Our bodies require many nutrients and minerals in order to function properly. Magnesium is a mineral that is vital for good health as its involved in so many processes, including energy production and regulating blood pressure. When magnesium levels are low, the human body reacts negatively, causing tiredness, muscle cramps, anxiety, loss of appetite and even confusion to occur. Adults require between 300 – 400 mg of magnesium per day, depending on age and sex (1). One of the best ways to boost magnesium levels is to consume a diet with foods high in magnesium. If you’re unsure as to which foods are best for increasing levels of magnesium, try to consume a few from this list of magnesium food sources.
Spinach contains 79mg of magnesium per 100g serving. Generally, green leafy vegetables are high in magnesium, so ensure you’re consuming regular amounts with your meals. Other good leafy vegetables include kale, which contains 19% of your daily recommended amount per 100g and turnip greens, which contain 11%. Upping your intake of leafy green vegetables and increasing your level of magnesium will help with a better bone structure as magnesium helps with the absorption of calcium.
2. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds contain a whopping 534mg of magnesium per 100g, which is 134% of your daily recommended amount. Other nuts and seeds that are rich in magnesium include sesame seeds with 63% of your recommended daily amount, brazil nuts with 63% and peanuts with 31%. Nuts and seeds are ideal foods for snacks between meals. Even a handful of nuts or seeds will help to increase your body’s magnesium levels and will help to improve your overall health by promoting better sleep, less headaches and allowing you to feel more relaxed.
Consuming at least two portions of fish per week can be extremely beneficial for your health. Mackerel contains 97mg of magnesium per 100g servings, providing 24% of your recommended daily amount. Oily fish, such as tuna contains 14% of your required amount. Oily fish, in particular, is extremely good for your health as its contains omega 3 fatty acids which can help to improve heart health. Increasing your magnesium intake can also assist with cardiovascular disease as it is said to reduce heart disease by 30% (2).
4. Brown Rice
Brown rice contains 44mg of magnesium per 100g, equalling 11% of your daily recommended intake. Whole grains are particularly rich in magnesium with quinoa giving you 30% of your daily amount per 100g and whole wheat pasta providing 11%. Whole grains are well known for helping you to feel fuller for longer as they are harder to digest. This helps to maintain your blood sugar levels and prevent cravings from occurring, which is beneficial for weight loss. Being high in magnesium, eating several portions of whole grains per week could help to reduce the risk of diabetes as magnesium can benefit insulin resistance (3).
Beans are thoroughly rich in magnesium. Soy beans contain 86mg per 100g serving and 22% of the daily amount recommended. Kidney beans have 21% and lentils provide 18% of your suggested intake, meaning they’re extremely beneficial to consume.
Beans are a protein packed with huge nutritional value and in terms of magnesium content, they will help to alleviate many problems associated with magnesium deficiency like migraines. Studies have demonstrated that migraine attacks can be reduced by over 40% by taking magnesium regularly (4).
Known as a new superfood, avocado contains 29mg of magnesium per 100g. A standard avocado contains over 320 calories, however, it does contain healthy fats. Consuming avocado in your diet will not only boost your magnesium levels, but also increase your levels of vitamin K, C, B5, B6 and E, as well as potassium and folate.
Certain dairy products like yoghurt are packed with magnesium. Yoghurt contains 19mg of magnesium per 100g serving, so it’s the ideal way to start your morning. Alternatively, 28g of Swiss cheese contains 3% of your suggested intake of magnesium. Dairy products are known for being good for bone health and as magnesium assists with the absorption of calcium, it’s an imperative mineral for strong, healthy bones. Studies have shown that taking magnesium can help with brittle bones and osteoporosis. One study signified that magnesium may lower the risk of hip fractures (5).
8. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is a good source of magnesium. Figs contain 68mg of magnesium per 100g, which is 17% of your daily recommended amount. Other dried fruit that are rich in magnesium include prunes with 11% of your intake and raisins with 7%. Dried fruit, though high in natural sugar, is a good source of fibre and is ideal for snacking on in-between meals.
9. Dark Chocolate
While chocolate may seem like an unlikely source of minerals, the dark variety is rich in magnesium. Dark chocolate boasts an incredible 327mg per 100g, which is 82% of your recommended daily amount. While dark chocolate is high in calories, its antioxidant content and the benefits of magnesium make it a suitable treat for you to consume. The magnesium in dark chocolate helps to lower blood pressure. Studies have discovered that minerals like calcium and magnesium can reduce hypertension, which is a major health concern (6). Improved blood pressure and heart health will help you to live a better lifestyle.
Bananas contain 27mg of magnesium per 100g serving. Bananas are great for eating as a snack or adding to yoghurt or cereal. Eating several bananas each week will help to reduce muscle pain or cramps as well as alleviating metal health problems like anxiety and depression. As magnesium helps you to feel calmer and more relaxed, you’ll be able to sleep better which will improve your overall mood and well-being. Try eating a banana after exercising to help balance your energy levels and prevent tiredness and fatigue from occurring.