Best Foods High in Magnesium

Magnesium is an important nutrient that the body needs functions in the body. It affects muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, heart health and bone strength. Find out which are the Best Foods High in Magnesium and the major Health Benefits of Magnesium.

25 Best Foods that are High in Magnesium to Keep You Healthy

Magnesium is an essential mineral that performs a host of necessary functions. It helps your body utilize other minerals and vitamins and is vital for the right functioning of muscles and nerves, including the heart. Studies show that people who live in areas with hard water have less cardiovascular disease, and hard water is the result of high levels of magnesium and calcium.

It helps the body turn glucose into energy and helps regulate body temperature. Magnesium is used as a laxative, a sleep aid and an antacid. 

About 50 percent of the magnesium people get in your diet is absorbed by the small intestine, and the rate goes up if you’re deficient in the mineral. Another good thing about magnesium is that it’s found in a variety of foods. 

What are the symptoms of magnesium deficiency?

According to Healthline, early signs of low magnesium include nausea, vomiting, weakness and decreased appetite. Read 6 Huge Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms here.

Magnesium supplements are available over the counter at most supermarkets and pharmacies, but registered dietitians say it is preferable to eat whole foods containing magnesium naturally to prevent a magnesium deficiency.

Best Foods with Magnesium

Food Sources Amount Milligrams (mg) per serving Percent DV*
Almonds, dry roasted 1 ounce 80 19
Apple 1 medium 9 2
Avocado, cubed ½ cup 22 5
Banana 1 medium 32 8
Beef, ground, 90% lean 3 ounces 20 5
Black beans, cooked ½ cup 60 14
Bread, whole wheat 1 slice 23 5
Broccoli ½ cup 12 3
Cashews, dry roasted 1 ounce 74 18
Cereal, shredded wheat 2 large biscuits 61 15
Chicken breast, roasted 3 ounces 22 5
Edamame ½ cup 50 12
Halibut 3 ounces 24 6
Kidney beans ½ cup 35 8
Milk 1 cup 24–27 6
Oatmeal, instant 1 packet 36 9
Peanuts, oil roasted ¼ cup 63 15
Peanut butter, smooth 2 tablespoons 49 12
Potato, baked with skin 3.5 ounces 43 10
Raisins ½ cup 23 5
Rice, brown ½ cup 42 10
Rice, white ½ cup 10 2
Salmon farmed 3 ounces 26 6
Soymilk 1 cup 61 15
Spinach, boiled ½ cup 78 19
Yogurt, plain, low fat 8 ounces 42 10
dry beans


All beans have health benefits, but when it comes to magnesium, black beans are the best. Other good legumes for magnesium are navy beans, tempeh (fermented soybeans), pinto beans, lima beans, and kidney beans.

Green Leafy Vegetables

Nearly all green vegetables have a good amount of magnesium, because magnesium is an essential component of chlorophyll. This is the green pigment that lets a plant convert sunlight into energy. Beet greens are especially rich in magnesium, and a cup has 106 milligrams of the mineral. Other vegetables that are good sources of magnesium are steamed collards and steamed mustard greens. 


Sunflower seeds have a good amount of magnesium, and sesame seeds have even more. Other seeds that provide good amounts of magnesium are pumpkin seeds and chia seeds. 


Wheat Germ

Wheat germ is the embryonic form of the wheat plant, and it is full of nutrients besides magnesium. Two tablespoons of wheat germ delivers a little over 11 percent of the daily value of magnesium.


Some fruits also bring a lot of magnesium, including dried apricots, avocados, dried, pitted dates, raisins, prunes and a good sized wedge of watermelon. 

The avocado is an incredibly nutritious fruit and a tasty source of magnesium. Avocados are also high in potassium, B vitamins and vitamin K. And unlike most fruits, they’re high in fat — especially heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.


Types of seafood that are good sources of magnesium include cooked crabmeat, baked flounder, pink, canned salmon, cooked shrimp, canned shrimp and canned tuna. But few things beat seaweed when comes to magnesium. A cup of kelp has 1670 mg of magnesium. 

nuts are food high in magnesium

Are peanuts high in magnesium?

Almonds and Brazil nuts have whopping amounts of magnesium. A cup of almonds has 378 mg of magnesium, while a cup of unsalted Brazil nuts has 558. Other nuts that have high levels of magnesium are pistachios and roasted peanuts. 

For instance, a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of cashews contains 82 mg of magnesium, or 20% of the RDI (11).

Dairy Products

Whole milk is a good source of magnesium, though dry skim milk has over twice as much per cup. Canned, evaporated milk is also high in magnesium. 


Among meats, fried beef and calf liver has a lot of magnesium, as does oven roasted rump roast and pot roast. Beef steaks are good sources of the mineral, as are roasted leg of lamb, lamb shoulder, bacon, pork chops and cured, roasted ham. The light meat of a roasted turkey has a good percentage of magnesium. 


Tofu is soybean curd pressed into forms. Depending on how much liquid is taken away, it can be silken, soft, firm or extra firm. Some types of tofu are dehydrated. An extra firm, 122 gram block of tofu has 65 mg of magnesium.

More Magnesium Posts

*DV = Daily Value. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developed DVs to help consumers compare the nutrient contents of foods and dietary supplements within the context of a total diet. The DV for magnesium on the new Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts labels and used for the values in Table 2 is 420 mg for adults and children aged 4 years and older [12]. FDA required manufacturers to use these new labels starting in January 2020, but companies with annual sales of less than $10 million may continue to use the old labels that list a magnesium DV of 400 mg until January 2021 [11,13]. FDA does not require food labels to list magnesium content unless magnesium has been added to the food. Foods providing 20% or more of the DV are considered to be high sources of a nutrient, but foods providing lower percentages of the DV also contribute to a healthful diet.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) FoodData Centralexternal link disclaimer lists the nutrient content of many foods and provides comprehensive list of foods containing magnesium arranged by nutrient content and by food name.

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