An estimated 68% of US adults get less than the recommended daily intake of magnesium (310-420 mg daily).
This is especially troubling as magnesium plays such an important role in a wide variety of bodily functions, and low levels can contribute to conditions such as:
- high blood pressure
- cardiovascular disease
- coronary heart disease
- type 2 diabetes
While supplements can effectively increase magnesium levels, they are not necessarily the best option for everyone. It is usually better to get nutrients from whole foods whenever possible.
Here are some magnesium-rich foods that you can add to your diet:
Dark Leafy Greens
In addition to being rich in all sorts of vitamins and minerals, dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and mustard greens are excellent sources of magnesium.
One cup of cooked spinach, for example, provides 157 mg of magnesium, nearly 40% of the recommended daily intake.
Adding these greens to your daily routine can also provide you with great amounts of fiber and antioxidants, which offer their own host of health benefits.
Nuts and Seeds
Almonds, cashews, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseeds—are all excellent sources of magnesium.
A handful (one serving) of pumpkin seeds can give you 150 mg of magnesium.
Nuts and seeds are also good sources of healthy unsaturated fats and protein, which can help with weight loss and management.
Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are packed with nutrition. Not only are they high in magnesium, but they’re also rich in potassium, iron, and B vitamins.
One cup of cooked black beans provides 120 mg of magnesium, about 30% of the recommended daily intake.
There are all sorts of choices for you to mix and match—lentils, peas, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and soybeans are all tasty options.
Although some chocolate candies and sweets are high in sugar and unhealthy fats, dark chocolate may not be quite so bad. It can actually provide some health benefits.
This is because dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, which can help reduce inflammation and improve heart health.
It’s also a decent source of magnesium, with about 64mg in each ounce. However, it’s important to choose dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa to get the most benefit.
You probably shouldn’t rely on chocolate as your primary source of magnesium, but it can be an occasional nice treat to go along with a well-rounded diet.