Magnesium is an essential substance: no living beings can produce it themselves and need it. It is even called the second most important mineral after calcium!
It is involved in countless enzyme reactions, has an influence on cell membranes and is also a messenger substance in the immune system.
Therefore, with a magnesium deficiency restlessness, nervousness, irritability, lack of concentration, fatigue, a general feeling of weakness, headaches, cardiac arrhythmias or muscle spasms are the symptoms.
Even on the metabolism and on the psyche it has great effects: A deficiency can probably increase depression and schizophrenic psychosis.
Without magnesium, there are dire consequences. What about a vegan diet? Will you get enough magnesium then?
Let’s take a look at how much magnesium we need in general and how you get vegan.
Magnesium: How your body gets it
Magnesium is absorbed in the intestine – mainly in the upper small intestine. The non-absorbed magnesium is excreted by our body again via urine and bowel movements.
It is contained in many foods but also in our drinking water . Every day we need 300 to 350 mg of magnesium – this is recommended by the German Nutrition Society depending on the biological sex. Men need more, women less. With a balanced diet, this also works without supplements.
You should always have a deficiency determined by a doctor via a blood test . If this is detected, you can cover it with dietary supplements or medications. However, exactly this is not easily detectable with a single measurement. It is only 1% of the magnesium in the body in the blood – the rest is bound in cells. Unfortunately, this means multiple checks and an exclusion procedure of the causes.
A deficiency has various reasons: A serious illness, a pregnancy or you are active in competitive sports and therefore need more. An unbalanced diet also falls under this.
A severe deficiency usually has even worse causes. Then you could suffer or have suffered from kidney dysfunction, long-term diarrhea or chronic intestinal inflammation. Other reasons include diabetes, which is still poorly controlled, the use of corticoids or diuretics, as well as alcoholism.
In Germany , magnesium salts are approved for use in a daily dose of 100 to 400 mg. The higher the dosage, the less the body can actually absorb it. If you approach almost the maximum dose, it is only 18%, while at low doses it is up to 40%.
The exact composition is less interesting, because the magnesium compounds used are equivalent. Especially organic magnesium salts such as magnesium aspartate or magnesium citrate can be absorbed by the body faster than other salts.
However, a magnesium supplement brings you very little in the short term. In order for the sudden additional magnesium to be absorbed, the body first needs molecules to which it docks. This changeover takes at least four weeks.
Is magnesium a problem with vegan diets?
Once magnesium vegan. As a nutrient, this works naturally. But do you get enough with a vegan diet? Let’s take a closer look at the causes and frequency of a deficiency.
According to nutritional studies, 10 to 20% of the population is affected by a latent magnesium deficiency. A common reason is a one-sided diet or diet.
As always with a vegan diet, it means paying close attention to the food supplied. You should also regularly check the nutrient levels.
These foods give you vegan magnesium
It only means paying attention to a few foods and you get to a relatively high amount of magnesium.
This includes whole grains and potatoes. They provide you with enough magnesium, iron and zinc – completely vegan!
In general, you should mainly rely on whole grains, as there are many minerals, vitamins, fiber and unsaturated fatty acids in it.
However, you have to eat a lot. It needs at least three servings of whole grains or potatoes a day. A portion is already quite neat:
- 60 to 75 grams of dry whole grain cereals
- 250 to 300 grams of cooked whole grains
- 2 to 3 slices of wholemeal bread
- 120 to 150 grams of whole wheat pasta
- 200 to 350 grams of potatoes
Yes, that’s just one serving. So that would be either up to half a kilogram of whole wheat pasta, almost a kilogram of cooked grain or more than a kilogram of potatoes daily.
This is difficult to achieve. Vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds also work, but do not provide these large quantities, as you can not eat large amounts of them and for other reasons you should not.
This includes the following foods, which can serve as snacks or ingredients in cooking. Next to it is the magnesium concentration per 100 grams. Here, however, it is important to be careful, because here too the body can not process everything:
- Pumpkin seeds: 530 mg
- Sunflower seeds: 420 mg
- Sesame: 330 mg
- Poppy seeds: 330 mg
- Amaranth: 300 mg
- Quinoa: 280 mg
- Cashews: 270 mg
- Soybeans: 210 mg
- Peanuts: 163 mg
- Bananas: 110 mg
So if you’re making yourself a breakfast, a main meal, or a snack in between, keep taking a look at recipe suggestions that either include whole grains, potatoes, and or one of these aforementioned ingredients.
In any case, you should not drink too much tea and coffee . They contain phytates and polyphenols that inhibit the absorption of zinc, magnesium and calcium.
You have a bonus with a vegan diet: Soy products also have quite a lot of magnesium. If you love cocoa , this is also a bonus, because the powder also has a relatively high amount of magnesium.
Supplementation, magnesium, vegan: Do you need dietary supplements for supply?
According to the National Consumption Study II,
is the most commonly consumed dietary supplement. Many swear by magnesium after exercise against cramps and muscle hardening.
Among the best sources of magnesium, however, are many plant-based foods. So it is no worse as a vegan than with the mixed diet.
Since the vegan diet has to do with consciousness for many anyway, many also check their nutrient levels regularly. As a result, vegan people appear in the statistics as well cared for.
Only when you have symptoms of a deficiency and have briefly ruled out other problems with medical advice, you should then resort to dietary supplements. Exceptions are the circumstances and special charges mentioned above.
Attention: Not all supplements are also vegan, because the shells of the capsules are sometimes made of gelatin. So see if the dietary supplements really meet the requirements of a vegan diet.
If you eat consciously, pay attention to how your body is doing, and supplement in case of deficiency, nothing stands in the way of a healthy supply of magnesium. Also, or perhaps especially with a vegan diet.