More often than not, we eat because we feel hungry. We hardly pay attention to the nutritional value. In fact, we do not even consider what minerals and vitamins we ingest daily. Magnesium is one such mineral we tend to overlook. Available in plenty in some of our daily foods, this mineral plays a key role in the functioning of muscles and nerves. It is also essential to keep your immune system healthy, prevent arrhythmic heart disorder and to build stronger bones.
While a lack of magnesium in the diet can result in diabetes, hypertension, migraines, muscles spasms, anxiety issues, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disorders and even cerebral infarction, excessive levels can lead to intense diarrhea. Yes, supplements do exist that help you consume the required amounts of this mineral. But why use artificial supplements when nature offers a wide variety of elements that has magnesium in them? Be it grains, legumes, fruits, veggies, seeds, nuts, or seafood—you’ll find enough magnesium in nature to keep you healthy!
Recommended Daily Requirements of Magnesium:
|Group [in years]||RDA of Magnesium [in mg]|
|1 to 3||80|
|4 to 8||130|
|9 to 13||240|
|14 to 18 [Boys]||410|
|14 to 18 [Girls]||360|
|Pregnancy||360 to 400|
|Lactation||320 to 360|
Magnesium Rich Foods
Welcome to nature’s treasure trove of magnesium! I have divided the sections into Grains; Fruits and Vegetables; Seeds and Nuts; Legumes and Beans; Fish and Sea food and Other Sources.
One cup of buckwheat flour gives you about 301 mg of magnesium, meeting 75% RDA for male and almost 100% for female. Pack it up with banana slices if you are pregnant or lactating for that added requirement. This will make one of the great magnesium rich food choices.
I am not talking about just white rice here! There is wild rice and then there is long grain brown rice—a favorite among the fitness conscious! All these are wonderful sources of magnesium. A cup of cooked brown rice gives you 84 mg while 1 cup cooked wild rice gives 54 mg of this vital mineral. However, the show stealer here is the rice husk, which is full of magnesium. White rice, sans the husk, has just 26 mg per cup.
Fruits and Vegetables:
3. Green Leaves:
Green leafy veggies are known for their awesome health benefits and are another amazing foods rich in magnesium. A cup of cooked spinach gives you about 157 mg of magnesium, easily making it to 39% of the RDA. Swiss chard is also a good qualifier with 1 cup of this cooked veggie giving you 38% of the daily requirement. Plus, 1 cup [of either veggie] gives just 50 calories, making it perfect for those looking to lose some weight.
This one is my favorite. This pod like vegetable comes packed with a constellation of benefits that come from the rich presence of assorted nutrients, including phosphorous, iron, zinc, protein, folate, vitamin C, calcium – and not to forget – magnesium! One cup of okra yields 92 mg. Just steam them or sauté them with some spices, onions, and garlic in very little oil to reap the goodness.
One medium sized artichoke contains 90 mg of this mineral, easily meeting 25% of the RDA for pregnant moms. Choose a one cup serving to pep up the quantity to 100 mg. You can add it with other veggies and seeds containing this mineral to ensure that you meet the RDA.
Freeze your broccoli to get more magnesium. I am not joking! While a fresh, raw 1 cup serving of broccoli gives just 22 mg, the same quantity, when frozen yields 37 mg! However, this alone does not make it a ‘superfood’. The presence of fiber, calcium, vitamin K, vitamin C, and beta carotene in this dark green cruciferous veggie makes it an awesome choice for everyone, especially women who are pregnant or lactating. Turn it into your favorite soup or just stir fry with a dash of black pepper powder, and there you have it—a taste bowl of health!
Pound up your magnesium requirements with summer squash – the yellow one as well as zucchini. Just 1 cup of zucchini is sufficient to give you 43 mg of this mineral. What makes it a popular choice is its versatility when it comes to cooking plus its soft touch on the palette. Be it frittata or whole wheat pasta, zucchini rocks!
Cabbage is not a very palate pleasing veggie, but a food rich in magnesium which you require to include. If you can manage to cook it along with broccoli or zucchini, then you will get an additional 12 mg magnesium per cup. Plus, it has loads of fiber, making it even more appealing for those who are on a weight loss journey.
One medium sized banana gives 32 mg magnesium. So, make sure that the humble banana finds a place of honor in your daily diet. Dump it in 1 cup of low fat curd for added benefits.
Blackberries have earned the reputation of being a super food with the presence of a wide array of nutrients, including antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber. Adding to its qualities is the presence of bone-building mineral, magnesium, in decent amounts. Reap 29 mg of this mineral from a cup of fresh blackberries.
This is one amongst the most admired super foods for women. Along with antioxidants and other nutrients, it also gives you magnesium. One cup of fresh raspberries gives 27 mg of magnesium. Pregnant and lactating women too can enjoy it without worrying about negative impacts.
This fleshy fruit is not just good for making a tasty Guacamole. It gives you a good dose of magnesium too, not to forget the much touted fiber. Grab a whole avocado to reap 30 mg of this mineral.
Summers are incomplete without relishing this lovely red, juicy fruit. And, why not? It is one of the tastiest ways to quench your magnesium requirement. Low in calories, rich in fiber, one cup watermelon cubes give 15 mg magnesium, which means you can ideally munch on about 6 cups a day!
14. Passion Fruit:
Passion fruit contains 29 mg of magnesium per medium sized fruit. Well, that says it all!
Seeds and Nuts:
15. Pumpkin Seeds:
People who love to munch on pumpkin seeds are sure to pack up their magnesium levels. Yes! You get 151 mg from 1 oz of these seeds along with vitamin K, zinc, phosphorous, protein, and of course, fiber. Just roast a handful and eat.
16. Sesame Seeds:
These too qualify as a good magnesium food sources with ½ cup giving a whopping 265 mg, which is around 63% of the recommended daily amount.
If you love nuts, then you can try Brazil nuts and almonds. While ½ a cup of the former contains 250 mg, ¼ cup of almonds meet 25% of the recommended daily amount. Cashew nuts are also decently packed with magnesium with ¼ cup yielding 100 mg.
However, the showstopper here is pine nuts. One cup of these tasty and crunchy nuts give 339 mg , meeting more than 85% of the RDA.
Legumes and Beans:
18. Soy, Navy, Black, and Cannellini Beans:
Along with being rich in protein, legumes and beans also give you magnesium in admirable quantities. One cup each of soy beans and black beans give you 30% of your daily requirement with the black ones containing 120 mg. While navy beans yields 107 mg from 1 cup, kidney beans give you 72 mg. White cannellini tops the list with 134 mg coming from 1 cup.
Fish and Seafood:
If you love seafood and fish, then this one is for you. Being low in calories and fat, fish comes as one of the healthier foods rich in magnesium. While a 4 ounce serving of halibut or salmon will give you 138 mg, a 3 ounce serving Mackerel gives you 82 mg.
Do you love oysters? Then this is one more reason why you should indulge in them tonight. A 3 ounce serving of mollusks yield 49 mg. And a typical Easter Oyster, when eaten breaded and fried, gives you 58 mg per 100 g.
Note: Pregnant and lactating women should abstain from eating raw fish as well as sea food as they can jeopardize your health. You can opt for a savory seafood soup alongside whole grain crackers for that tasty dose of magnesium.
Herbs can do much more than just adding aroma and flavor to your recipes. You can reap your magnesium requirement from them too. While I tbsp coriander yields 14 mg magnesium, you can get 10 mg from 1 tbsp each of basil, savory, spearmint, sage, and chives. You can opt for fresh or dried ones, according to your convenience, to reap the benefits in a tastier way.
Other Foods Rich in Magnesium:
Here are two more magnesium food sources that offer admirable quantities of magnesium! Plus, women love them!
It need not be dark chocolate alone. You favorite chocolate bar yields 28 mg, but for an awesome dose try plain cocoa powder. One cup of unsweetened cocoa powder is packed with 429 mg of this mineral, while a bar of dark cooking chocolate gives 95 mg per square. So, just grab a chocolate bar as a part of your cheat meal and feel good about it!
Molasses make a great sugar substitute, especially when it comes to baking. Along with adding a healthy touch to your cakes and cookies and giving it a refreshing taste, it will give you some really good dose of magnesium. One cup of this golden healthy sweetening agent gives about 816 mg magnesium; so u can add about a tablespoon of this to your daily diet to reap 12% of the RDA.
Magnesium is essential, whether you want to lose weight, stay fit, or you are pregnant or lactating. It is quite easy to meet the daily requirement of this mineral without relying of any artificial sources. Add the above mentioned foods to your diet and see the difference!
What is your preferred source of magnesium? Did it find a place in the magnesium rich foods list above? Share with us in the comments section below.