The Foods That Are High in Magnesium
Magnesium is a mineral necessary for bodily function – so necessary, in fact, that it plays a role in over 300 chemical reactions. Each of them is dependent on sufficient amounts of magnesium, and without it, the inner workings of your body begin to suffer. The nervous system suffers from nerves that are less capable of sending effective and necessary signals. The cardiovascular system struggles with keeping your heart beat steady and balancing blood sugar levels. Your joint cartilage health may deteriorate, and your body is less capable of making protein, DNA, and various building blocks of the musculoskeletal system, like bone. Generally speaking, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and fish are some of the easiest ways to keep up your magnesium levels. Today, we’ll be diving into all of the best foods from each food category that will ensure your diet is fortified with plenty of this vital mineral!
Fruits With Magnesium
Fruits aren’t often the highest in magnesium, but they certainly contain significant amounts. Prickly pears are the number one fresh fruit source of magnesium with 88mg per serving, which can account for 21% of your daily magnesium intake. Another fresh option is avocado, which contains 15% of your daily magnesium if medium-sized. Bananas come close, with 10%. Even our most commonly-consumed fresh fruits, like strawberries and watermelon, give us about 15-20mg of magnesium per serving. Other fresh options with lesser amounts of magnesium are guava fruits, kiwis, papayas, berries, passion fruit, plantains, breadfruit, jackfruit, mulberries, and more.
In addition to fresh fruits, dried fruits offer a lot of magnesium too. In fact, dried figs have even more than prickly pears, at 25% of your recommended daily intake in one serving. Prunes, apricots, dates, zante currants, and raisins are some other dried fruits with significant values.
Vegetables With Magnesium
As mentioned before, leafy greens are your friend when it comes to getting in magnesium. Great options include spinach, swiss chard, kale, collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, edamame, tamarind, potatoes with skin, and okra. In addition to having magnesium, these veggies also pack iron, manganese, and Vitamins A, C, and K. To give you an idea of just how effective leafy greens can be at supplementing your magnesium levels, just one cup of cooked spinach can give you 40% of your daily magnesium!
Dairy and Meats With Magnesium
Dairy and meat products have magnesium as well, and are a popular source of it due to their high protein content as well. Fish, namely fatty fish, are best, and include salmon, halibut, atlantic mackerel, and atlantic pollock. Some meat options are boneless skinless chicken leg, fat-free ground turkey, pork tenderloin, kielbasa sausage, turkey breast, lamb shoulder, and pork chops. Magnesium is even in dairy-based foods, like high-fat milk, nonfat yogurt, parmesan cheese, and ricotta cheese.
Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes With Magnesium
Legumes are plants like lentils, beans, chickpeas, peas, and soybeans, all of which are nutrient-dense plants. They’re packed with magnesium, but offer a lot of nutrients beyond that like potassium, iron, fiber, and protein. Beans of any variety – black, lima, navy, pinto, chickpea – have lots of magnesium when cooked, as do cooked black-eyed peas and cooked tempeh.
Nuts can also contain magnesium, and you should reach for almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, peanuts, and soy nuts. Related to nuts is tofu, which is a food made by pressing soybean milk into bean curd, and one serving has a whopping 53 mg of magnesium!
In the seed category, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds are great. Pumpkin seeds are particularly good, with 150 mg of magnesium in a single 1-ounce serving. Adding seeds to other foods like smoothies, oatmeal, protein shakes, and salads is an excellent way to make any meal magnesium-filled.
Other Miscellaneous Magnesium-Packed Foods
There are plenty of magnesium-packed options in every food category, and we’ve gathered the miscellaneous ones here!
Grains have some magnesium. Whole grains like wheat, oats, and barley do, as do the grains and pseudocereals bran cereal, buckwheat, wheat germ (toasted), and quinoa (cooked.) And dessert lovers, don’t fear: dark chocolate contains magnesium, and is also high in iron, copper, manganese, and antioxidants. Some foods are even fortified with magnesium, like meal replacement bars, protein powders, and weight loss shakes. Tap, mineral, and bottled water may contain trace amounts of magnesium.
Keep in mind that some medicines prevent your body from absorbing magnesium to the fullest, like osteoporosis medications with bisphosphonates, antibiotics, and high doses of zinc.
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