Magnesium, a powerful mineral, plays an essential role in our overall health. It can lower blood pressure, keep your heart rhythm in a healthy place, and helps your gut digest and absorb nutrients. But perhaps the under-the-radar benefit that doesn't get nearly enough attention is how magnesium contributes to healthier sleep. The parathyroid glands create parathyroid hormone, which regulates magnesium levels in the body. "Magnesium is involved in the regulation of neurotransmitters, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which helps calm the nervous system and promotes relaxation," Samantha Schleiger, MS, RDN, CD, CLT, IFNCP, an integrative and functional medicine dietitian, tells W+G.
"Additionally, magnesium can help regulate melatonin production, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle," Schleiger continues. You may be wondering how you can amp up your magnesium consumption. Look no further than magnesium-rich snacks on Amazon.
What's the recommended amount of magnesium that people should intake daily?
The recommended daily dose of magnesium depends on a few factors, such as age, sex, life stage, and whether someone is pregnant or not. For females between 19 and 51 years of age, the recommended amount is 310 to 320 milligrams per day. For the same age range for men, the recommended magnesium consumption is slightly higher at 400 to 420 milligrams per day. These are general recommendations, so it's best to consult with a health-care professional who can provide personalized advice based on your overall health, lifestyle, and health conditions, says Schleiger.
Is it okay to consume these snacks throughout all times of the day and night?
"Consuming magnesium-rich snacks throughout the day is generally considered acceptable. However, consuming them close to bedtime or during the night may not be ideal for everyone," she says. One factor to consider is digestion. "Some people may experience digestive discomfort if they consume a large snack, including magnesium-rich snacks, too close to bedtime," Schleiger explains. Therefore, it's recommended to allow a buffer period, usually a couple of hours, between eating and going to bed to facilitate proper digestion.
It's also worth noting that while snacks can be a great way to boost magnesium intake, snacks shouldn't be used as meal replacements. "Instead of relying solely on snacks, aim for a well-rounded diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods throughout the day," says Schleiger. Other magnesium-rich foods to consider are avocado, yogurt, edamame, dark leafy greens, bananas, and some fatty fishes.
Below, you'll find RD-approved magnesium-rich snacks that'll help you relax and get some rest. The best part? They're all available on Amazon (hooray for two-day shipping).
Magnesium: 38 mg/serving
Your body will go nuts when you learn how much magnesium is packed in Terrasoul’s Superfoods bag of almonds: 38 milligrams of magnesium per serving. Also nice? They “are packed with flavor and crunch, making them a convenient and healthy snack option,” says Schleiger. Enjoy these almonds alone or pair them with other nuts and seeds like cashews, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds, all of which offer an extra dose of magnesium goodness.
Magnesium: 197 mg/serving
A food that RDs can get with? Hemp seeds. “Hemp hearts are not only rich in magnesium, but also provide essential fatty acids and protein,” says Schleiger. One serving offers a whopping 197 milligrams of magnesium. On top of that, you’ll get 10 grams of protein, 333 milligrams of potassium, and 19 mg of calcium. These seeds really are great. Plus, they’re incredibly versatile—you can add them to everything. Yogurt, smoothies, cookies, or salads—hemp seeds will make a nutrient-rich addition to any meal.
Magnesium: 42 mg / one cup
To meet your required dose of magnesium, Schleiger says dried apricots are a tasty and portable snack that provides magnesium, fiber, and other essential nutrients. One cup of apricots offers roughly 42 milligrams of magnesium. Plus, enjoy 520 milligrams of potassium per serving. What’s nice about dried fruit is that it tends to have a longer shelf life, so take these portable snacks with you everywhere you roam, be it on foot, train, car, or airplanes. Soft, sweet, and free of artificial additives, Made in Nature’s Organic Dried Apricots is a snack you won’t want to put down.
Magnesium: 84 mg/serving
Cacao nibs are an excellent source of magnesium, and these nibs clock in 84 milligrams per serving. Unroasted and unsweetened, these nibs offer a nice crunchy addition to meals. “Navitas Organics Cacao Nibs are raw, organic, and can be added to smoothies, baked goods, or enjoyed as a chocolatey snack,” says Schleiger. What’s more, the cacao is categorized as single-origin and supports producers and farmers in Sierra Leone. Consume a serving of nibs, and you’ll be snoozing in no time.
Magnesium: 168 mg / one cup
Good news, PSL and all-things-fall lovers: Pumpkin seeds aren’t meant to be exclusively eaten in autumn. Anthony’s Organic Pumpkin Seeds can be enjoyed year-round. They’re crunchy, gluten-free, and serve up 168 milligrams of magnesium per one cup. Shleiger recommends enjoying these seeds as a standalone snack, an addition to trail mixes, and sprinkled in on salads. All that’s left to do? Nom. Nom. Nom.
Magnesium: 65 mg / one ounce
Chocolate lovers (myself included) will flip when they find out that dark chocolate is an excellent source of magnesium (roughly 65 milligrams per one ounce). It’s “also high in iron, copper, manganese, and contains prebiotic fiber that helps feed beneficial bacteria in the gut,” Schleiger explains. Plus, you get four grams of protein and five grams of fiber per serving. Eat a bite (or two) before hitting your pillow.
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