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3 Foods that Helps Magnesium Absorption in Kids

Published May 24, 2024

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Magnesium is a crucial mineral for the healthy development and overall well-being of kids. It plays a vital role in muscle function, bone development, and the nervous system. However, ensuring that kiddos get enough magnesium through diet alone can be challenging. Fortunately, certain foods can enhance magnesium absorption, making it easier for their bodies to benefit from this essential nutrient. In this blog, we’ll explore three common foods that help with magnesium absorption.

Why Magnesium is Important for Kids

Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps regulate muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. Additionally, magnesium is vital for the synthesis of protein, bone development, and DNA production. Deficiency in magnesium can lead to various health issues, including muscle cramps, fatigue, and even more severe conditions like cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis in later life. 

Begin Health Expert Tip

Did you know that there are several different types of magnesium?Check out the magnesium that best helps your kids with a healthy digestion here. 

1. Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are excellent sources of magnesium and also contain nutrients that enhance magnesium absorption.

  • Magnesium Content: One cup of cooked spinach provides about 157 milligrams of magnesium, which is roughly 39% of the daily recommended intake for kids.

  • Nutrient Synergy: Leafy greens are high in vitamins such as vitamin K and certain B vitamins, which help the body absorb magnesium more efficiently. A study published inThe Journal of Nutrition highlighted that the combination of magnesium with these vitamins improves its bioavailability.

  • Chlorophyll: These greens are rich in chlorophyll, which is structurally similar to heme in hemoglobin and aids in the absorption and utilization of magnesium in the body.

2. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds, including almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds, are nutrient-dense foods that are particularly high in magnesium.

  • Magnesium Content: One ounce of almonds contains about 80 milligrams of magnesium, providing 20% of the daily intake for kids.

  • Healthy Fats: The presence of healthy fats in nuts and seeds enhances the bioavailability of magnesium. Research fromThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the fats in nuts and seeds help improve the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals, including magnesium.

  • Phytates and Enzymes: Although nuts and seeds contain phytates, which can bind minerals and reduce absorption, soaking or roasting them can reduce phytate levels and increase magnesium bioavailability. A study inFood Chemistry demonstrated that soaking almonds significantly decreases phytate content and improves mineral absorption.

3. Legumes

Legumes, such as black beans, chickpeas, and lentils, are rich in magnesium and fiber, making them excellent for digestive health and nutrient absorption.

  • Magnesium Content: One cup of cooked black beans contains about 120 milligrams of magnesium, approximately 30% of the daily requirement for kids.

  • Fiber and Prebiotics: The high fiber content in legumes acts as a prebiotic, promoting a healthy gut microbiome, which is essential for nutrient absorption. According to a study inNutrients, a healthy gut environment can enhance the absorption of minerals, including magnesium.

  • Protein and Amino Acids: Legumes are also a good source of plant-based protein, which can aid in the absorption of magnesium. TheJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reported that certain amino acids in legumes improve magnesium uptake by the body.

Summary

Incorporating leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds, and legumes into a kid's diet can significantly enhance magnesium absorption, promoting overall health and well-being. These foods not only provide magnesium but also contain other nutrients that aid in its absorption and utilization. 

References

  1. The Journal of Nutrition: "Enhancement of Magnesium Bioavailability by Dietary Components" (2012)
  2. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: "Dietary Fats and Mineral Absorption" (2015)
  3. Food Chemistry: "Impact of Soaking on Phytate Levels in Nuts" (2016)
  4. Nutrients: "Role of Gut Microbiota in Nutrient Absorption" (2018)
  5. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: "Amino Acids and Mineral Uptake" (2017)