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 reference daily intake (RDI) of 400 mg (1).
Yet, you can easily meet your daily needs by eating foods high in magnesium.
Here are 10 healthy foods that are high in magnesium.
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 RDI (2).
Dark chocolate is also in high in iron, copper and manganese and contains prebiotic fiber that feeds your healthy gut bacteria (3).
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 (5, 6).
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 RDI for magnesium. It’s also beneficial for gut and heart health and loaded with antioxidants.
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. In fact, 13 of the 17 grams of carbs in an avocado come from fiber, making it very low in digestible carbs.
Summary A medium avocado provides 15% of the RDI 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 RDI (11).
Brazil nuts are also extremely high in selenium. In fact, just two Brazil nuts provide more than 100% of the RDI for this mineral (13).
Summary Cashews, almonds and Brazil nuts are high in magnesium. A single serving of cashews provides 20% of the RDI.
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 RDI (17).
Summary Legumes are magnesium-rich foods. For example, a 1-cup (170-gram) serving of black beans contains 30% of the RDI.
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 RDI (22).
One serving also provides 10 grams of protein and 10% or more of the RDI for calcium, iron, manganese and selenium.
Summary A serving of tofu provides 13% of the RDI 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 (25).
This amounts to a whopping 37% of the RDI.
In addition, seeds are rich in iron, monounsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids.
What's more, they're extremely high in fiber. In fact, nearly all of the carbs in seeds come from fiber.
Summary Most seeds are rich in magnesium. A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of pumpkin seeds contains an astounding 37% of the RDI.
Grains include wheat, oats and barley, as well as pseudocereals like buckwheat and quinoa.
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 RDI (30).
Many whole grains are also high in B vitamins, selenium, manganese and fiber.
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 RDI for magnesium.
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 RDI (35).
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.
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 RDI for 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 (40).
But they’re also rich in magnesium — one large banana packs 37 mg, or 9% of the RDI (41).
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.
Summary Bananas are a good source of several nutrients. One large banana has 9% of the RDI for magnesium.
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 RDI (44).
In addition, they're an excellent source of several nutrients, including iron, manganese and vitamins A, C and K.
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 RDI.