Why Is Magnesium Important? Top 22 Foods High In Magnesium

Magnesium is a crucial mineral as it helps with over 300 enzyme reactions in the body, particularly those involving muscles, nerve function, the immune system, and blood pressure regulation. Here is a good review below.


The following table shows the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium intake by age and sex, according to the ODS.

Age Male Female
1–3 years 80 mg 80 mg
4–8 years 130 mg 130 mg
9–13 years 240 mg 240 mg
14–18 years 410 mg 360 mg
19–30 years 400 mg 310 mg
31–50 years 420 mg 320 mg
51+ years 420 mg 320 mg

People should increase their magnesium intake by around 40 mg per day during pregnancy.

Experts base the adequate intake for babies under 1 year old on the amounts found in breastmilk.

recommended daily intake for women ranges from 310-320mg, bumping up to 350mg during pregnancy. It’s important to note that while magnesium supplements should not exceed 350mg per day, it’s fine to consume more than the recommended daily intake from food and water.

Top 17 Foods High In Magnesium

  1. Cashew Nuts – 1 ounce is equivalent to 20% of your daily value.
  2. Almond – 1 ounce supplies 19% of your daily value.
  3. Avocados – 1 fruit is equivalent to 15% of your daily value.
  4. Beet greens– 1 cup of boiled beet greens supplies 24% of your daily value.
  5. Lentils – 1 cup of cooked lentils is equivalent to 18% of your daily value.
  6. Chocolate – 1 bar gives you 58% of your daily value.
  7. Figs – 1 cup of dried figs is equivalent to 25% of your daily value.
  8. Okra – 1 cup of boiled okra gives you 14% of your daily value.
  9. Seeds – 1 ounce whole, roasted pumpkin or squash supplies 19% of your daily value.
  10. Squash – 1 cup is equivalent to 11% of your daily value.
  11. Rice– 1 cup of long grain brown rice supplies 21% of your daily value.
  12. Spinach – 1 cup of cooked spinach gives you 39% of your daily value.
  13. Kale- 1 cup of raw kale gives you 8% of your daily value.
  14. Turnip greens- 1 cup of boiled beet greens gives you 8% of your daily value.
  15. Bok Choy- 1 cup of shredded bok choy gives you 5% of your daily value.
  16. Swiss Card- 1 cup of raw swiss chard gives you 7% of your daily value.
  17. Bananas- 1 cup of raw banana gives you 15% of your daily value.
  18. Broccoli: 1/2 cup =50mg; raw is best but cooked (but not too much) also works
  19. Flaxseed: 1 Tablespoon=40mg
  20. Tofu: 1/2 cup =40mg
  21. Peas 1/2 cup =50mg
  22. Oatmeal/porrige: 1cup =60mg

References & Notes:


1. Almonds

Almonds are rich in lots of minerals and nutrients, making them an ideal addition to pretty much anyone’s diet. Specifically they are high in magnesium, offering more than 105mg in just one quarter of a cup – which is far more than most other varieties of nuts.

9. Cashew nuts

Cashews are another nut high in magnesium, delivering around 90mg of the mineral in a quarter cup serving. A few handfuls of the nuts and you will have a significant amount of your daily magnesium requirements.

You can also get about 10% of your daily iron requirements in one serving, and give yourself a boost in vitamin K.

4. Broccoli

Hated by children everywhere, broccoli is rich in magnesium, giving you more than 50mg in just half a cup of the cooked vegetable. You should be aware that the tendency of people to overcook the vegetable can result in most of the nutrients being stripped away during boiling. It’s best to prepare broccoli so that it still has some amount of crunch within it. This ensures that you get all the goodness it provides, including vitamin C.

Studies have also suggested that broccoli can help reduce your risk of developing bladder and colon cancer.

6. Flaxseed

Flaxseed is far higher in magnesium than most of the other foods listed here. A tiny tablespoon of whole flaxseed gives you 40mg of magnesium, meaning you really don’t have to consume much at all to get a daily dosage of the good stuff.

Ground flaxseed can be used as an addition to lots of other meals and is regularly combined with cereal or yogurt to make a delicious breakfast or afternoon treat.

As well as magnesium, expect a good amount of fiber to help your food digest properly and maintain bowel regularity, as well as lignan antioxidants to keep your body in top shape.

8. Tofu

A vegetarian favorite, tofu offers almost 40-mg in a half cup portion, which is often much smaller than regular servings. This is a vegetarian source of protein made of soy, and as well as delivering you vital magnesium, it also offers more than 40% of your daily calcium requirements. You also get iron and antioxidants in this versatile food.

2. Peas

one cup of peas you get just about 50mg of magnesium, making them pretty rich in the important mineral.

5. Porridge

A bowl of porridge, or oatmeal, is a great way to start the day. It fills you up and sets you up for a busy day. It also offers almost 60mg of magnesium in one cup, when cooked. This gives you a boost of fiber, too, helping your digestive system absorb all the nutrients you take in during the day.

The potassium and folate found in oatmeal are good for you too, and you’ll even find that eating porridge on a regular basis can help reduce your bad cholesterol levels and give you a boost in omega 3 fatty acids.

3. Sweetcorn

One ear of sweetcorn contains over 30mg of magnesium, providing a good boost of magnesium when combined with other ingredients. The corn is pretty rich in sugars and, therefore, carbohydrates, 

10. Bananas

Finally, bananas are one of the best sources of potassium and magnesium around. This fruit is a favorite among Western children and is really easy to snack on. It even comes in its own natural packaging!

One medium-sized banana offers at least 30mg of magnesium, and it also comes with electrolytes that are able to lower your blood pressure and help you keep a healthy heart. They are ideal for breakfast, providing slow-releasing energy to set you up for a long day ahead, and can be used to snack on and provide energy boosts throughout the day.

7. Skimmed milk

Skimmed milk is lower in fat than whole milk and still full of calcium…and it’s also rich in magnesium! A cup of skimmed milk will give you almost 30mg of magnesium, depending on the brand that you purchase. The milk is really good for the bones and the muscles, and this one cup of milk will also provide about 30% of your daily calcium requirements, making it important for children and adults alike – assuming you’re not lactose intolerant!


10 Ways to Get More Magnesium (And Why You Should)

10 Ways to Get More Magnesium (And Why You Should)A few years ago, it seemed like magnesium was a bit of an underdog in the mineral world, overshadowed by the dietary big guns like calcium and iron. Thankfully that has changed and now it seems like magnesium is top of mind or a lot of people. And so it should be!

Magnesium has been linked with benefits from helping with insomnia to improving athletic performance to relieving menstrual cramps. It’s incredibly important for bone health, as much of your body’s magnesium supply is deposited in bone. And if magnesium intake is low, our ability to absorb calcium also suffers.

Magnesium plays an important role in proper muscle contraction, and let’s not forget that our hearts are muscles. It also contributes to heart health by counteracting the effect of sodium (salt) on the arteries, which thereby lowers blood pressure. Ever been kept awake at night by restless legs or intense muscle cramps (this happened to me a lot when I was pregnant)? Low magnesium may be to blame.

Magnesium also helps calm both the nervous and muscular systems, and some people find that taking a supplement at bedtime helps them get to sleep more easily. If you’re considering a magnesium supplement, have a chat with your doctor first as it can interfere with some medications–and also note that taking too much supplemental magnesium can lead to loose stools.

How much magnesium do you need? The recommended daily intake for women ranges from 310-320mg, bumping up to 350mg during pregnancy. It’s important to note that while magnesium supplements should not exceed 350mg per day, it’s fine to consume more than the recommended daily intake from food and water.

And it’s really not difficult to reach your magnesium targets with a healthy diet. It’s naturally present in beans, nuts, seeds, fish, and some grains. You’d easily meet your daily needs and get more magnesium in your diet by combining a few of these foods.

10 Ways to Get More Magnesium (And Why You Should)
Leafy greens: A half cup of cooked spinach contains 83mg of magnesium, and the same amount of cooked chard rings in at 80mg.

Potato: A medium baked potato, with the skin still on, contains roughly 50mg of magnesium. Leaving the skin on is really important here, as the nutrients are concentrated there.

Edamame: Like popping steamed edamame into your mouth? Good news then: a half cup serving contains 52mg of magnesium.

Wheat germ: The oily, nutrient dense portion of the wheat grain is loaded with nutrients. A mere ¼ cup of wheat germ contains a whopping 96mg of magnesium.

Quinoa: Another great source of magnesium, half a cup of cooked quinoa has 62mg of magnesium on offer.

Beans: The magnesium content varies a bit from bean to bean, but you can depend on 60-90mg in a serving of black, navy, kidney, and garbanzo beans.

Tofu and tempeh: Tofu ranges in magnesium content, depending on how it was prepared. If it was made using magnesium chloride, the magnesium content can be from 40mg up to 80mg per 150g serving. The fermentation process that creates tempeh from soybeans unlocks a lot of nutrients not otherwise available; a 150g serving of tempeh serves up 116mg of magnesium.

Nuts and seeds: Nutrient-dense nuts and seeds are magnesium powerhouses! A mere ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds contains a whopping 317mg of magnesium. The same amount of sunflower seeds contain about 115mg, and almonds about 90mg. Just two tablespoons of flax seeds contains 111mg.

Fish: In particular fatty fish such as salmon (92mg per serving) and mackerel (73mg per serving), but even a flaky fish like halibut, contains around 20mg of magnesium per serving.

Dark chocolate: As if we needed another reason to love chocolate. A couple of squares of dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids) contains around 30mg of magnesium.

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