7 Magnesium Rich Foods That Keep Supplements Away

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While many people’s concerns about their diet relate to a proper intake of calcium and protein, one of the key regulators of our bodies’ chemistry – magnesium – is the most often forgotten. The vegetarian diet tends to be high in calcium (from dairy, especially cheese) and low in magnesium (from whole grains, nuts, and legumes), although a varied diet assures that both magnesium and calcium are consumed in equal ratios.

Magnesium is the king of the minerals in our body, being necessary for hundreds of its chemical reactions. It is involved in almost every function of our body, and plays a major role in maintaining good health:


  • Together with vitamin D, magnesium governs the absorption and retention of calcium.
  • Plays a critical role in the natural detoxification process, required for the sodium/potassium pump at the cell membrane.
  • Creates and maintains bone integrity, as about 60 percent of our magnesium deposits are stored in our bones.
  • Regulates the energy production at the cell level.
  • Balances the nervous system’s activity.
  • Prevents inflammation.
  • Regulates the blood sugar.


The major causes of magnesium deficiency are:

  • A diet rich in sugars, refined fats, and white flour, because these contain very small amounts of magnesium, but it is required for these to be metabolized.
  • High intake of coffee and green tea, because these are diuretics and release the minerals from our body through our urine.
  • Stress, because it requires massive energy for the body to cope.

A magnesium-rich diet, based on foods that contain it in mid- or high-proportions is preferable to magnesium supplements. Many of these foods supply other valuable minerals like zinc or iron, contributing to a general state of well-being.

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Avocado, summer squash, potatoes, dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, beet greens, swiss chard, parsley, turnip).


     2. FRUITS

Bananas and mangos are the fruits richest in magnesium, one serving providing about eight percent of the daily recommended intake.


    3. NUTS and SEEDS

Brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, peanuts, quinoa, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds are a great magnesium source and are the best snack when consumed after being soaked in filtered water and drained.


    4. LEGUMES

Beans of all kind, chickpeas, and lentils. Use a minimal amount of water when cooking these, as magnesium and other minerals are leached into the cooking liquid.



Millet, oats, wheat germ, brown wheat flour, brown rice.



Good news for all the chocolate enthusiasts, a serving of dark chocolate contains not only 10 percent of the necessary daily intake of magnesium, but also iron and fiber.


  7. SOY BEANS AND ITS DERIVATIVES (tofu, tempeh, soy milk)

While soy beans contain 130 percent of the daily recommended magnesium intake, it is better to maintain a low consumption because they contain phytoestrogens that can disrupt your hormone balance.

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  • Stephanie
    May 18, 2015

    I’ve read elsewhere that the intake of vegetable magnesium is not as effective as getting it from a source of meats? I wish I could find and reread the article. Have you heard anything like this before?

    • Ana
      May 19, 2015

      I am on vegetarian magnesium source only from about 15 years and I don’t have problems. I especially take it from soaked nuts and avocado.

    • Kritika
      September 17, 2018

      Yes , I’d also read this in some article but for zinc .and that because of presence of phyletes in veggie source as it reduces its absorbing ability.but soaking boiling or heating helps in its absorption ability.

  • Baiba
    August 5, 2017

    For me magnesium is no problem, but calcium is, as I am on vegan diet and do not use store bought milks with added calcium often. It would be nice, to have good alternatives, that dont include crazy amount of spinach and almonds everyday. Maybe you have found some solution?

    • Ana
      August 16, 2017

      I would alternate having calcium-rich foods with a well-researched supplement.

  • jay
    October 5, 2018

    what is symptoms of magnesium deficiency?

    • Ana
      October 14, 2018

      For me the symptoms included a moody state of mind, anxiety, poor sleep and low progesterone levels. Magnesium-rich food made wonders for my sleep and mood!

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