Top 20 Magnesium-Rich Foods | How To Get Enough Magnesium In Your Diet?

Top 20 Magnesium-Rich Foods | How To Get Enough Magnesium In Your Diet?

Magnesium plays a central role in just about every bodily process, from the synthesis of DNA to the metabolism of insulin. Low levels of this crucial mineral have even been tied to an entire laundry list of chronic conditions — like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, bone-related issues and heart disease. Thus, it goes without saying that no nutritious diet can really ever be complete without a few servings of magnesium-rich foods.

Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious options to help you meet your daily needs and prevent magnesium deficiency. There’s a good amount of this nutrient in superfoods like such as leafy greens, avocado, bananas and potatoes — along with some nuts, beans and grains — and the list of magnesium-rich foods doesn’t end there.

Despite the widespread availability of magnesium in the diet, the World Health Organization reports that less than 60 percent of adults in the United States meet the adequate intake values. Other research suggests that about two-thirds of the population does not achieve the recommended daily intake.

How can you ensure you get enough magnesium in your diet, and what are the best sources? Here is what you need to know about the importance of magnesium and its impact on your health, as well as the top magnesium-rich foods to consume.

What Is Magnesium?

One of the body’s electrolytes is magnesium, which is an element and mineral found throughout nature. About 99 percent of your body’s magnesium is stored in your bones, muscles and soft tissues, while only 1 percent is concentrated in the blood.

It is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and a cofactor to hundreds of enzyme systems that affect muscle and nerve function.

What are the symptoms of low magnesium in the body?

Magnesium deficiency can be linked to a number of health conditions, such as heart disease, migraines, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

There are a number of symptoms and conditions that are tied to low intake of this electrolyte.

  • hypertension
  • There are damage to the kidneys and the liver.
  • migraine headaches
  • glaucoma
  • There are deficiencies in vitamins K, B1, calcium, and potassium.
  • restless legs syndrome.
  • The symptoms of premenstrual syndrome have worsened.
  • Mood swings and behavioral disorders are related.
  • Insomnia and sleeping difficulties.
  • Weak bones and osteoporosis are possible.
  • recurrent bacterial or fungal infections due to low levels of nitric oxide or a depressed immune system
  • tooth cavities
  • There are muscle weakness and cramps.
  • impotence
  • There are two types of diseases: eclampsia and preeclampsia.

It is possible to have a magnesium deficiency even if you eat a healthy diet. It is important that you eat lots of magnesium-rich foods to boost your daily intake.

Health Benefits

What is magnesium good for? When it comes to optimal health, it is one of the most important vitamins.

It is involved in more than 300 reactions in the body, and is needed for many important bodily functions. Magnesium benefits can include supporting.

  • DNA synthesis
  • Muscle contractions
  • There is blood pressure regulation.
  • Protein synthesis
  • Insulin metabolism
  • Nerve transmission
  • Reproduction

There are many roles and benefits that this electrolyte has.

1. Can Help Alleviate PMS Symptoms

Premenstrual syndrome is a group of symptoms that occur in women one to two weeks before their menstruation. Mood swings, weight gain, food cravings, water retention, fatigue, and sore breasts are some of the symptoms that can vary.

Some studies have shown that magnesium may be able to help effectively reduce these symptoms. In one study, a combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 was found to significantly decrease PMS symptoms compared to a control group.

Another study published in the Journal of Women’s Health showed that 200 milligrams of magnesium daily helped reduce the severity of several PMS symptoms, including weight gain, swelling, bloating and breast tenderness.

2. Supports Healthy Blood Pressure and Heart Health

A 2018 review states, “Subclinical magnesium deficiency increases the risk of numerous types of cardiovascular disease,” including coronary artery disease and hypertension.

Millions of people worldwide are affected by high blood pressure. It can cause a strain on the heart muscle, which can lead to heart disease.

If you fill your diet with magnesium-rich foods, as well as those that are high in potassium, you may be able to help promote better heart health and normal blood pressure levels.

One study even found evidence that supplementing with magnesium reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults with hypertension.

Keep in mind that potassium is another important electrolyte for heart health and circulation because it increases the excretion of sodium through the urine.

3. May Help Boost Physical Performance

Because of its role in muscle function and energy production, this electrolyte is believed to have an impact on exercise performance. During strenuous exercise, it’s estimated that requirements increase by 10 percent to 20 percent.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the effects of magnesium on performance in 124 elderly women. After 12 weeks, daily supplementation with magnesium oxide was found to improve physical performance compared to a control group.

Another study demonstrated that triathletes who were given magnesium supplements for four weeks had improvements in their swimming, cycling and running times.

Besides eating plenty of magnesium-rich foods, be sure to include some of the other best foods for athletes in your diet to enhance physical performance even more.

4. Helps Control Inflammation

Low levels of magnesium have been linked to higher levels of inflammation in several studies. A study in 2014, for example, found that both low magnesium intake and low levels in the blood were associated with higher levels of markers of low-grade chronic inflammation, which is believed to be due to increased release of cytokines and free radicals.

A study published in the Archives of Medical Research showed that taking magnesium chloride was able to reduce levels of inflammation in 62 adults with prediabetes.

It’s no surprise that many foods high in magnesium make the list of top anti-inflammatory foods as well. Most of these foods also contain beneficial antioxidants and phytonutrients that can help keep free radical damage under control.

5. May Prevent Migraines

Migraines are a type of headaches that are characterized by nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and a throbbing pain. This condition is also very common.

In 2012, an estimated 14 percent of American adults reported suffering from migraines in the past three months.

Studies have shown that low levels of magnesium can contribute to headaches.

There was a study that measured the effects of magnesium on children with frequent migraines. Children were given either a magnesium oxide supplement or placebo for 16 weeks.

At the end of the study, those who took the supplement had significantly less headache frequency and lower headache severity compared to the placebo group.

Another study found that it was more effective and fast-acting in providing migraine relief than a common medication.

It is possible to get rid of a migraines by following a well-rounded diet and avoiding refined sugars and processed meats.

6. Can Help Normalize Blood Sugar and Protect Against Metabolic Syndrome

There’s evidence suggesting that higher magnesium intake can benefit blood sugar levels and may help prevent insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Several studies have linked low levels with chronic inflammation and metabolic syndrome.

The blood contains a hormone that transports sugar from the blood to the tissues to be used as fuel. As your body tries to keep up with the increased demand, it will produce more and moreinsulin if you consistently eat lots of refined sugar.

High blood sugar can be caused by high levels ofinsulin resistance, which can be caused by long periods of high levels of the drug.

A study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that oral magnesium supplementation improved insulin sensitivity and reduced blood sugar levels in diabetic patients with low magnesium levels.

Additional research has found that the mineral could protect against diabetes. One study followed 4,497 participants for 20 years and uncovered that those with the highest intake were 47 percent less likely to develop diabetes.

Other ways to help maintain normal blood sugar include getting in plenty of physical activity, managing your stress levels, filling up on fiber and protein, and keeping your intake of calories in check.

7. Fights Against Depression and Anxiety

Magnesium can help fight against depression and anxiety. Some studies have shown that a low intake of food could increase the risk of depression.

In one study, young adults with the lowest intake of magnesium were found to have an estimated 22 percent greater risk of developing depression.

Fascinatingly, some research has even found that it could be as effective as antidepressants in treating depression. One study published in Magnesium Research compared the effects of magnesium supplementation with an antidepressant medication and found that magnesium supplements were equally effective in the treatment of depression.

Another study in 2017 found that magnesium supplementation significantly improved symptoms of both depression and anxiety after just six weeks. In addition, a 2017 review stated that among 18 studies, “existing evidence is suggestive of a beneficial effect of Mg on subjective anxiety in anxiety vulnerable samples.”

You can combine this mineral with other natural treatments for depression, such as eating lots of probiotic-rich foods, getting in plenty of vitamin D, and minimizing your intake of refined carbs and sugar.

8. Can Hep Enhance Sleep Quality

If you suffer from insomnia and can’t count sheep, you may want to increase your intake of magnesium-rich foods. Some studies show that magnesium can help reduce insomnia, while others show that magnesium can help sleep.

In one study, participants who took supplements experienced reduced insomnia severity, increased sleep time and decreased amount of time needed to fall asleep. Another study found that a supplement containing a mix of magnesium, melatonin and zinc improved sleep quality in residents at a long-term care facility.

It’s important to pair it with other natural insomnia-busters and natural sleep aids like calcium, essential oils and valerian root to maximize results.

9. Plays an Important Role in Metabolism of Vitamin D

Research suggests magnesium plays a vital role in the body’s metabolism of vitamin D. Meanwhile, vitamin D plays a role in calcium absorption into the bones and has an effect on other important vitamins and minerals that contribute to both health, including vitamin K and phosphorus.

People with vitamin D deficiency are thought to be at risk of:

  • There are disorders related to bones.
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • chronic pain
  • psoriasis
  • and more

This shows the need for well-rounded nutrition and proper intake of vitamins D and magnesium.

10. Supports Healthy Cognitive Function

This electrolyte is known to play an essential role in nerve transmission and neuromuscular conduction, which is why it seems to have a protective role against excessive excitation that can lead to neuronal cell death.

Low levels have been associated with neurological disorders due to dysfunctions within the nervous system. Research is ongoing regarding the effects it may have in the treatment of chronic pain, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and stroke, but what we know is that it seems to act as a low-risk adjunct treatment among those with mood and cognitive diseases.

11. May Help Curb Asthma Symptoms

Research is still underway, but there’s growing evidence that magnesium may have a role in managing asthma symptoms in both children and adults through its dual effects as an anti-inflammatory and broncho-dilating agent. While it isn’t intended to replace other asthma treatments, some doctors recommend it as an adjunct treatment that is low-cost and low-risk.

Top 20 Magnesium-Rich Foods

Which food is the highest in magnesium? There are plenty of magnesium-rich foods that increase your daily intake too, and some of the best sources are leafy greens, such as spinach and Swiss chard.

Which fruits have high levels of magnesium? Some of the best are figs, bananas, and avocados.

The top 20 magnesium-rich foods to include in your diet are listed here.

  1. Wheat bran
  2. Spinach, cooked
  3. Swiss chard, cooked
  4. Dark chocolate
  5. The dried seeds are of the sunflowers variety.
  6. Cashews
  7. Mackerel
  8. Flaxseeds
  9. Almonds are used in butter.
  10. Pumpkin seeds, dried
  11. Amaranth
  12. There are Buckwheat groats.
  13. Black bean
  14. Avocado
  15. Quinoa
  16. Spirulina
  17. Figs, dried
  18. Yogurt or kefir
  19. Mung beans
  20. Banana

Magnesium-rich foods - Dr. Axe

Dosage Recommendations

The recommended daily intake of magnesium for men is between 400 and 410 milligrams. For women, it is about 300–320 milligrams a day.

According to the National Institutes of Health, below are the current recommended daily allowances for magnesium:

  • 30 milligrams for infants 6 months and younger.
  • 75 milligrams for 7 to 12 months.
  • 80 percent of the time is 1–3 years.
  • 130 milligrams for four years.
  • The period is 9–13 years and has a limit of 240 milligrams.
  • 410 for men and 347 for women are the minimums for 14 years.
  • 400 for men and 310 for women are the minimums for 19 years.
  • Adults 31 years and older have an average of 400 and 320 milligrams for men and women, respectively.
  • The amount of pregnant women is 350 to 400 milligrams.
  • Women who are breastfeeding have a certain amount of milk.

How can you raise your magnesium levels quickly? Greens, nuts, seeds, beans, and/or a daily supplement are high in magnesium and are the best way to eat them.

Who should take magnesium in supplement form?

There are several different types of magnesium supplements available, such as magnesium citrate, and magnesium oil. These can benefit many people but are especially helpful for those who have a known severe deficiency.

If you have, you are most at risk for magnesium deficiency.

  • a liver disorder
  • heart failure
  • Irritable bowel disease can be inflammatory.
  • It can be frequent vomiting and diarrhea.
  • kidney dysfunction
  • There are other conditions that affect absorption.

Older adults and women seem to be affected more often than younger adults and men. Athletes and people with malabsorption issues can benefit from increasing their daily intake.

Transdermal magnesium supplementation is another way to utilize the mineral, though research is limited on its effectiveness. This involves applying the mineral in the form of magnesium chloride topically to help it absorb into the skin.

Yet another potential way to boost levels is by using Epsom salt (a magnesium sulfate compound), such as by adding some to your baths. Again, though, more research is needed on the effectiveness of absorption through these methods.


It doesn’t have to be difficult to get your daily dose of this. You should be able to meet your needs by incorporating a few serving of magnesium-rich foods into your meals each day.

You can get started with a few healthy recipes.

Risks and Side Effects

Getting too much magnesium can be problematic, as you can tell.

You don’t need to worry about the side effects of eating too much if you’re getting enough from food sources. The excess magnesium from food is passed through the urine to the kidneys.

High levels of magnesium supplements can cause side effects like nausea and vomiting.

A magnesium overdose and symptoms of toxicity can be caused by extremely high doses. For people over the age of nine, the upper intake level from supplements is 350 milligrams per day.

To avoid negative effects on health, stick to the recommended dosages.

There are some types of medications that can have an interaction with supplements. It can affect the effectiveness of antibiotics by attaching them to them.

The antibiotics should be taken at least two hours before or four to six hours after taking the supplement.

There is a concern that supplements may lower blood pressure. If you take a medication for high blood pressure or a muscle relaxant, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before taking any supplement as it may alter the effects of these medications.


  • Many aspects of health depend on magnesium. Alzheimer’s, heart disease and diabetes are some of the conditions that have been linked with low levels.
  • It is possible to get enough of this electrolyte through eating magnesium-rich foods, which may help with a host of health benefits.
  • Which are the best sources of magnesium? Foods high in magnesium include leafy greens, cocoa, avocados, bananas, potatoes, and some nuts, beans and grains.
  • If you have a deficiency, try to get as much magnesium as possible from your diet by eating magnesium-rich foods. If you are an athlete or suffer from malabsorption issues, supplements can be beneficial.

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