Magnesium Food Sources

Eating a balanced diet can go a long way toward ensuring an adequate intake of magnesium most of the time. The following foods are especially good sources of magnesium.

• Nuts
• Peanut butter
• Sunflower or sesame seeds
• Legumes (e.g., navy, pinto, kidney, and garbanzo beans, along with black-eyed peas)
• Dark green leafy vegetables (due to chlorophyll content)
• Peas and corn
• Soybeans and tofu
• Whole grain cereals (especially oats and barley)
• Whole grain breads
• Brown rice
• Baked potato with skin
• Spices
• Seafood (such as halibut)
• Milk, yogurt, and other dairy products
• Cocoa and dark chocolate
• Molasses

A simple dinner of baked halibut (170 mg of magnesium) and ½ cup each of spinach and brown rice (160+ mg of magnesium) would provide all or close to all of the RDA in a single meal. In contrast, meals that are overloaded with highly processed foods are not good sources of magnesium because the magnesium lost while processing is not replaced by the manufacturer. Thus, diets comprised mainly of meat and refined foods will be lower in magnesium content than diets that emphasize vegetables and unrefined foods.