In a report published in the journal Nutraceuticals, researchers from Newcastle University in the UK found that magnesium-rich foods such as red meat, vegetables and beans, as well as fortified cereals, pasta, nuts and seeds all had a higher content of the mineral than low-mood foods such and pasta.
The study looked at data from more than 3,000 people over a period of 13 years, including a large number of participants who were either in their 20s or older.
The researchers concluded that people who were overweight or obese, and who were consuming the same foods as the healthy population, had higher levels of magnesium in their bodies than the healthy individuals.
But the study also found that a high-protein diet and a high intake of calcium had the greatest effect on magnesium levels in the body.
“In general, we found that there was a relationship between the amount of magnesium present in the diet and magnesium levels,” study author Dr. Mark Richardson told BBC News.
The study did not look at the effects of eating foods rich or poor in calcium or vitamin D. “It is not a perfect study, but it is certainly the best study to date,” Richardson said. “
But we did find that certain foods had a significant effect on how much magnesium there is in them, as the ratio of magnesium to other minerals is much higher in foods rich in magnesium than in foods poor in it.”
The study did not look at the effects of eating foods rich or poor in calcium or vitamin D. “It is not a perfect study, but it is certainly the best study to date,” Richardson said.
The authors also noted that the average intake of magnesium per day in the population is about 4.5 milligrams.
“However, if people are consuming too little, we may see magnesium levels drop,” he added.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that people with low magnesium intakes should eat more magnesium.
“People with low levels of dietary magnesium should consume a diet high in dietary fiber, magnesium-containing foods, and foods rich (such as vegetables, fruits, and legumes) in magnesium,” the agency said in a statement.
“High-quality magnesium-fortified foods are recommended to be consumed at least once per day.”
But Richardson and his team found that the amount the people were consuming was not linked to magnesium levels, and that they actually had a lower magnesium intake than people who did not have magnesium deficiency.
“We found that people consuming the lowest amount of dietary dietary magnesium had a significantly lower mean magnesium intake in their urine than people consuming a higher amount of daily magnesium intake,” he said.