What are best food sources for Magnesium?
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Why magnesium is an important nutrient?

The frequently overlooked mineral, magnesium, helps with muscle contraction and relaxation. Magnesium is one of the common electrolytes along with sodium, potassium, and calcium.

Magnesium is involved in over 300 reactions in the body including:

  • Supporting the absorption and retention of other electrolytes
  • Blood sugar regulation
  • Cellular energy metabolism
  • Muscle and nerve function
  • Protein synthesis—which, in turn, increases lean muscle mass
  • Immune system support

How much magnesium do you need per day?

Magnesium is involved in hundreds of chemical reactions in your body and helps you maintain good health, but many people don’t reach the reference daily intake (RDI) of 400 mg.

Recommended Dietary Allowances for adults:

Men: 400–420 mg

Women: 310–320 mg

Yet, you can easily meet your daily needs by eating foods high in magnesium. Here are healthy foods that are high in magnesium.

1. Dark Chocolate

What are best food sources for Magnesium?
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Dark chocolate is very rich in magnesium, with 64 mg in a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving — that’s 16% of the RDI. Dark chocolate is also high in iron, copper, and manganese and contains prebiotic fiber that feeds your healthy gut bacteria.

To make the most of dark chocolate’s benefits, choose a product containing at least 70% cocoa solids. A higher percentage is even better.

2. Almonds, Cashews, and Peanuts

What are best food sources for Magnesium?
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Not only are almonds, cashews, and peanuts a healthy snack, but they’re also packed with magnesium. One ounce of almonds has 80 mg or about 20 percent of your recommended daily intake. Cashews have 74 mg per ounce, and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter contain 49 mg of magnesium.

They're not only packed with vital nutrients like magnesium but also contain a decent amount of healthy unsaturated fats. Due to its nutrient content, a small handful of almonds per day can help protect your heart, fight inflammation, support your immune system and could reduce your cancer risk. Not to mention, studies have also linked the consumption of nuts, like almonds, to weight loss.

3. Spinach

Spinach has definitely earned some bragging rights when it comes to healthy foods. Aside from being a great source of magnesium, this leafy green boasts an impressive amount of vitamin K—more than most sources—a nutrient vital for blood clotting and bone health. Oh, and we mustn't forget why Popeye loves this green so much—for the protein. On average, spinach contains about one gram of protein and only seven calories per cup raw and 5 grams of protein for 41 calories per boiled cup.

4. Avocados

What are best food sources for Magnesium?
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The avocado is an incredibly nutritious fruit and a tasty source of magnesium. One medium avocado provides 58 mg of magnesium, which is 15% of the RDI.

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. In addition, avocados are an excellent source of fiber. In fact, 13 of the 17 grams of carbs in an avocado come from fiber, making it very low in digestible carbs.

5. Tofu

Tofu is a staple food in vegetarian diets due to its high protein content. Made by pressing soybean milk into soft white curds, it’s also known as bean curd.

A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving has 53 mg of magnesium, which is 13% of the RDI (22).

One serving also provides 10 grams of protein and 10% or more of the RDI for calcium, iron, manganese, and selenium. Additionally, some studies suggest that eating tofu may protect the cells lining your arteries and reduce your risk of stomach cancer.

6. Edamame beans

What are best food sources for Magnesium?
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These soybean pods are a great anytime snack because they're an excellent source of magnesium, folate, and potassium. These nutrients can help lower blood pressure and support heart health, reducing your risk for heart disease. This popular appetizer also boasts a whopping 9 grams of protein per half-cup. Spring for fresh edamame in the summer months because it's in season, and frozen edamame is sure to do the trick year-round.

Other beans and bean products that contain magnesium include:

Black Beans: 42 mg magnesium (10% DV) per 1/2 cup, canned

Soymilk: 39 mg magnesium (9% DV) per 1 cup, unsweetened

Kidney Beans: 35 mg magnesium (8% DV) per 1/2 cup, canned

7. Seeds

Seeds are incredibly healthy. Many — including flax, pumpkin, and chia seeds — contain high amounts of magnesium.

Pumpkin seeds are a particularly good source, with 150 mg in a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving. In addition, seeds are rich in iron, monounsaturated fat, and omega-3 fatty acids.

What’s more, they’re extremely high in fiber. In fact, nearly all of the carbs in seeds come from fiber. They also contain antioxidants, which protect your cells from harmful free radicals produced during metabolism. Flaxseeds have also been shown to reduce cholesterol and may have benefits against breast cancer.

8. Fish, Meat & Dairy Products High in Magnesium

What are best food sources for Magnesium?
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Animal products—beef, chicken, and fish—are all low sources of magnesium. Low magnesium concentrations are found in some dairy products. The following are the best sources of animal-based magnesium.

Atlantic Mackerel: 82 mg magnesium (20% DV) per 3 ounces, cooked. Mackerel is the only item in this section that is considered to be an excellent source of magnesium, containing 20% of your daily value. This white fish is best cooked in parchment paper with butter, lemon, white wine, and a medley of veggies.

Chicken Breast: 35 mg magnesium (8% DV) per 1 cup

Farmed Atlantic Salmon: 26 mg magnesium (6% DV) per 3 ounces, cooked

Halibut: 24 mg magnesium (6% DV) per 3 ounces, cooked

Low-fat Greek Yogurt: 22 mg magnesium (5% DV) per 7 ounces

Magnesium Deficiency

A deficiency due to low dietary intake is not common in healthy people. However, ongoing low intakes or excessive losses of magnesium due to certain health conditions, chronic alcoholism, and/or the use of certain medications can lead to magnesium deficiency. The early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, Nausea, Fatigue, etc. As magnesium deficiency gets worse, other symptoms may occur, including:

Muscle contractions and cramps


Abnormal heart rhythms

Coronary spasms

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