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Americans Need More Magnesium in Diet

Poll Suggests 65% in U.S. Don't Get Enough of Essential Mineral

From the WebMD Archives

July 23, 2004 -- It's one of the reasons Popeye eats his spinach, why health nuts eat nuts, and why good diets are full of beans.

Are you getting enough magnesium? It's an essential mineral. But half of American's can't name a magnesium-rich food. And nearly two-thirds of us may not be getting enough magnesium, a Gallup Poll survey shows.

The survey, conducted in January 2004, included a national sample of 1,009 U.S. adults. It has a margin of error of 3%.

Clearly, not many of us are reading the labels on our cereal boxes and daily-vitamin bottles. Only 14% of Americans know the daily requirement of magnesium. Adult men need 400-420 mg/day while adult women need 310-320 mg /day, more during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Foods rich in magnesium include:

  • 100% bran cereals: Half a cup contains 129 mg.
  • Spinach: Half a cup of cooked spinach contains 78 mg.
  • Beans, especially lima, navy, and black beans. Half a cup of lima beans contains 63 mg.
  • Peanuts and hazelnuts: One ounce contains about 49 mg.
  • Almonds: One ounce contains 81 mg.
  • Milk: 8 ounces of 1% milk contain 34 mg.
  • Oat bran: Half a cup contains 96 mg.

Show Sources

SOURCES: Gallup Poll Survey on Magnesium Intake and Supplement Usage. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. News release, Purdue Products.

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