- Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for healthy muscles, nerves, bones and blood sugar levels.
- If you don't get enough magnesium in your diet over a long time, you may be at a higher risk of health problems such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes and osteoporosis.
- Many foods contain magnesium, including leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
- Most young children in Australia get enough magnesium, but more than 1 in 3 Australian adults don't get enough magnesium every day.
- If you have a magnesium deficiency or certain health problems, your doctor may recommend you take a magnesium supplement.
What is magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral essential for healthy muscles, nerves, bones and blood sugar levels. If you don't get enough magnesium in your diet over a long time, you may be at a higher risk of health problems such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes and osteoporosis.
Many foods contain magnesium, but the main sources in Australia are cereals and non-alcoholic drinks like coffee and water.
Read more on magnesium and your health.
Which foods are rich in magnesium?
Most people get all the magnesium they need from food. In general, foods that are high in fibre provide magnesium. Some good sources of magnesium include:
- leafy green vegetables, such as spinach
- nuts and seeds
- whole grains
Tap, mineral, and bottled waters can also be sources of magnesium, but the amount of magnesium they contain depends on the brand.
You can get magnesium from the following foods. The amount of magnesium that each food item has is shown in milligrams (mg):
|Magnesium content (mg)
|Rolled oats, cooked in unsalted water
|Whole wheat bread, 2 slices
|Brown rice, cooked
Should I take magnesium supplements?
Most young children in Australia get enough magnesium, but more than 1 in 3 people don't get enough magnesium every day.
Learn more about magnesium deficiency.
You can't get too much magnesium from food, but if you have been prescribed a magnesium supplement, it is important not to take more than the recommended dose. Having too much magnesium from a supplement can cause diarrhoea, nausea and stomach cramps.
Magnesium supplements can interfere with some other medicines you may be taking,
Always tell your doctor or pharmacist about any other medicines, supplements or over-the-counter medicines you are taking. They can advise you whether any of your medicines are likely to interact.
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Last reviewed: June 2023