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Magnesium Rich Foods - Slideshow

Developed by Mita Majumdar, M.Sc. | Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team on Mar 28, 2014
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Magnesium, Magnesium Rich Foods
is a mineral that is essential for growth, development, and maintenance of our bones, teeth, and red blood cells. Adult males, pregnant women, and 14 to 18 year old boys require on an average 400mg of magnesium daily. Women and teenage girls need around 310mg to 360mg of magnesium and children need 80mg to 240mg of magnesium daily as they grow older. Benefits of magnesium rich foods are many -

- supports bone health and muscle health and supports the functioning of nervous system,

- enables energy production

- supports the functioning of calcium and potassium

-decreases risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome

- promotes mental clarity

- prevents osteoporosis

- helps fight chronic pain and fatigue

- improves symptoms of asthma


Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds, Magnesium Rich Foods
contain lot of magnesium. Nuts such as walnut, cashew, almond, pine nut, pistachio, and even peanuts, and seeds such as pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and sunflower seeds are a storehouse of magnesium. One of the richest sources of magnesium is the pumpkin seed. A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains approximately 191mg of magnesium meeting about 48 percent of the daily requirement of the mineral. It is closely followed by sesame seeds that provide about 31.6 percent of the daily requirement for magnesium.


Legumes, Magnesium Rich Foods
Legumes as in lentils, black beans, and soybean are one of the most useful sources of magnesium. Another benefit that magnesium is known for is improving bone density. In a study involving postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, researchers from Turkey found that magnesium levels in red blood cells were significantly lower in these women, thus suggesting that magnesium plays a key role in osteoporosis. This is because magnesium enhances the hormones that aid in calcium metabolism. And deficiency of calcium leads to osteoporosis.

Black beans are said to have the highest amount of magnesium among beans (if you don't consider soybean as a bean), since a cup of cooked black beans provides almost one-third of the daily requirement for this mineral. A cup of cooked soybean provides 37 percent DV (daily value) and kidney beans - 21 percent, and lentils - 18 percent of the daily magnesium requirement.

All leafy greens

All leafy greens, Magnesium Rich Foods
All leafy greens are rich in minerals and magnesium is present in large quantities in spinach, and other green and red leafy veggies. Studies have shown that magnesium deficiency in pregnant women is associated with pre-term birth, increased incidence of leg cramps, constipation, and even sudden death syndrome in their infants. Researchers suggest obtaining the magnesium balance through consuming leafy green vegetables, legumes, and soy milk. Leafy greens have an added advantage of consuming lower calories with equal if not more amount of vitamins and minerals. For example, a cup of spinach provides 156.6mg of magnesium but only 41 calories and amounts to almost 40 percent of the daily requirement of magnesium. Boiling spinach however reduces the magnesium content drastically.


Fruits, Magnesium Rich Foods
such as banana, blueberries, avocado, artichoke, and strawberry are rich in magnesium. Dried foods seem to contain more magnesium than fresh ones. For example, 25g of dried peach provides 50mg of magnesium, 40g of dried figs provide 90mg of magnesium, and 25g of dried apricots provide 70mg of the mineral where 100g of the fresh one provides just 10mg of magnesium.

Here's the amount of magnesium present in 100g of some fresh fruits -

- Banana - 40mg

- Blackberries - 30mg

- Mango - 20mg

- One whole orange (130g) - 10mg

- White grapes - 6mg

- Black grapes - 3mg


Vegetables, Magnesium Rich Foods
Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are good sources of magnesium, although not as good as leafy veggies. However, be careful - researchers found that boiling these vegetables (and leafy vegetables) can destroy 20 to 30 percent of the magnesium content. For example, 50g of raw cabbage provides 20mg of magnesium but when you boil it, magnesium level drops to 7mg. 100g of boiled sweet potato and yam each provide 10mg of magnesium. Raw artichokes are wonderful source of magnesium providing 64mg per 100g of the vegetable. However, boiling it reduces the magnesium content to 42mg. Again, 120g of baked or boiled potato with skin provides 20mg of magnesium but the same quantity of fresh fried potato chips will give you 40mg of magnesium. A silver lining for junk-foodies?

Whole grains

Whole grains, Magnesium Rich Foods
Whole grains, especially, wheat, buckwheat, brown rice, oats, barley, and quinoa are good sources of magnesium. A cup of cooked brown rice can give you 86mg of magnesium equivalent to 21 percent of the daily requirement and quinoa can meet 30 percent of the daily requirement for magnesium. A cup of buckwheat flour contains 301mg of magnesium amounting to more than 75 percent of the daily requirement of the mineral.

Harvard researchers found magnesium rich foods, especially whole grains, to be associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Scientists attribute this to the presence of certain phytonutrients including magnesium in the whole grain foods. Magnesium promotes preservation of insulin sensitivity but during refining process magnesium and other phytonutrients are lost. There is almost 85 percent loss of magnesium during processing and refining of foods. That's why refined products such as white flour increase insulin resistance and thus increase the chances of developing diabetes.

, Magnesium Rich Foods
If you are not that much into vegetables and nuts, fish can be the second best option to get your magnesium. Fish such as cod, halibut, trout and tuna are pretty good sources of magnesium. 85g of fresh cooked tuna provides 54mg and same amount of halibut provides 91mg of magnesium, meeting about 25 percent of your daily requirement of the mineral. Apart from magnesium, these fish are also good sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 acids, bone-healthy phosphorus, and heart healthy potassium. So, it does make sense to include fish in your diet.

Red meats

Red meats, Magnesium Rich Foods
Red meats are not only high quality protein sources, but are also good sources of key vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin A, vitamin D, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and zinc that are required for healthy living. They may not be as rich in magnesium as fruits and vegetables or leafy greens but meats and meat products, even processed ones, contain 10 to 30mg of magnesium. For example, 150g of grilled beef contains 30mg of magnesium, while 140g of lamb heart roast provides as much as 40mg of magnesium. 100g of fat free chicken breast sausage provides 36mg of magnesium, but the same amount of precooked pork and turkey sausage provides 25mg of magnesium.


Tofu, Magnesium Rich Foods
Tofu, made from soybean milk, is a high protein, low carb food that is absolutely cholesterol free and has high amounts of calcium and vitamin E. Since it is a soybean product, it is of course a good source of magnesium. Four ounces of tofu contain 65.8mg of magnesium and 16.44 percent daily value (% DV). 100g of tofu yogurt provides 40mg of magnesium, and 100g mayonnaise made with tofu provides 52mg of magnesium.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate, Magnesium Rich Foods
Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrition. It is low in cholesterol and sodium and along with iron, copper and manganese, it is a good source of magnesium too. 100g of dark chocolate containing 70 to 85 percent cocoa solids provides 230mg of magnesium covering more than half of your daily requirement for the same. However, beware, the same bar of chocolate contains 605 calories! So, you might want to go easy on this wonderful magnesium source. While on chocolates, 5g of cocoa powder provides 520mg of magnesium.

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