The Best Foods for Magnesium

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Magnesium helps many of your bodily processes so it’s very important that you’re getting enough in your diet. Find out our top 9 best foods for magnesium.

Magnesium is an incredibly important mineral that helps your body to perform over 300 enzymatic processes. Not only does it support with the body’s basic functions such as muscle contraction and heart rhythm, but it also helps to control blood sugar and pressure, supports bone health, protein production and even assists with making DNA and creating energy.

magnesium foodsAs it assists with so many bodily processes, it’s super important that you’re getting enough of it each day by including plenty of foods rich in magnesium in your diet. Keep reading to find out the best foods for upping your intake and learn how much you should be getting per day.

How much magnesium do you need per day?

The amount of magnesium you need per day varies by gender; the table below shows the current recommended daily intake:

Men 400 – 420mg
Women 310 – 320mg


9 best foods for magnesium

If you’re looking to add more of the vitamin into your diet there’s loads of foods rich in magnesium, some of which you may not expect! Here’s our top 9:

1.     Dark chocolate

This one may surprise you but dark chocolate is actually rather good for you. For one, it’s rich in magnesium and has a whopping 64mg in just a 28g serving which equates to 16% of your RDI. Not just that but it also happens to be high in iron, copper, manganese and also contains prebiotic fibre for healthy gut bacteria. Did we mention that it’s packed full of antioxidants too?

To get the most nutrients from dark chocolate, look for a bar that contains at least 70% cocoa solids.

2.     Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are some of the best foods for magnesium, here’s some of the richest:

  • Roasted almonds: 30g has 80mg of magnesium which is around 20% of the RDI
  • Roasted cashews: 30g has 72mg, around 18% of the RDI
  • Whole flaxseed: 1tbsp has 40mg, equating to around 10% of the RDI
  • Dry roasted peanuts: 30g has 49mg, which is about 12% the RDI
  • Hulled and roasted pumpkin seeds: 30g has 150mg which is 37% of the RDI

Seeds and nuts are also super high in fibre, rich in iron, omega 3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fat, so they’re a great addition to your diet!

3.     Avocados

Avocados have fast become one of the most popular fruits in the UK and are often seen smashed on top of toast or mixed together to make a delicious guacamole. But did you know they’re also a superfood? One medium avocado has 58mg which is around 15% your RDI and is also packed full of potassium, B vitamins, vitamin K and is high in fibre too.

4.     Legumes

Legumes refers to a family of plants that produce pods with seeds inside. Many of the foods in this group are high in nutrients including potassium, iron, protein and magnesium. Some of the most magnesium rich legumes being:

  • Black beans (boiled): 110g has 60mg, around 15% the RDI
  • Edamame (cooked): 110g has 50mg, around 12% the RDI
  • Lima beans (cooked): 110g has 40mg, around 10% the RDI

5.     Tofu

Tofu is prized throughout the vegetarian and vegan world for its high protein content, but it also benefits from being high in magnesium too! Each 100g of the versatile curd has 53mg of magnesium which works out to about 13% of your RDI.

magnesium rich whole grains6.     Whole grains

Whole grains are a fantastic addition to your diet and are widely available in everything from breads to cereals. Some of the best whole grains for upping your magnesium intake are as follows:

  • Quinoa (cooked): 100g has 60mg, around 15% the RDI
  • Shredded wheat: 220g has 56mg, around 14% the RDI
  • Brown rice: 100g has 44mg, around 10% the RDI

If you need more of a reason to add whole grains to your diet, they’re also high in B vitamins, selenium, fibre and manganese too.

7.     Fish

Fish is a great source of magnesium, with fatty fishes tending to be more nutrient rich that leaner types. Here’s some of the best types of fish for magnesium:

  • Salmon: Half a fillet contains 53mg which is around 13% your RDI
  • Tuna: a fillet contains 109mg which is around 26% your RDI
  • Mackerel: a fillet contains 85mg which is around 20% your RDI

On top of being full of magnesium, fatty fishes are also high in protein, potassium, B vitamins and selenium!

8.     Bananasbanana and other magnesium rich food

Another incredibly popular fruit, bananas are praised by everyone from commuters to school children due to the fact they’re relatively no fuss, tasty and good for you too! Bananas are a great food for magnesium and you’ll expect to find 37mg in one large banana which is about 9% of your RDI. When you’re tucking in to the tasty fruit, you’ll also be ingesting lots of vitamin C, B6, fibre and manganese too.

9.     Leafy greens

You’re probably no stranger to hearing “eat your greens,” when you were a child, but there’s good reason for that! Leafy greens are incredibly nutrient rich and are full of iron, manganese, vitamin A, C and K and of course they’re one of the best foods for magnesium too. Here’s some of the most magnesium rich leafy greens:

  • Spinach (cooked): 100g has 78mg which is around 19% the RDI
  • Kale: 100g has 57mg which is around 14% the RDI
  • Swiss chard: 100g has 86mg which is around 20% the RDI

What if I’m not getting enough magnesium from my diet alone?

If you’re struggling to get enough magnesium from your diet, speak to your doctor. Certain conditions such as Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease, Chronic Diarrhoea, Alcoholism and Type 2 Diabetes and some medications can make it more difficult to absorb magnesium from your diet. Where the odd day without a magnesium rich diet is unlikely to cause an issue, if you’re struggling to get enough long-term, it could lead to a deficiency and serious health issues. Your doctor will be able to look for any underlying issues and recommend a supplement tailored to your needs.

That’s our guide to the best foods for magnesium! Want to find out more about getting enough essential vitamins in your diet? Read our guide on the best foods for selenium, next.



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