Health & Spirit

Getting a Bang Out of Dietary Magnesium

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

The 2015-2016 New Year's fireworks display in Manila, Philippines, was the largest ever: 810,904 fireworks lit up the night sky for more than an hour. The pyrotechnics were fueled in part by magnesium, an element that creates an intense white light when ignited.

If you want to light up your nutrition and get a healthier bang for your buck, you, too, should fuel up with magnesium -- dietary magnesium, that is. It's an essential mineral.

Magnesium helps support more than 300 body processes, from breaking down sugars to producing important proteins. But, depending on your age, up to 80 percent of you are deficient. Women need to shoot for 350 milligrams a day; men 400.

Getting more is better: A new metastudy of around 1 million people found that an increase of 100 mg of dietary magnesium daily (that's just a handful of almonds and a cup of kale) significantly reduces your risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes. A Harvard study found that a high daily magnesium intake reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 33 percent. (The only people who have to worry about too much magnesium are folks with deficient kidney function.)

Here's where you get it:

Legumes: Beans, peas and soy.

Nuts: Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pine nuts and pecans.

Seeds: Pumpkin, flaxseed and sunflower.

Fish: Wild salmon, mackerel, halibut and tuna

Plus: Dark leafy greens such as raw or cooked baby spinach, collard greens, kale or Swiss chard; berries; dark chocolate; bananas; and avocados.


Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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