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Nutrition

Get excited about nutrition, and learn as you go with these information-packed resources on a wide variety of nutrition-centric topics! Our bistroMD experts review the importance of the macronutrients protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as well as how to make them work most efficiently for you.

The Top 23 Magnesium-Rich Foods

Needed by every cell in the body and playing a role in over 300 physiological processes, incorporating sources of magnesium in the diet is critical for overall health and can be achieved by consuming these magnesium-rich foods!

The Top 23 Magnesium-Rich Foods


Why Is Magnesium Important?

Magnesium is a mineral needed by every cell in the body and plays a role in over 300 physiological processes! The mineral's primary roles are to maintain and support muscle via protein synthesis, promote nerve function, control and regulate blood glucose and blood pressure, balance and transport potassium and calcium, and neutralize stomach acid. In addition to its immediate functions, increased intakes of magnesium have shown to reduce the risk of stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis, along with treating diseases of the heart, anxiety, constipation, indigestion, and other health conditions.

Whereas magnesium deficiencies are rare, there is no denying ensuring adequate intake is a safe bet to ensure such critical processes are carried out by the body. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for magnesium ranges from 310 to 420 milligrams (mg) in men and women aged 19 years and older. Nonetheless, recommended intakes can be achieved through various sources of magnesium, including these 23 foods!

Top 23 Foods High in Magnesium

1. Rice Bran (230 mg per ¼ cup)
Compared to grains that undergo processing, grains with their outer layer (the bran) still intact offer greater nutritional value, including greater contents of magnesium and B vitamins. WebMD also suggests rice bran has shown effectiveness in reducing high cholesterol, preventing kidney stones and stomach cancer, and treating an allergic skin rash. Reap such benefits by adding rice bran to cereals, baking into breads, or mixing into smoothies.

2. Spinach (157 mg per 1 cup cooked)
Though mostly known for its iron and calcium content, spinach likewise bursts with magnesium. Effortlessly add more spinach into the diet by mixing into salads, sautéing with garlic and olive oil, and blending into smoothies and sauces.

3. Swiss Chard (150 mg per 1 cup cooked)
While spinach often takes the spotlight as a powerful leafy green, the significance of Swiss chard should not be dimmed. Along with being a rich source of magnesium, Swiss chard supplies 700 percent of daily vitamin K needs, has been explored in cancer prevention, immune support, and digestive improvement.

4. Hemp Seeds (140 mg per 2 tablespoons)
The nutritional composition of hemp seeds has made them highly respected in the health world, as they are a complete protein, loaded with healthy fats and fiber, and offer a wide variety of extra nutrients such as magnesium. Hemp seeds can also be transformed into oil, powder, and milk and grant these beneficial uses including in baking healthier desserts and protein-packed bread.

5. Oats (138 mg per ½ cup dry)
Oats might be small, but oh are they mighty! Not only are do they gift magnesium, by supply fiber, plant-based protein, and B vitamins. Make the most out of your morning by swapping out that sugar-loaded muffin with these overnight oats recipes for a convenient and simple well-balanced breakfast.

6. Soybeans (125 mg per ½ cup)
Also known as edamame soybeans are a reputable plant-based protein source that grant fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals. The magnesium-rich food can be whipped into this nutritious and delicious edamole dip, topped onto salads, mixed into rice dishes, or simply enjoyed boiled for a nutritious snack. Other soy-based products rich in magnesium include tempeh and soymilk.

7. Peanut Butter (118 mg per 2 tablespoons)
Peanut butter is a reliable non-perishable food item packed with healthy fat, plant-based protein, and vitamins and minerals such as magnesium. When choosing peanut or any other nut butter, be sure to select a product free of added sugars and oils, with its label indicating simply peanuts and possibly a little salt.

8. Brazil Nuts (107 mg per 1 ounce)
If you have ever purchased a combination of mixed nuts, Brazil nuts were more than likely among the others. Brazil nuts are the large nuts that often get sifted through and end up left at the bottom of the container, though their size nutritionally profile - packed and powered with healthful fats and nutrients. But you will not skip out on them after learning about these brazil nut benefits!

9. Lima Beans (100 mg per ¼ cup)
While known for their fiber and plant-based protein content, lima and other bean varieties are ample suppliers of magnesium. Throw into soups, vegetarian chili, rice dishes, salads, and casseroles.

10. Chia Seeds (95 mg per 1 ounce dried)
While their claim to fame stemmed from a plant pet, the tiny but mighty chia seed is packed with plant-based protein, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and other nutrients. Give this high-protein vanilla chia seed pudding recipe a try, throw into salads, and replace an egg to bare the health benefits of chia seeds.

11. Dark Chocolate (95 mg per square)
Yes, we said chocolate! Dark chocolate, that is. Dark chocolate is rich in polyphenols, magnesium, and other vitamins and minerals.

12. Mackerel (85 mg per 1 fillet)
In addition to being a rich source of magnesium, mackerel is a rich source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid critical for healthy brain and eye development, along with supporting heart health and treating and managing of rheumatoid arthritis, psychiatric disorders, and many other conditions. Salmon, anchovies, Pollock, and tuna are other magnesium-supplying fish to catch!

13. Pumpkin Seeds (81 mg per 2 tablespoons)
From pumpkin pie to a pumpkin spiced latte, each year individuals get excited about that highly anticipated fall stable... But those nutritious pumpkin seeds (also recognized as pepitas) tend to take the back burner. But with supplying healthy fat, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, and selenium, their nutritional profile contributes to exseedingly valuable health benefits, including weight management, cardiovascular health, and anti-aging.

14. Chickpeas (80 mg per ½ cup)
Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas supply plant-based protein, healthy fats, fiber, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Chickpeas are also versatile and commonly enjoyed roasted or blended into hummus.

15. Almonds (75 milligrams per 1 ounce)
Almonds are notorious for their healthy fat content, contributing to heart health, longevity, and several other benefits. They are additionally a significant source of calcium and magnesium, posing as a valuable alternative for those with a milk allergy, are lactose intolerant, or simply trying to reduce dairy intake.

16. Watermelon Seed Kernels (71 mg per 2 tablespoons)
While it is well-known watermelon is a luscious and hydrating fruit, we may be sleeping on the hard black seeds throughout the flesh (or worse yet, spitting them out)! But the watermelon seeds supply the body with nutrients you do not want to spit out this summer season!

17. Quinoa (60 mg per ½ cup cooked)
Along with supplying magnesium, quinoa is one of the few plant-based foods that is considered a complete protein, or containing all nine of the essential amino acids. Wondering how to cook quinoa? Find out here!

18. Avocados (58 mg per one medium)
Unlike most fruits recognized as carbohydrate sources, avocados are acknowledged for their heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Aside from their healthy fats, they offer high fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate, copper, and vitamins B6, C, E, and K. And if a lover of the infamous toast topper, do not miss out on these 22 avocado recipes!

19. Lentils (57 mg per ½ cup)
From improving digestion to supporting a healthy pregnancy, lentils are extremely beneficial to health. They are also considerably flexible, making them a simple ingredient to incorporate into numerous nutritious meals such as this chicken and feta meatballs with lentils recipe!

20. Yogurt (47 mg per 1 cup)
Yogurt supplies 11 percent of total daily value of magnesium, along with gut-supporting probiotics and bone-building calcium. Going Greek with yogurt also grants greater protein content for muscle support.

21. Turkey (36 mg per 4-ounce serving)
Whether relished on Thanksgiving, incorporated into chili on a cool Fall day, or swapped with red meat in this easy jalapeno turkey burger, turkey is a magnesium-rich food and lean protein source to incorporate into the diet throughout the entire year.

22. Bananas (32 mg per 1 medium)
Beyond its notorious potassium content, bananas supply eight percent daily value of magnesium. Enjoy with peanut butter for a handy on-the-go snack, mix into smoothies, or if overripe, refurbish into this healthified banana bread recipe!

23. Milk (27 mg per 1 cup)
Though milk is known to build strong bones related to its calcium and added vitamin D content, the magnesium it supplies also supports bone health!

*Values obtained from the USDA's National Nutrient Database and the National Institutes of Health's Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals.



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