Magnesium Rich Foods for Children’s Bone Health
Milk has long been the staple drink to help kids with the growth of bones. Parents are encouraged to give their children enough milk and other calcium rich foods such as cheese and yoghurt, but new research has found that other non calcium based foods may be important too, such as magnesium rich foods.
Foods that are rich in magnesium such as pumpkin seeds, green leafy vegetables, dark chocolate, lentils, bananas and almonds are also important in building strong healthy bones. Magnesium is essential in improving the absorption of calcium in the body. Magnesium is the more important mineral for bone health. The ideal ratio of magnesium to calcium is 2:1. Magnesium is well known for its ability to improve bone health in adults but little research has been done on young children.
This study was conducted on 63 healthy children between 4 and 8 years. The children were not taking any multivitamins or minerals prior to the study. The children kept food diaries throughout the research. Calcium and magnesium levels were measured twice during overnight hospital stay.
The children’s calcium and magnesium levels were measured using stable isotopes. Urine was collected for 72 hours, from which the researchers could measure how much calcium and magnesium was absorbed in the body.
The researchers measured bone mineral content and density using total body dual-energy x-ray absorptionetry. The results showed that the amount of magnesium consumed and absorbed was important in the bone strength. Calcium was however not significantly associated with total bone mineral quality or density.
The researchers concluded that it is important for children to have a balanced and healthy diet that includes both calcium and magnesium.