Coffee and energy drinks are great for a quick boost, but did you know that magnesium deficiency is a common cause of low energy?
If you’re feeling sluggish or low-energy, don’t resort to coffee or energy drinks for a short term burst. There are other things you can do to boost your energy for the long term. I really notice a difference when I don’t get exercise and/or fresh air in the morning. I feel groggy all morning, but I can snap out of it if I consciously try to energize myself.
Another energy sap can be magnesium deficiency. Most people think of B vitamins for energy, and they are important, but magnesium is another important nutrient in converting carbohydrates into energy. If you’re low on magnesium, you may feel drained of energy.
An interesting point to note on magnesium is that it works to help calcium be properly absorbed, and the ratio of calcium to magnesium is really important. Even if you’re getting the right amount of magnesium, if your calcium intake is higher than it should be you could create a relative magnesium deficiency.
Whole grains and dark green vegetables are the best ways to get magnesium. They’re great natural energy boosters for other reasons too. Nuts, particularly cashews, almonds and hazelnuts, are a good source of magnesium but be careful not to eat too many since they are also high in calories and fat.
If you have excess calcium in your diet, the solution is to cut back on things like dairy or concentrated supplements, while making sure your magnesium intake is appropriate. There are a ton of other reasons to cut out dairy, but that will be a topic for another day.
Eating a diet of healthy, whole plant foods can drastically increase your energy levels if you do it with certain things in mind. Here are some foods that contain magnesium, and lots of other nutrients at the same time, so they’re just plain healthy overall. The average recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium is 420mg/day for adult men and 320mg/day for adult women.
- Cashews – 2 Tbsp have 73 mg in 161 calories
- Almonds – 2 Tbsp have 80 mg in 167 calories
- Brown Rice – 1 cup (cooked) has 84 mg in 216 calories
- Quinoa – 1 cup (cooked) has 118 mg in 222 calories
- Rolled Oats – 1 cup (dry) has 112 mg in 307 calories
- Amaranth – 1 cup (cooked) has 160 mg in 251 calories
- Buckwheat – 1 cup (cooked) has 86 mg in 155 calories
- Kale – 1 cup (raw) has 23 mg in 33 calories
- Molasses – 1 Tbsp has 48 mg in 58 calories
Data from nutritiondata.com
Recipes Using Magnesium-Rich Foods
- Chocolate Banana Quinoa Breakfast Recipe
- Brown Rice Sushi Rolls
- Kale Slaw with Curried Almond Dressing
- Gluten-Free Blueberry Buckwheat Muffins
- Chai Cashew Ice Cream
What makes you feel energized? Certain foods, certain activities, certain people or relationships? Let me know below!
Image Credit: Heather Nauta of HealthyEatingStartsHere.com