15 Foods High in Magnesium for a Healthier Body

Here are the foods highest in magnesium so you can be sure you’ve always got this important mineral topped up. They run the gamut from seeds and beans to fruits and vegetables, and each brings with it added vitamins and minerals so you’re getting plenty in the way of nutrition. Magnesium is important as it can help you avoid cardiovascular disease, can be helpful for those with diabetes and can help the brain in its daily functions. Signs that you’re running low on magnesium include leg cramps, which may be a subtle sign you might overlook, or a general feeling of fatigue or weakness. Check with your doctor if you’re concerned that your magnesium level is not where is should be.While it may be tempting to rely on some of these foods for your magnesium needs, since they’re so rich in it, you’ll want to share the responsibility over a large assortment of foods and reach your total from multiple sources.

These high magnesium foods can help you get better sleep, relax your nervous system, increase bone strength and so much more…

1. Flaxseed: 392mg Magnesium (98% DV)

Flaxseed usually gets credit for its high levels of omega-3s, but it is also a fantastic source of magnesium. The good news is that you don’t have to eat 100 grams of flaxseed in order to reap the benefits. Smaller servings will still give you plenty of magnesium and you can make up the difference with other foods throughout the day.

Ground flaxseed is easiest to work with and ensures that you’ll actually use it. You can also opt for flaxseed oil.

But let’s not overlook the impressive amounts of omega-3s that flaxseed contains. This will help the body fight off free radical damage. Most of the time it’s oily fish that contains omega-3s, but flaxseed is a nice plant-based source of them.

Tips for eating more: Ground flaxseed is one of the easiest foods to eat more of because it disappears into soups and stews and goes relatively unnoticed on top of a salad.

2. Dark Chocolate: 327mg Magnesium (82% DV)

Dark chocolate is a magnesium powerhouse, providing almost a full day’s supply in a 100 gram serving. You probably won’t want to eat 100 grams of dark chocolate in one sitting, which is good because there are plenty of other foods that can help you hit your magnesium mark.

You can get an energy boost by having just a small amount of dark chocolate thanks in part to the magnesium it contains. You’ll also feel better, since chocolate has long been known to help the body produce endorphins.

Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants not found in milk chocolate. These will help you fend off free radicals in the body. Try out the different percentages of dark chocolate to see which one you prefer. The higher the percentage, the more bitter the chocolate will be, but the more pure it will be as well.

Tips for eating more: It’s not hard to eat more chocolate, but make sure you’re using dark chocolate and not milk chocolate to avoid the extra sugar used in milk chocolate. Nibble on a bit of dark chocolate when you get a craving, or as a dessert after a meal.

3. Sunflower Seeds: 325mg Magnesium (81% DV)

Sunflower seeds provide quite a punch when it comes to magnesium, and they also provide other nutrients and minerals making them an excellent snack time choice.

The magnesium found in sunflower seeds will help you keep calm when things get stressful. They also contain protein and fiber, which helps you feel full for a longer period of time, and they are a good source of selenium, which has been shown to have anti-cancer properties.

If you’re worried about eating sunflower seeds because of their fat content, it’s time to reevaluate them. The fat they contain is mostly healthy fat in the form of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. You’ll still want to watch your intake of them, as to keep your total fat at healthy levels for the day.

Tips for eating more: Keep a supply of sunflower seeds handy, and make like the baseball players. Choose unsalted sunflower seeds to keep your sodium levels in check.

4. Cashews: 292mg Magnesium (73% DV)

Cashews have an impressive amount of magnesium, and even a one ounce serving will provide you with one fifth of what you need for the day. This will help strengthen bones and balance blood sugar levels, among the other benefits magnesium provides.

In addition to magnesium cashews also provide you with iron and potassium, as well as protein. This makes it a very well rounded snack that can help you build muscle, avoid an anemic state, and assist with healthy blood pressure levels.

Cashews are a good source of healthy fats, which will actually help you lose fat rather than gain it when eaten as part of a proper diet.

Tips for eating more: Cashews make a great snack all by themselves, but can also be added to a stir fry or a vegetable like green beans to boost the magnesium content of the meal.

5. Soybeans: 280mg Magnesium (70% DV)

Soybeans have a great deal of magnesium in them, and they’re also known for their protein, healthy fats, and iron levels.

The fiber in soybeans is also very high, so you’re getting a lot of benefit from one food. The magnesium will help you sleep better, and along with the fiber will help prevent constipation. The protein will balance out your meal, and when combined with the healthy fat it contains will keep you satiated for several hours.

Because of the high protein content in soybeans, you’ll often see soy-derived products stand in as meat replacements. Tofu and tempeh are popular vegan and vegetarian options for subbing out meat, providing protein and other essential minerals, much like meat does.

Users Comments:

  • Marcia Wiesner

    Umm, how much of each of these foods contains the amount of magnesium that you list? These figures are pretty high.

  • Patty

    100 grams of dark chocolate is a little less than 4 oz . It’s not so much at all within a varied diet. The media tends to be a tad puritanical when it comes to advising we commoners. Meanwhile the rich are doubtlessly scarfing down grassfed butter drenched steamed organic veggies with their wild caught Copper River Salmon lying on a bed of fluffy quinoa and generously sprinkled with lightly toasted filberts. Desert would be some sort of extremely rich raspberry chocolate frosted cake not sparing a calorie of saturated fat. There would also be the finest local blue cheese accompanied by seasonal fruit and an exceptional port wine. No one is fat. It really is all about traditional nutrition and quality of whole food. Saturated fat is not the enemy within a high quality whole food diet. It’s about balance and quality.

  • Heather Hill


    I’m the Managing Editor at Activation Products, a natural health company. I wanted to reach out to you because we’re going to be posting a piece on our blog about Chocolate and Magnesium and we’d like to link to one of your articles. I thought you might want to read what we’re writing.

    Here is the excerpt as it is written now:

    “Of course, while dark chocolate will get you some of the magnesium you need, it’s important to avoid milk chocolate, since it’s very high in sugar and doesn’t have nearly as much magnesium in it. Dark chocolate is still high in calories too remember, so even when choosing good quality dark stuff, enjoy it in moderation.

    Fortunately, you don’t need much. Bembu.com notes that “You can get an energy boost by having just a small amount of dark chocolate thanks in part to the magnesium it contains. You’ll also feel better, since chocolate has long been known to help the body produce endorphins.””

    Are there any changes you’d like to see?

    I look forward to hearing from you.


  • Leesa Davis

    I have an extreme reaction when I eat anything that contains magnesium. I can’t even take vitamins that contain magnesium. What started it was my Doctor suggested that I take magnesium supplements for kidney stones and after I took just 3 tablets it gummed me up inside for months. My BM’s were like hard concrete. I finally came out of it by eating a lot of activia. When I told my doctor she didn’t believe me and said “Oh no, magnesium makes you go wouldn’t even discuss it”. I’m wondering if it is because of my welsh heritage and if there is anything I can do to combat it. Thank you!

    • Melissa

      Without magnesium, your muscles cannot relax from their contracted state. You’d die, painfully. So you have to be getting it from some source. Just remember that there are different forms of magnesium. That like what’s in milk of magnesia acts as a laxative. But yeah, no magnesium would mean every muscle in your body would be locked into permanent contraction. No bueno.

  • Subdiapara

    Magnesium is Very an Important for good health.we should remember how much magnesium is need for your body for good health.Article is very helpful.Thanks for your valuable an information.

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