Magnesium is an extremely important mineral.
It’s involved in hundreds of chemical reactions in your body and helps you maintain good health, but many people don’t reach the recommended daily intake (RDI) of 400 mg.
Yet, you can easily meet your daily needs by eating foods high in magnesium.
Here are 10 healthy foods that are high in magnesium.
1. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is as healthy as it is delicious.
It’s very rich in magnesium, with 64 mg in a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving — that’s 16% of the recommended daily intake.
Dark chocolate is also is high in iron, copper, and manganese and contains prebiotic fiber that feeds your healthy gut bacteria.
What’s more, it’s loaded with beneficial antioxidants. These are nutrients that neutralize free radicals, which are harmful molecules that can damage your cells and lead to disease.
Dark chocolate is especially beneficial for heart health, as it contains flavanols, which are powerful antioxidant compounds that prevent “bad” LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and sticking to the cells lining your arteries.
To make the most of dark chocolate’s benefits, choose a product containing at least 70% cocoa solids. A higher percentage is even better.
Summary: A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of dark chocolate provides 16% of the recommended daily intake for magnesium. It’s also beneficial for gut and heart health and is loaded with antioxidants.
The avocado is an incredibly nutritious fruit and a tasty source of magnesium. One medium avocado provides 58 mg of magnesium, which is 15% of the recommended daily intake.
Avocados are also high in potassium, B vitamins, and vitamin K. And unlike most fruits, they’re high in fat — especially heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.
In addition, avocados are an excellent source of fiber. 13 of the 17 grams of carbs in an avocado come from fiber, making it very low in digestible carbs.
Studies have shown that eating avocados can reduce inflammation, improve cholesterol levels and increase feelings of fullness after meals.
Summary: A medium avocado provides 15% of the recommended daily intake for magnesium. Avocados fight inflammation, improve cholesterol levels, increase fullness, and are packed with several other nutrients.
Nuts are nutritious and tasty.
Types of nuts that are particularly high in magnesium include almonds, cashews, and Brazil nuts.
For instance, a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of cashews contains 82 mg of magnesium or 20% of the recommended daily intake.
Most nuts are also a good source of fiber and monounsaturated fat and have been shown to improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels in people with diabetes.
Brazil nuts are also extremely high in selenium. Just two Brazil nuts provide more than 100% of the recommended daily intake for this mineral.
Additionally, nuts are anti-inflammatory, beneficial for heart health, and can reduce appetite when eaten as snacks.
Summary: Cashews, almonds, and Brazil nuts are high in magnesium. A single serving of cashews provides 20% of the recommended daily intake.
Legumes are a family of nutrient-dense plants that include lentils, beans, chickpeas, peas, and soybeans.
They’re very rich in many different nutrients, including magnesium.
For instance, a 1-cup serving of cooked black beans contains an impressive 120 mg of magnesium, which is 30% of the recommended daily intake.
Legumes are also high in potassium and iron and a major source of protein for vegetarians.
Because legumes are rich in fiber and have a low glycemic index (GI), they may lower cholesterol, improve blood sugar control and decrease heart disease risk.
Suggested read: Healthy vegan foods
A fermented soybean product known as natto is considered an excellent source of vitamin K2, which is important for bone health.
Summary: Legumes are magnesium-rich foods. For example, a 1-cup (170-gram) serving of black beans contains 30% of the recommended daily intake.
Tofu is a staple food in vegetarian diets due to its high protein content. Made by pressing soybean milk into soft white curds, it’s also known as bean curd.
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving has 53 mg of magnesium, which is 13% of the recommended daily intake.
One serving also provides 10 grams of protein and 10% or more of the recommended daily intake for calcium, iron, manganese, and selenium.
Additionally, some studies suggest that eating tofu may protect the cells lining your arteries and reduce your risk of stomach cancer.
Summary: A serving of tofu provides 13% of the recommended daily intake for magnesium. It’s also a good source of protein and several other nutrients.
Seeds are incredibly healthy.
Many — including flax, pumpkin, and chia seeds — contain high amounts of magnesium.
Pumpkin seeds are a particularly good source, with 150 mg in a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving.
This amounts to a whopping 37% of the recommended daily intake.
In addition, seeds are rich in iron, monounsaturated fat, and omega-3 fatty acids.
What’s more, they’re extremely high in fiber. Nearly all of the carbs in seeds come from fiber.
They also contain antioxidants, which protect your cells from harmful free radicals produced during metabolism.
Flaxseeds have also been shown to reduce cholesterol and may have benefits against breast cancer.
Summary: Most seeds are rich in magnesium. A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of pumpkin seeds contains an astounding 37% of the recommended daily intake.
7. Whole grains
Grains include wheat, oats, and barley, as well as pseudocereals like buckwheat and quinoa.
Suggested read: Top 10 vegan sources of calcium
Whole grains are excellent sources of many nutrients, including magnesium.
A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of dry buckwheat contains 65 mg of magnesium, which is 16% of the recommended daily intake.
Many whole grains are also high in B vitamins, selenium, manganese, and fiber.
In controlled studies, whole grains have been shown to reduce inflammation and decrease heart disease risk.
Pseudocereals like buckwheat and quinoa are higher in protein and antioxidants than traditional grains like corn and wheat.
What’s more, they’re gluten-free, so people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can enjoy them, too.
Summary: Whole grains are high in many nutrients. A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of dry buckwheat provides 16% of the recommended daily intake for magnesium.
8. Fatty fish
Fish, especially fatty fish, is incredibly nutritious.
Many types of fish are high in magnesium, including salmon, mackerel, and halibut.
Half a fillet (178 grams) of salmon packs 53 mg of magnesium, which is 13% of the recommended daily intake.
It also provides an impressive 39 grams of high-quality protein.
In addition, fish is rich in potassium, selenium, B vitamins, and various other nutrients.
A high intake of fatty fish has been linked to a decreased risk of several chronic diseases, particularly heart disease.
These benefits have been attributed to the high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
Summary: Fatty fish is exceptionally nutritious and a great source of magnesium and other nutrients. Half a fillet of salmon provides 13% of the recommended daily intake of magnesium.
Bananas are among the most popular fruits in the world.
They’re best known for their high potassium content, which can lower blood pressure and is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
But they’re also rich in magnesium — one large banana packs 37 mg or 9% of the recommended daily intake.
In addition, bananas provide vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, and fiber.
Ripe bananas are higher in sugar and carbs than most other fruits, so they may not be suitable for people with diabetes.
However, a large portion of the carbs in unripe bananas is resistant starch, which doesn’t get digested and absorbed.
Resistant starch may lower blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation and improve gut health.
Suggested read: Top 15 calcium-rich foods
Summary: Bananas are a good source of several nutrients. One large banana has 9% of the recommended daily intake for magnesium.
10. Leafy greens
Leafy greens are extremely healthy, and many are loaded with magnesium.
Greens with significant amounts of magnesium include kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, and mustard greens.
For instance, a 1-cup serving of cooked spinach has 157 mg of magnesium or 39% of the recommended daily intake.
In addition, they’re an excellent source of several nutrients, including iron, manganese, and vitamins A, C, and K.
Leafy greens also contain many beneficial plant compounds, which help protect your cells from damage and may reduce cancer risk.
Summary: Leafy greens are a very good source of many nutrients, including magnesium. A 1-cup (180-gram) serving of cooked spinach provides an impressive 39% of the recommended daily intake.
Magnesium is an important mineral that you may not be getting enough of.
Thankfully, many delicious foods will give you all the magnesium you need.
Make sure to eat a balanced diet and up your intake of the foods listed above to keep your health robust and your body satisfied.