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Avocados & Magnesium

By Andrea Cespedes

Magnesium is an essential mineral that supports organ and bone health. Magnesium is classified as an electrolyte, a group of minerals that help with proper contraction of muscles. While true magnesium deficiencies are rare, adding avocados to your diet is one way to help ensure you get enough of this mineral daily.

Magnesium is an essential mineral that supports organ and bone health. Magnesium is classified as an electrolyte, a group of minerals that help with proper contraction of muscles. While true magnesium deficiencies are rare, adding avocados to your diet is one way to help ensure you get enough of this mineral daily.

Low Magnesium Levels

You may experience low levels of magnesium if you have suffered excessive vomiting or diarrhea or have diabetes, pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism or kidney disease. Drinking too much coffee, soda, salt or alcohol can also lower your levels. Heavy periods, excessive sweating and high levels of stress are other causes of low magnesium levels.

Effects

If your magnesium levels are too low, you may experience sleep disturbances, irritability, abnormal heart beat, low blood pressure, muscle cramping and weakness, trouble breathing and anxiety. Avocados are a decent food source of magnesium and can help you keep your stores up. If you feel you need a supplement in addition to avocados and other food sources, speak with your health-care provider.

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Recommendations

Most men need about 400 mg of magnesium daily while women need about 300 mg daily. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you need approximately 350 mg daily. You may also need more magnesium when recovering from surgery or strenuous athletic activity. California avocados provide 67 mg of magnesium per 1 cup of puree while larger, more watery Florida varieties offer 55 mg.

Other Sources

Avocados are only one source of magnesium. A diet rich in whole grains, nuts and leafy greens helps ensure you get adequate amounts. Cashews, dried apricots, spinach, tofu and brown rice are examples of foods to include in your diet to maximize your magnesium intake.

Additional Avocado Benefits

In addition to providing magnesium, avocados are a good source of potassium, another electrolyte. An average of all avocado types provides over 1,000 mg per pureed cup, over double the amount in a banana. Avocados are also a source of vitamin K and folate. Although high in calories and fat, avocados provide heart-healthy unsaturated fats that support heart health.

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