Top 20 Foods High In Magnesium

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Magnesium is an essential nutrient, which means that it is one of the minerals that humans need to obtain from their diet.

The recommended daily value for magnesium is currently 420 mg (1).

This article presents a list of foods high in magnesium alongside the amount of the mineral they provide per serving and per 100 grams.

The source of all nutritional values in this list is the USDA’s FoodData Central database.

Daily values have been calculated using the FDA’s published daily values.

1) Cocoa (and Dark Chocolate)

Cocoa Powder On a White Background.

Many people don’t realize it, but cocoa and chocolate products are actually quite nutritious.

Notably, just two tablespoons of cocoa powder provide 13% of the daily value for magnesium (2).

In addition to magnesium, cocoa is rich in copper, iron, zinc, manganese, and many other important minerals.

Similar to cocoa, good dark chocolate also has a high magnesium content.

The higher percentage of cocoa the bar has, the more of the mineral it will contain.

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per 2 tbsp serving
499 mg (119% DV) 53.8 mcg (13% DV)

2) Spinach

Many leafy greens are rich in magnesium, but spinach is one of the best sources.

Spinach may be famous for its iron content thanks to a certain cartoon character, but it manages to supply even more magnesium.

On this note, a cup of cooked spinach provides a substantial 37% of the daily value for the mineral (3).

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per cup serving, cooked
87 mg (21% DV) 157 mg (37% DV)

3) Hemp Seeds

Numerous seeds are a rich source of magnesium, and hemp seeds offer more of the mineral than most.

A three-tablespoon (30-gram) serving of unhulled hemp seeds contains 50% of the daily value for magnesium (4).

Hemp seeds are also an excellent source of the omega-3 precursor alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per 3-tbsp (30g) serving
700 mg (167% DV) 210 mg (50% DV)

4) Natto

Japanese Traditional Fermented Natto On a White Background.

Natto is a traditional Japanese food made by the bacterial fermentation of whole soybeans.

As shown in the picture, natto isn’t the most attractive food in the world, and many are put off by the appearance and slimy texture.

However, for those who do try it, natto provides a wide range of nutrients, and it is a reasonably good source of magnesium.

A half-cup serving of natto provides 48% of the daily value for magnesium (5).

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per half-cup (87g)
115 mg (27% DV) 201 mg (48% DV)

5) Almonds

Botanically, almonds are seeds rather than nuts, but we generally classify them as nuts.

These “nuts” are also very nutritious, and almonds provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals.

Among these nutrients, an ounce (28-gram) serving of almonds provides 18% of the daily value for magnesium (6).

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per ounce (28g)
270 mg (64% DV) 76.5 mg (18% DV)

6) Wheat Germ

There are lots of different wheat products, but wheat germ—made from wheat kernels—is arguably the most nutritious.

This wheat product contains a wide range of essential nutrients, and it is very high in magnesium too.

Per 100 grams, wheat germ supplies 76% of the daily value for the mineral (7).

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per cup (113g)
320 mg (76% DV) 362 mg (86% DV)

7) Chia Seeds

A Large Pile of Chia Seeds On a White Background.

Chia is a tiny black seed that packs a big nutritional punch.

Firstly, these nutritious seeds provide large concentrations of ALA omega-3, fiber, iron, phosphorus, and manganese.

Chia seeds are full of magnesium too, and an ounce serving supplies 28% of the mineral’s daily value (8).

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per ounce (28g)
335 mg (80% DV) 95 mg (28% DV)

8) Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts come from the Brazil nut tree, which is native to South America and can grow to a height of 50 meters (9).

These nuts are high in magnesium, and an ounce (28-gram) serving contains 25% of the daily value for the mineral (10).

Brazil nuts are also well known for their selenium content. In this regard, Brazil nuts are so high in the mineral that excessive daily consumption might be a potential risk for selenium toxicity (10, 11).

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per ounce (28g)
376 mg (90% DV) 105 mg (25% DV)

9) Mackerel

Several species of fish offer a good source of magnesium, but Atlantic mackerel appears to offer the most significant quantity.

A cooked fillet of Atlantic mackerel provides 20% of the daily value for magnesium (12).

In addition to this, mackerel is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Markedly, a higher blood content of these fatty acids is strongly associated with lower cardiovascular risk and all-cause mortality (13).

Owing to its rich supply of healthy fats, mackerel is also one of the healthier high-calorie foods.

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per fillet (88g)
97 mg (23% DV) 85 mg (25% DV)

10) Oats

A Pile of Oat Flakes On a White Background.

 

Whole oats are usually processed into rolled oats, steel-cut oats, oat flakes, or oat flour.

One of the most popular uses of this grain is for porridge, which is a popular breakfast meal.

Oats are relatively nutrient-dense too, and they’re an excellent source of magnesium.

A cup serving of raw oats provides 27% of the daily value for magnesium (14).

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per cup (81g)
138 mg (33% DV) 112 mg (27% DV)

11) Swiss Chard

Similar to spinach and other leafy greens, swiss chard is among the most nutrient-dense vegetables.

It’s also high in magnesium, with a cup serving of cooked Swiss chard providing 150 mg of the mineral (15).

Aside from magnesium, Swiss chard is also a notable source of copper, zinc, and many other nutrients.

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per cup
86 mg (20% DV) 150 mg (36% DV)

12) Cashews

Cashews are a type of tree nut, and they are one of the most popular nuts in the world today.

The cashew tree is native to Brazil, but the production of these nuts takes place in numerous regions globally.

Nutritionally, cashews contain large amounts of copper, manganese, and magnesium.

Their overall magnesium content represents 20% of the daily value per ounce (28-gram) serving (16).

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per ounce (28g)
252 mg (60% DV) 71 mg (17% DV)

13) Pumpkin Seeds

A Pile of Pumpkin Seeds.

Pumpkin seeds have a kind of nutty flavor and they are a rich source of many vitamins and minerals.

Among these nutrients, they are one of the best dietary sources of magnesium. Just an ounce (28-gram) serving provides 37% of the daily value for the mineral (17).

Pumpkin seeds may be eaten raw, or they can be roasted in the oven with salt and an assortment of seasonings.

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per ounce (28g)
550 mg (131% DV) 156 mg (37% DV)

14) Beet Greens

Beet greens are another magnesium-rich vegetable, and they supply 23% of the daily value per cooked cup serving (18).

These greens are the edible leaves of the beet/beetroot plant.

Despite often being discarded, beet greens are full of beneficial nutrients.

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per cup
68 mg (16% DV) 98 mg (23% DV)

15) Avocado

Avocados offer a lot of nutritional value, and they are an excellent source of potassium, magnesium, fiber, and monounsaturated fat.

Per whole avocado fruit, they contain 14% of the daily value for magnesium (19).

In addition to avocado’s versatility in different recipes, the fruit can be used to make the delicious condiment guacamole.

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per fruit
29 mg (7% DV) 58 mg (14% DV)

16) Tofu

Tofu is a popular soy-based product that originated in ancient China.

In the present day, tofu enjoys popularity throughout East Asia and has also become semi-popular around the world.

Since it is made with soybeans, tofu contains a similar nutrient profile, and it is a good source of magnesium.

Per half a cup serving, tofu provides 17% of the daily value for magnesium (20).

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per 1/2 cup
58 mg (14% DV) 73 mg (17% DV)

17) Conch (Sea Snail)

Conch is a type of sea snail and it is extremely nutritious.

While not everyone will be a fan of this particular seafood, it offers large amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral.

Conch is a great source of magnesium too, and a cup of cooked conch provides 72% of the daily value for the mineral (21).

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per cup
238 mg (57% DV) 302 mg (72% DV)

18) Lima Beans

Like most legumes, lima beans are a rich source of minerals.

Per cup serving, cooked lima beans offer 18% of the daily value for magnesium (22).

Aside from this, lima beans are a good source of fiber, protein, and a wide range of essential nutrients.

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per cup
43 mg (10% DV) 77 mg (18% DV)

19) Mussels

A Pile of Mussels.

 

Aside from organ meats and other shellfish like clams and oysters, it is difficult to beat mussels for nutrient-density.

This nutritious seafood offers large amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals, and they are even a moderate source of omega-3.

Regarding magnesium, a cup of cooked mussels supplies 24% of the mineral’s recommended daily value (23).

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per cup
68 mg (16% DV) 102 mg (24% DV)

20) Black Beans

Black beans are another nutrient-rich legume that provides good amounts of magnesium.

A cup serving of cooked black beans offers 29% of the daily value for the mineral (24).

Magnesium per 100g Magnesium per cup
70 mg (17% DV) 120 mg (29% DV)

Foods Highest In Magnesium Per 100 Grams

For a general idea of how the magnesium content of these different foods compares, the table below shows the foods highest in the mineral per 100 grams.

Note: just because one food contains more than another doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best source of magnesium.

For example, it is difficult to eat 100 grams of nuts but fairly easy to consume 100 grams of mackerel.

Rank Food Name Magnesium Per 100g % Daily Value
1 Hemp seeds 700 mg 167%
2 Pumpkin seeds 550 mg 131%
3 Cocoa powder 499 mg 119%
4 Brazil nuts 376 mg 90%
5 Chia seeds 335 mg 80%
6 Wheat germ 320 mg 76%
7 Almonds 270 mg 64%
8 Cashews 252 mg 60%
9 Conch 238 mg 57%
10 Oats 138 mg 33%
11 Natto 115 mg 27%
12 Mackerel 97 mg 23%
13 Spinach 87 mg 21%
14 Swiss chard 86 mg 20%
15 Black beans 70 mg 17%
16 Mussels 68 mg 16%
17 Beet greens 68 mg 16%
18 Tofu 58 mg 14%
19 Lima beans 43 mg 10%
20 Avocado 29 mg 7%

Final Thoughts

An inadequate intake of magnesium can cause some potentially serious deficiency issues.

For anyone wishing to increase their magnesium intake, the foods in this article are all excellent sources of the mineral, and magnesium supplements are another option.

While it may seem that the best sources are beans and seeds, there is more to the equation than the absolute magnesium content.

For instance, beans and seeds are very high in the mineral, but they are also very calorie-dense.

On the other hand, leafy greens like spinach and chard seem comparatively lower in magnesium, yet they contain virtually no calories, making it easier to eat more.

Either way, the “best” sources of magnesium are the foods you enjoy the most.

Want to know more about this vital mineral? Then read about the benefits of magnesium.

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