Magnesium during pregnancy: Importance and Sources of Magnesium

Magnesium during pregnancy

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 helps in muscle relaxation, while calcium has the opposite effect and stimulates them to contract. Studies have concluded that maintaining appropriate levels of magnesium in pregnancy will help keep the uterus from contracting prematurely.

Importance of Magnesium during pregnancy

Magnesium is also important to regulate insulin and help build strong teeth and strong bones. It also plays a role in regulating enzymes required for digestion. It has also shown to control cholesterol and arrhythmia. One of the important effects of magnesium is to reduce nightly leg cramps which also manifests as Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) in some people. Pregnant women need 350 mg of magnesium per day.

Sources of Magnesium

Here are some common sources of Magnesium good for pregnant women:

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