Guide To Eating The Healthiest Magnesium Rich Foods

According to a study from Germany, magnesium is almost present in many foods.

However, it is important to filter these foods because some contain compounds that can reduce the absorption of the mineral.

In this article, we will discuss foods high in magnesium, what causes magnesium deficiency, and how to combat it.

11 Magnesium Rich-Foods as Alternatives for Magnesium Supplements

Choosing the source of Mg is not as easy as it seems.

Some foods, for example, those rich in fiber, contain phthalate that can reduce the absorption of magnesium in your gut.

In this section, we will provide 11 foods that are high in magnesium which will surely be loved by your tastebuds!

1) Dark chocolate

lady eating dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is not just for those with a sweet tooth.

This dessert also provides many health benefits, especially for individuals with low levels of Mg.

A 28-gram serving of dark chocolate provides around 62 mg of magnesium.

This is around 16% of the daily value required for Mg.

According to a study from the United Kingdom, aside from magnesium, dark chocolate is also rich in copper, iron, manganese, and fiber that can support a healthy gut.

Furthermore, based on a study from Pennsylvania, dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants that can promote a healthy immune system.

This food neutralizes free radicals that can harm your body, thus, preventing cancer from occurring. 

For better effects, you should choose products that contain more than 70% of cocoa.

The higher the percentage, the better.

2) Avocados


Avocado is one of the fruits that are high in magnesium. One medium-sized avocado can provide around 58 grams of Mg.

Aside from Mg, avocados are also rich in potassium, B vitamins, and vitamin K.

All of these are high in fat, which can support heart health.

Additionally, avocados are rich in carbs and fiber.

Both of these make digestion easier for you.

In a randomized controlled trial from California, avocado can reduce inflammation, making it a healthy fruit for those with joint and muscle pain.

Other benefits you can get from this fruit include improvement of cholesterol levels and increased satiety.

3) Nuts


We all love to snack on food, especially when we watch movies.

If you want to increase your magnesium intake without using a magnesium supplement, you might want to snack on nuts such as almonds and cashews instead.

For example, a 28-gram serving of cashews can provide around 82 grams of Mg. 

Aside from increasing your magnesium levels, according to a study from Canada, nuts can also improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Remember, nuts are not just magnesium-rich.

They also contain selenium which can prevent heart disease.

4) Legumes


You can also increase your Mg levels without the use of a magnesium supplement by consuming legumes.

These nutrient-dense plants include the following:

  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Soybeans

For example, a half-cup serving of black beans and kidney beans can provide around 60 mg and 128 mg of magnesium, respectively.

According to a study from Washington, aside from Mg, legumes are also rich in potassium, iron, and fiber which can manage high blood pressure and promote proper blood flow.

Based on a clinical trial from Japan, legumes can also support bone health. 

5) Seeds

Chia Seeds

Other foods you can snack on instead of using a magnesium supplement include seeds such as pumpkin seeds and chia seeds.

For example, a 28-gram serving of pumpkin seeds can provide around 150 mg of Mg.

This is around 37% of the recommended daily intake of Mg.

Aside from Mg, these seeds, including flaxseeds, are also rich in fiber, healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and iron. In a study published in the Journal of Chromatography, these contents protect your immune system from free radical cells that can cause cancer, specifically, breast cancer.

6) Whole grains

Whole-grain foods can also provide enough magnesium to your body for it to function properly. Some of these are wheat, oats, barley, and quinoa.

For example, a 28-gram serving of buckwheat and shredded wheat can provide around 65 mg and 37 mg of magnesium, respectively.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, these foods can improve overall health by reducing inflammation and decreasing the risk of heart problems.

One of the amazing things about whole-grain foods is that they are usually gluten-free.

Thus, individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity would truly enjoy their benefits.

7) Fatty fish

Fatty fish

The types of fish that can give you enough magnesium include salmon, mackerel, and halibut.

For example, a 178-gram of salmon can provide around 53 grams of Mg and 39 grams of protein.

Aside from magnesium, these fish types are also rich in potassium, selenium, B vitamins, and other nutrients your body, especially your heart, needs. 

8) Bananas

Banana Peel

Another magnesium-rich fruit includes bananas.

These fruits are one of the most popular globally and they are best known for their potassium content which can support cardiovascular health. 

One large banana can provide around 37 grams of Mg.

Aside from Mg, bananas are also rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese. 

In Asian countries, because of the fiber content of bananas, this fruit is known to help individuals with diarrhea. 

But, when choosing this food option, it is advised to go for the medium-ripe ones.

Too ripe bananas contain high amounts of sugars which are contraindicated for patients with diabetes.

On the other hand, unripe bananas are resistant to starch, and thus are hard to digest.

9) Dark leafy greens

Carrot Greens


Dark leafy greens do not only help you get enough magnesium to fill your body with.

Instead, these veggies are extremely nutritious as they also contain iron, manganese, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K.

Some dark leafy green vegetables include kale, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, turnip greens, and mustard greens.

These veggies offer different amounts of Mg.

For reference, a 100-gram serving of cooked spinach can provide around 157 mg of this mineral.

10) Brown rice

Brown Rice

Instead of brown rice that is rich in sugar content, you might want to consider brown rice that is rich in magnesium.

Comparing these two, a 100-gram serving of white rice offers less magnesium, around 12 grams only.

Meanwhile, a 100-gram serving of brown rice offers around 43 grams of Mg. Aside from these, brown rice can also promote weight loss.

11) Tofu

Many individuals get all the magnesium they need from food.

If you prefer plant-based Mg sources, one of your options could be tofu.

Aside from magnesium, tofu is rich in calcium, selenium, iron, and manganese which can improve your overall health.

One cup serving of tofu offers around 146 mg of Mg.

According to some experts, if you take protein together with this food, you can increase the absorption of the mineral.

Magnesium Deficiency: Causes and Signs

It is important to understand the causes and signs of Mg deficiency.

Many people might not be aware that having low levels of this is associated with many factors.

According to the Australian Government Department of Health, some of the causes of low levels of Mg include the following:

  • Poor diet, especially in elders
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive and kidney problems
  • Long-term use of diuretics and drugs that can reduce magnesium levels in your body
  • Alcohol abuse

Although you need to increase your Mg levels, you should also understand that you only have to consume the right amount of Mg.

Too much magnesium can cause side effects such as diarrhea and we do not want this to happen.

Moving on to the signs of Mg deficiency, some of these are abnormal eye movement, insomnia, convulsions, headaches, fatigue, muscle spasms and weakness, and numbness.

If you experience any of these, seek medical consultation from health professionals to avoid further complications.

Final Thoughts

Indeed, magnesium supplementation is vital for your body to function properly.

Since this mineral is not produced intrinsically, the use of supplements is needed.

However, supplements are sometimes not tolerable for many people with Mg deficiency. Fortunately, there are foods you can that contain this mineral.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much magnesium should I take?

Understanding how much Mg you should take depends on your health condition. Too much magnesium can cause side effects such as irritable bowel movements, thus, you should only take the required dose for you.

Which of the leafy greens has the highest magnesium content?

Among the leafy greens, spinach offers the highest Mg content. A 100-gram serving of this vegetable can provide around 87 mg of magnesium. If cooked, a one-cup serving can offer around 157 mg.

Which offers higher magnesium, ripe or unripe bananas?

Both offer the same amount of magnesium. The only thing you should consider here is that ripe ones contain high amounts of sugar and unripe ones are hard to digest. So, if you are diabetic, you might want to avoid the ripe ones.