) of magnesium per day.

Magnesium is plentiful in seeds, whole grains, some fish, leafy green vegetables, and some legumes. Some common food sources:

  • 30 g pumpkin seeds: 151.9 mg
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds: 127.4 mg
  • 1 cup cooked millet: 105.6 mg
  • 100 g salmon, baked or broiled: 103.8 mg
  • 1/2 cup bran cereal: 93.1 mg
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ: 90.9 mg
  • 100 g halibut: 90.0 mg
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa: 89.3 mg
  • 1 cup spinach spaghetti: 86.6 mg
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice: 86.0 mg
  • 1/2 cup boiled Chinese long beans: 84.3 mg
  • 1 ounce dry roasted almonds: 80.0 mg
  • 1/3 cup tofu: 76.1 mg
  • 1 ounce dry roasted cashews: 75.0 mg
  • 1/2 cup cooked soybeans: 75.0 mg
  • 1/2 cup cooked spinach: 75.0 mg
  • 1/2 cup boiled Swiss chard: 75.3 mg
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans: 60.2 mg
  • 1 cup fortified instant oatmeal, prepared with water: 55.0 mg
  • 1 medium baked potato, with skin: 50.0 mg
  • 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter: 50.0 mg
  • 1/2 cup cooked navy beans: 47.0 mg
  • 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt: 45.0 mg
  • 1/2 cup vegetarian baked beans: 40.0 mg

Most women don’t need a supplement as it is easy to meet the daily requirement through food. In case your doctor thinks you need one, she will prescribe a multivitamin that will contain everything you need.

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