After eating a not-so-healthy menu and partaking in a little wine and brewery tasting for an anniversary weekend getaway, recovering from surgery became a nightmare. Lying in bed, tears flowing, my foot screaming in pain; I was paying the price of my transgressions. I must get back on track. I turn to the pages of my bible for pain-fighting advice, Dr. Neal Barnard and his book “Foods that Fight Pain”. I decided to re-read every page and heed every piece of advice.

Within the pages of this magnificent authority of “all things plants”, Dr. Barnard talks about magnesium. Magnesium has become an essential supplement in the arsenal of treating pain in my field at work. We give it intravenously to augment the effects of multimodal coverage of pain during surgery. A recent article just published in May of 2021, covers 81 random clinical trials in reference to the effects of Magnesium. They record the effects of magnesium benefiting pain associated with acute and chronic pain; migraines, fibromyalgia, and renal colic. Most importantly magnesium helps decrease the consumption of analgesic such as opioids, thus contributing to the fight against opioid addiction. The ion Magnesium blocks the NMDA receptor, a glutamate receptor.

The dosage recommended orally is the same as the FDA recommends; 400 mg per day for men and 300 for women. The type of magnesium needed for benefit is still up in the air until further study is done. I will be beginning a regimen of Magnesium Malate post-surgery, believed to be better absorbed than other forms. But most importantly, recommended by Dr. Bernard is incorporating foods in your diet high in magnesium. The following is a list compiled by J. A. Pennington. of the foods contributing over 100 mg of magnesium per serving.

Swiss Chard 152mg

Barley 158 mg

Dried Figs – 152mg

Navy Beans – 107 mg

Soybeans 148 mg

Tofu – 118 mg

White Beans 113 mg

Spinach 158 mg

Enjoy this great recipe of Swiss Chard smoothie.

Morel V, Pickering M-E, Goubayon J, Djobo M, Macian N, Pickering G. Magnesium for Pain Treatment in 2021? State of the Art. Nutrients. 2021; 13(5):1397. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051397

Barnard, Neal, and Jennifer Raymond. Foods That Fight Pain. Bantam, 1999.