Is it true that most women need more magnesium?
YES. Magnesium is essential for energy production, smooth muscle and nerve function, heart rhythm, a healthy immune system, normal blood pressure, and strong bones. Not having enough puts you at risk for migraines and fibromyalgia and can also lead to PMS, menstrual cramps, insomnia, and osteoporosis.
Eat magnesium. Get this mineral (recommended daily intake is 310 mg) from foods like nuts (an ounce of dry-roasted almonds has 80 mg), seeds, dark-green vegetables (a half-cup of cooked spinach has 75 mg), unrefined grains, and soy. Avoid caffeine and alcohol since they can often deplete magnesium.
Talk to your doctor. Healthy women rarely need more than the daily recommended value of magnesium. Use supplements only if your diet is poor or if you're experiencing a particular health concern, such as diabetes. (Magnesium helps regulate blood sugar levels.) Female athletes, too, need extra magnesium for energy metabolism and protein synthesis. If you're active, you can't go far without it. If taking supplements, select one that has B vitamins or calcium combinations, which go hand in hand with magnesium absorption.
—Tori Hudson, N.D., naturopathic doctor and medical director of A Woman's Time clinic in Portland, Ore.