Your clients may believe they’re getting ample vitamin D, but they won’t get the full benefit if their diet lacks magnesium. A study published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that vitamin D is not properly metabolized when magnesium levels are low. Thus, it remains largely inactive in the body, leaving people vulnerable to disorders related to poor vitamin D status, including weak bones.

Unfortunately, the typical American diet supplies only about 50% of the recommended daily intake for magnesium—420 milligrams for men and 320 mg for women. Processed foods full of refined grains, fats and sugar tend to be sorely lacking in the mineral. On the flip side, foods high in magnesium include legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, leafy greens and dark chocolate.

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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