11 Foods High in Magnesium

11 Foods High in Magnesium
April 11, 2017 at 11:25 PM

If you were to map the top essential minerals, magnesium would be one of them. It is necessary for the enzyme reactions in the body and is a co-factor in over 350 biochemical reactions taking place in the body.


  1. Whole wheat
    1. Whole wheat dinner rolls
  2. Almonds
    1. Spiced almonds
  3. Sunflower seeds
    1. Pomegranate yogurt bowl
  4. Spinach
    1. Spinach beef and egg hash
  5. Avocados
    1. Avocado egg salad
  6. Cod fish
    1. Baja fish tacos
  7. Beans
    1. Green beans with roasted nuts and cranberries
  8. Bananas
    1. Quick banana ice cream
  9. Swiss chard
    1. Creamed Swiss chard
  10. Figs
    1. French toast with figs
  11. Yogurt
  12. Things to remember

Magnesium is also quite important for transporting and storing energy and controls many features of cell metabolism, including cell growth, DNA and RNA synthesis and reproduction of the cell (1, 2).

The deficiency of magnesium can create many problems. Some problems caused by magnesium deficiency include poor health, muscle cramps, nausea, anxiety, hormone problems, sleep problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, difficulty breathing and poor memory (3, 4, 5).

Just as the deficiency of magnesium can create problems, its excess can also create some serious challenges. This condition is known as hypomagnesemia and is accompanied by problems, like nausea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, kidney damage and lethargy. So you should consume magnesium in moderate quantity (6, 7).

The RDA of magnesium for men is 400 mg/day. As for women, the value is 310 mg/day (8).

Here are the top 11 magnesium rich foods which you should include in your diet:

Whole wheat

Most whole grains are a good source of magnesium and a 100g of whole wheat contains about 82mg of magnesium in it (21% DV).

It also contains 3g fat, 41g carbohydrate and 13g protein per 100g (9).

Other than this, it also contains other important vitamins and minerals, like vitamin A, E, K, B6, calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium.

Whole wheat has a natural ability to control weight.

Research has also supported that whole wheat is a good choice for obese patients (10).

It is also quite helpful in reducing the risks of heart diseases and strokes.

As discussed above, magnesium is a co-factor in many enzymes so the magnesium in whole wheat could help regulate theses enzymes, which is beneficial in controlling the blood glucose levels and getting rid of type II diabetes.

Gluten is responsible for the majority of wheat side effects. It is a protein present in wheat. You might be sensitive to gluten. Some common side effects of gluten include anemia, weight problems, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Gluten also has fats which can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels and development of man boob (11, 12).

If you want to add more whole wheat products into yourdiet, here is a recipe to try out.

Whole wheat dinner rolls

The main ingredients required for this recipe are: 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 and 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1 package dry yeast, 1 cup warm milk, 1 large egg, 3 tablespoons butter, canola spray oil and 1 cup all-purpose flour.

How to make?

Firstly, put flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl and mix well.

Add the butter, milk, and eggs and continuously beat with a spoon.

Add flour to it and mix until the batter is smooth.

Then cover the bowl and set it aside for some time.

Coat a muffin tin with spray and put it aside.

Stir the batter gently and put equal amounts of dough into each muffin tin and set it aside at a warm place.

Now preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes until they become golden brown.

The summary: Whole wheat products, like whole wheat bread, are a great way of sneaking 82mg magnesium into your diet per 100 grams. However, be careful if you are sensitive to gluten in wheat.


Almonds are a relatively rich source of magnesium and a 100g of almonds provides about 286mg of magnesium (13).

They are also an excellent source of vitamin E, which boosts the overall immune system, protects the cell membrane from damage and nourishes the skin. 

They also contain vitamin A and B6 in them (13).

They are also packed with protein and carbohydrates and contain about 22g protein and 18g carbohydrates per 100 grams.

Almonds in paper bag

Almonds are rich in magnesium and other minerals and antioxidants

Firstly, they are an incredible source of antioxidants. These molecules help against oxidative stress and diseases which contribute to aging.

The antioxidants are mostly present in the brown layer of the skin (14).

They also facilitate weight loss and control the blood sugar levels (15, 16, 17).

Eating too many almonds can lead to weight gain because they are high in calories. Eating a lot of almonds can also cause drug interactions. The reason is that they are rich in manganese which is known to cause drug interactions.

Another side effect of eating almonds is the development of gastrointestinal problems.

Here is a delicious almond recipe which you should include in your diet:

Spiced almonds

The main ingredients required for this dish include 1 large egg white, 2 tsp. paprika, 2 tsp. dark brown sugar, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 2 cups natural almonds, and 1/4 tsp. Cayenne pepper.

How to make?

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees Celsius). Put a parchment paper on the baking sheet. Now, spray it with cooking spray.

Take a large bowl and mix together egg white, sugar, and salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper and Worcestershire sauce until they become a homogenous mixture.

Add almonds in it and toss until it becomes coated evenly.

Now transfer the almonds to the baking sheet of the oven and heat for about 20 minutes.

The almonds will become crisp as they begin to cool down.

The spiced almonds are now ready to eat.


The summary: Eating almonds is an excellent way to stay healthy and give yourself a daily kick of 286mg of magnesium per 100-gram almonds.

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are high in magnesium and a 100g of sunflower seeds contains about 325mg of magnesium in them (18).

They also contain 51g fat, 20g carbohydrates and 21g protein per 100g.

They are also rich in calcium, which builds the bones and vitamins A, E, K and B6.

A cup of sunflower seeds contains about 60% of the daily value for vitamin E, a strong antioxidant.

Research has shown that antioxidant nutrients may reduce cancer and mortality risks (19).

The high levels of phytosterols also lead to healthy cholesterol levels which fend off many diseases. Adding sunflower seeds to the diet also elevates a person’s mood (20, 21).

Since these seeds are calorie dense foods, they could lead to weight gain if you eat too much of them. They also contain high sodium content in them which could result in high blood pressure.

Here is a recipe to try to add more sunflower seeds to your daily diet.

Pomegranate yogurt bowl

The main ingredients required for this dish include a bowl of Greek Yogurt, 2 tablespoon pomegranate, a sprinkle of sunflower seeds, a drizzle of honey, quinoa crisps.

How to make?

Take a shallow bowl and put the pomegranate and honey over the yogurt and sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

Finish with pollen beans rose petal.

The food is now ready to enjoy.

The summary: Sunflower seeds are a healthy way of introducing a solid 325mg magnesium content to your daily diet.


Spinach is another magnesium rich food to add to your diet. A cup of spinach contains about 157 mg of magnesium in it (40% DV) (22).

It also has about 3g protein and 4g carbohydrates per 100g. It is also a potent source of vitamin A and folate.

Calcium, phosphorus and potassium are other essential minerals found in spinach.

So, it is quite a nutrient packed food.

Spinach is rich in magnesium and other nutrients. It is also very healthy.

Spinach is rich in magnesium and other nutrients. It is also very healthy.

One of the major health benefits of spinach is that it is a rich source of potassium. It is quite beneficial in preserving bone mineral density as well as the overall muscle mass (23).

It is also beneficial for eyesight due to the presence of beta-carotene in it. It is also helpful in getting rid of harmful free radicals which are known to cause age-related macular degeneration. It also strengthens the bones and muscles (24, 25).

It is rich in oxalic acid which can bind with calcium and magnesium and result in poor nutrient absorption.

If you are already prone to kidney stones, you should avoid eating spinach because it increases the uric acid levels which increase your chances of developing kidney stones (26, 27).

It may also cause stomach ache, diarrhea and bloating.

You should add spinach to your diet.

You can either cook it alone or add it to other meals.

Here is a recipe to try out:

Spinach beef and egg hash

The main ingredients required for this dish are 1 1/2 pound fresh beef, 1 chopped yellow onion, 2 tsp. extra virgin oil, 3 beaten eggs, 1/2 pound chunk, salt, and black pepper.

How to make?

Trim the spinach and run it through hot water. Then place it on a saucepan and heat for 2 minutes.

Drain it in a colander to get rid of excess water.

Heat some oil in a pan. Add onions and ground chunk and cook for about three minutes, until the chunk becomes brown.

Add spinach and cook for 2 more minutes.

Add eggs and cook for another 30 seconds.

Remove from heat.

The dish is ready.

Season with salt and black pepper.

The summary: Even if you are not a veggie-lover, you should still give spinach a try as it is rich in magnesium and other nutrients. A cup of spinach (225 grams) provides you with about 157 mg of magnesium.


Avocados are another nutritious and tasty source of magnesium which you can add to your diet. A medium sized avocado contains about 58 mg of magnesium.

It is rich in fats and contains about 15g of fat per 100 grams.

It also contains 9g carbohydrate and 2g proteins per 100g. Many important vitamins and minerals are also present in avocados, including vitamins A, C and K, calcium, iron and phosphorus (28).

One of the major benefits is that they are a good source of potassium, which reduces blood pressure and prevents heart attacks and kidney failure (29).

It is also an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids which reduces the overall inflammation in the body. Besides, these fatty acids have been linked with improved cardiovascular health (30, 31).

They are also rich in fiber, which may facilitate weight loss.

Avocado is high in folic acid

Avocado is a rich source of magnesium, healthy fats and other nutrients

Avocados are safe to use.

However, they can may your stomach and cause gastrointestinal problems.

Here is a delicious avocado recipe to add some more to your diet:

Avocado egg salad

The main ingredients required for this dish are 4 hard-boiled eggs, 1 avocado, 1 tsp. Fenugreek powder, 2 tablespoon mayonnaise and a pinch of salt and pepper.

How to make?

To make this dish, just combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl and mash.

Adjust the salt, pepper, and mayo according to your taste.

The dish is ready. Eat it on slices of bread and enjoy.

The summary: Eating avocados is a tasty way of getting some magnesium to your diet. One medium-sized avocado contains about 58 mg of magnesium.

Cod fish

A fillet of codfish contains about 28 mg of magnesium. It also has about 1g fat and 18g protein per 100g. It is also a good source of calcium which promotes bone health. Other than this, it is also high in vitamin A, C, B6 and B12 (32).

Cod fish is also a potent source of minerals, like iron, sodium, and potassium.

Firstly, it is an excellent source of many essential nutrients, like protein and iodine. It also has a fair amount of omega 3 fatty acids in it, which may reduce the risk of many diseases. Eating fish has also been linked to a lower risk of two biggest killers, heart attacks, and strokes.

11 foods rich in magnesium

11 foods rich in magnesium

It also eases depression and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease (33).

You should make sure the fish you’re eating comes from a reliable source, as there is a risk of contamination with mercury and other toxins. Also, you should make sure you are not allergic to eating fish and other seafood.

Here is a delicious fish recipe you may try:

Baja fish tacos

The main ingredients required for this dish include cooking spray, 2 teaspoons fajita seasoning, 2 cups sliced green cabbage, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 3/4 pound codfish, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, 2 1/2 tablespoon fat cream, 8 corn tortillas, 1/2 avocado, and salsa.

How to make?

Firstly, preheat a grill. Now sprinkle both sides of fish with fajita seasoning. Cook each side for about 3 to 4 minutes. Keep it warm.

Take a small bowl and mix salt, cabbage, limestone, and cilantro.

Wrap tortillas in a paper towel and microwave for 1 minute on high.

Pace the taco ingredients on a table. Spread the tortilla with cabbage mixture, avocados, and 1 teaspoon sour cream. The dish is now ready.

Serve it with salsa.

The summary: One fillet of cod fish containes about 28 mg of magnesium. It is also rich in omega 3 fatty acids and other nutrients.


Beans are quite high in magnesium and here is about 171 mg of magnesium in just 100 grams of beans (34).

They also contain 1g fat, 62g carbohydrate and 22g proteins per 100g.

They are also rich in some essential vitamins, like vitamin E, K and B6.

Beans are also a rich source of some essential minerals, such as like calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium.

One of the major health benefits of beans is that they help in regulating the blood sugar level. A recent study showed that people who ate beans daily for three weeks had a lower blood sugar level as compared to when they started the diet (35).

They are also helpful in reducing the cancer risk because of the presence of phytosterols in them. The fiber content in them gives you a feeling of satiety and you feel full. In this way, it also facilitates the weight loss process.


Beans are a rich source of magnesium and fiber.

Since beans are high in fiber, eating too much of them can lead to the formation of gas. It can cause abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and even constipation.

Here is a delicious beans recipe you may want to try out:

Green beans with roasted nuts and cranberries

The main ingredients required for this dish are kosher salt and pepper, 2 tablespoon virgin oil, 1/2 cup roasted and chopped nuts, 1 1/2 pound green beans, 1/4 cup dried cranberries.

How to make?

Boil a pot of water.

Add 1 tablespoon oil and green beans and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Take a large bowl and combine nuts, oil, and cranberries.
Drain the beans and put them into the bowl.

Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and serve the dish at room temperature.

The summary: Beans are an excellent way to get 171mg of magnesium per 100 grams. However, make sure to add them to your diet slowly as eating too much too quickly can lead to gastrointestinal side effects.


If you want to add magnesium to your diet, there is no easier way than eating a bunch of bananas. There is about 60.8 mg of magnesium in 100g of bananas. They are also high in carbohydrates (51g of carbohydrates in 100g) (36).

They also contain about 1g fat and 2g proteins per 100g.

Bananas are also rich in vitamin C which is essential for the body.

Essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, selenium and fluoride are also present in them.

Bananas contain pectin in them which give the cells their structural form. Studies also propose that they are quite beneficial in getting rid of colon cancer (37).

The pectin in banana acts as an excellent prebiotic for the gut microbiota and promotes their health. A healthy gut microbiota is critical optimum body weight and general wellness (38).

People who are allergic to ragweed and latex should avoid eating bananas because there is a high chance that they are also allergic to bananas.

Due to elevated levels of prebiotic fiber, eating too many bananas can lead to excessive bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Here is a tasty banana recipe you may want to try out:

Quick banana ice cream

The main ingredients for this dish are: 4 ripe bananas, 4 tablespoon milk, 2 tablespoon toasted almonds and 2 tablespoon chocolate sauce.

How to make?

Put banana chunks on a flat tray and cover it. Now freeze them for at least an hour.

When the bananas are ready to eat, throw them into a food processor and make them smooth and add milk to achieve a creamy texture.

Scoop it into four glasses and top with sauce and nuts.

The summary: Bananas are a rich source of magnesium. There is 60.8 mg of magnesium in 100g of bananas.

Swiss chard

Chard is a leafy green vegetable quite beneficial for health. A cup of chard (36 g) contains about 154 mg magnesium (around 39% DV). It also contains about 2g carbohydrate and 1g protein per 100g. It is also an excellent source of the essential vitamins, like vitamin A, C, E and K (39).

Chard is also high in calcium, iron and phosphorus.

People who consume diets low in calcium, magnesium, and potassium are likely to have high blood pressure. However, chard has a high content of these nutrients, so it reduces the blood pressure levels. A study has also shown that foods, like chard, lowers the blood pressure levels (40).

It may also help prevent cancer.

What is more, it contains an antioxidant, known as alpha-lipoic acid, which may reduce the blood glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity (41, 42).

Swiss chard, like other leafy greens, contains a high amount of oxalates, which may do harm to those with kidney problems.

If you want to reduce oxalate content in chard, boil it for three minutes. Also, people with primary hyperoxaluria (e.g. those who have a high level of uric acid in the blood) should also limit the intake of this food.

Here is an easy chard recipe to try out:

Creamed Swiss chard

The main ingredients for this dish are 2 tablespoons water, 1/4 cup butter, 4 bunches of Swiss chard, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 and a half cup whole milk, salt and ground pepper.

How to make?

Pour water into a pot and heat it over medium flame. Now add chard in it and heat for about 3 minutes. Transfer the chard to a colander and drain as much liquid as possible.

Melt butter in a pot. Now add flour and milk and cook for two minutes or bring the mixture to a boil. Now add chard to the mixture and stir continuously.

The dish is ready. Season with salt and pepper.

The summary: Eating chard could be a healthy addition to your diet and could provide you with 154 mg magnesium per cup (36 grams).


Figs are exotic fruits that have many positive effects on human health. A half cup (75 grams) of figs contains about 50 mg of magnesium (13% DV) (43).

They are also a rich source of some essential vitamins, like vitamin A, C, E, K, and B6.

Figs are also high in potassium (149 mg per 100 grams), which reduces the insulin levels and helps in managing diabetes.

They may also lower the blood cholesterol levels, prevent colon cancer and help you get rid of kidnes stones (43).

Calcium from figs may help you strengthen the bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Being rich in fiber, figs may also help you get rid of constipation.

Consuming figs in moderate quantity doesn’t pose any risks.

However, if you eat too much, you may suffer from gastrointestinal side effects, such as stomach ache or bloating.

Drink water before or after consumption of figs to ease or prevent these issues.

Here is a recipe to try out if you want to add more figs into your diet.

French toast with figs

The main ingredients required for this dish are 80 ml thin cream, two whisked eggs, 2 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 40g butter, 4 hot cross buns, 4 fresh figs and maple syrup.

How to make?

Mix eggs, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl and keep on mixing until all the ingredients are well combined.

Melt the butter on a stove. Take slices of bread and whisk them in egg mixture and cook for one minute or until they become golden brown. Repeat this procedure with other bread slices.

Place the French toast on a serving plate. Season with figs and maple syrup.


The summary: A half cup (75 grams) of figs provides you with about 50 mg of magnesium.


Eating yogurt is another easy and proven way to increase your magnesium intake.

A cup of fresh yogurt (245 grams) contains 50 mg of magnesium which accounts for 13% of RDI (recommended daily intake) (44).

Each 100 grams of yogurt also provides about 7g carbohydrates and 5g proteins.

It also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, C, K, B6 and B12.

Yogurt is also rich in other minerals, such as calcium, potassium, zinc and selenium.

Yogurt is high in magnesium, probiotic bacteria and other nutrients

Yogurt is high in magnesium, probiotic bacteria and other nutrients

Yogurt is high in fiber, which is important for appetite control and may decrease the number of calories you consume (45).

Further more it contains some healthy probiotic bacteria, which promote your gut health, boost immunity and help control blood glucose levels.

If you are intolerant to lactose, consume yogurt and other dairy products with caution as eating these products may cause symptoms of lactose intolerance, like gas, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

The summary: There is 50 mg of magnesium in 245 grams of yogurt. It is also a rich source of probiotic bacteria.

Things to remember

Magnesium is so important for the human body that without it, we would always feel low in energy and our muscles would be in a state of permanent contraction.

It is also important for your metabolic health because more than 350 chemical reactions require magnesium as a enzymatic cofactor.

It also plays an important role in generation and maintaining of ATP levels in the body.

The best sources of magnesium are foods, like figs, sunflower seeds, avocados, almonds, fish and many more.

Make sure you get enough of this mineral by consuming foods high in magnesium regularly.

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Written by: Muhammad Usman, M.D., B.Sc.
Education: Physician
Article resources:

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Published: April 11, 2017 at 11:25 PM
Next scheduled update: April 11, 2019 at 11:25 PM
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