Ask Leah! The Ingles Dietitian

Sponsored: Magnesium … why you need it and where to find it

Sponsored: Magnesium … why you need it and where to find it

What is it and why do you need it? 

Magnesium is a mineral (micronutrient) that's important in many processes in the body, from muscle and nerve function to regulating blood sugar levels.

How much do you need? 

Adult males-420mg/day; Adult females: 320mg/day

What foods are a good source of magnesium?

Legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, beans, milk and dairy products, fortified cereals, fortified soy milk, brown rice. 

Example: 1oz roasted pumpkin seeds=156mg magnesium; 

1 oz almonds=80mg magnesium; 1/2c cooked spinach-78mg magnesium;  1/2c cooked black beans=60mg magnesium; 1 c milk=24-27mg magnesium.

Related Items

Should you take a magnesium supplement? 

Your kidneys help retain magnesium so it's unusual for people to become deficient or need to take a supplement, especially if you eat a variety of foods. Certain diseases and factors may make it more likely to have a deficiency of magnesium. If you're an older adult or have Crohn's disease, celiac disease, other GI diseases, alcoholism, or Type 2 diabetes you can more easily become deficient in magnesium. If your diet excludes sources of magnesium or if you are an older adult or have any of those diseases or illnesses speak to your doctor about whether you might need a supplement or whether it will interact with any medications you're currently taking. (Note: if you are taking a supplement with magnesium it should not have more than 350mg of magnesium) 


Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN

Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian


Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.