Time to make some dietary changes to boost energy and build a healthy immune system? While magnesium is considered a minor nutrient, it plays a significant role in your overall health and is essential to every function and tissue in the body.

Not only does magnesium support a healthy immune system and improve bone health, this nutrient may play a role in fighting certain cancers, according to a study published in January 2022 in Cell.

Foods with magnesium have been found to help improve heart health, prevent stroke, and even potentially reduce your risk of dying from a heart attack, per research. Additionally, these foods help support normal nerve and muscle function and keep your heartbeat in-sync, notes the NIH.

One systematic review and meta-analysis reveals that a high daily magnesium intake may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 22 percent and stroke by up to 11 percent.

How Can I Raise My Magnesium Quickly Through Diet?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that American adults get between 310 to 420 milligrams (mg) of magnesium daily.

While your body absorbs between 30 and 40 percent of the magnesium you eat, magnesium deficiency may happen due to an underlying health condition, alcoholism, or certain medication, per the NIH. In fact, nearly two-thirds of the Western world doesn’t get the recommended daily intake of magnesium, according to a review.

Magnesium supplements are available over the counter at most supermarkets and pharmacies, but registered dietitians say it is preferable to eat whole foods containing magnesium naturally to prevent a magnesium deficiency. To get your magnesium fix, opt for foods with dietary fibre, including nuts, whole grains, and whole or dried fruits and vege, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends.

Check out the following foods that supply magnesium (among other potential benefits) to make sure your levels, and overall health are optimal.

1. Dark Leafy Greens

Magnesium-rich foods include dark leafy greens, which play the role of the ultimate superfood, offering up crucial vitamins and minerals as well as a host of potential health benefits. Choose raw or cooked magnesium greens such as baby spinach, collard greens, kale, or Swiss chard. You can avoid a magnesium deficiency by stocking your body with dark leafy greens for very few calories. One cup of raw kale, for example, packs nearly 7 mg of magnesium, helping you inch toward your daily magnesium goal, according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

2. Nuts and Seeds

Only 1 ounce (oz) of dry roasted almonds contains 79 mg of magnesium, per the USDA, making them a good source. Other foods containing magnesium include cashews, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Combine your favourite magnesium-rich nuts and seeds in a healthy homemade trail mix – the perfect afternoon snack to keep your energy up and hunger levels down. Just remember that nuts are also a rich source of calories, per the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, so a little goes a long way, especially if you’re watching your waistline.

3. Fatty Fish

Add fish such as mackerel, wild salmon, barramundi, and tuna to your menu to boost your magnesium intake, as well as vitamin Dand omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association (AHA)recommends eating fish at least two times (two servings) a week. Eating fish may also be a boon to mental health: A past review suggests there may be a link between high intakes of fish and a low incidence of mental health disorders such as depression.



4. Soy Beans/Edamame

Soybeans are a magnesium-rich food that also offers fibre, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Snack on ½ cup serving of dry roasted soybeans – a rich source of energy (209 calories), magnesium (106 mg) and protein (20.2 g), according to estimates from the USDA – or add fresh soybeans (sometimes called edamame) to your shopping list. Other legumes containing magnesium include black beans and kidney beans, according to the NIH.

5. Avocado

Avocadoes are a good source of magnesium, as well as being loaded with vitamins, heart-healthy nutrients, and disease-thwarting chemical compounds. Add half of an avocado to a salad or on top of whole-grain toast. From the avo alone you’ll get 19.7 mg of magnesium per the USDA – which helps you get closer to your daily intake goal. Like nuts, avocadoes are also rich in healthy fats, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

6. Banana

Bananas may be best known for being rich in heart-healthy and bone-strengthening potassium, but a medium-size banana also provides 32 mg of magnesium, in addition to 10.3 mg of vitamin C (a good source) and 3g (a good source) of fibre, according to the USDA. Aside from the aforementioned avocado, another magnesium-containing fruit to consider is apples. Per the USDA, a medium-size gala apple with the skin on provides some magnesium (8.6 mg) plus a bounty of other crucial nutrients, such as 4 g fibre and 1.7 mcg of vitamin A.

7. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate can be a sweet way to get your magnesium fix. One ounce, or about one square of 70 to 85 percent dark chocolate provides 64.6 mg of magnesium, per data from the USDA. Furthermore, dark chocolate offers flavanols, which are a type of antioxidant that may help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and lower inflammation, according to a past study.

8. Non-Fat or Low-Fat Greek Yoghurt

Non-fat or low-fat Greek yogurt is a great source of magnesium: Expect roughly 18.7 mg in just one 6-oz container, according to the USDA. Greek yogurt is also high in protein (17.5 g). Past research suggests that high-protein meals can make you feel full for longer, which may help you eat fewer calories overall, ultimately leading to weight loss. Pair yogurt with a fibre-rich fruit for an easy, healthy breakfast.

9. Brown Rice

Whole grains such as brown rice are salubrious in more ways than one. For instance, they can help support healthy cholesterol levels, as the American Heart Association notes, and they can help keep you regular, per the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. One easy way to incorporate more whole grains into your diet is by swapping refined carbs such as white rice for complex sources such as brown rice. And you guessed it, this food is also a source of magnesium. According to the USDA, one cup of cooked long-grain brown rice provides 78.8 mg of magnesium, making it a good source.

Additional reporting by Debbie Strong.

SOURCE: Everyday Health