Best Foods High in Magnesium logo
Complete tables of foods that contain magnesium. Find out which foods are rich in magnesium and what you should eat to increase magnesium levels in your body.
Magnesium in foods: lists and tables.

If you feel drained even after a full 8 hours of sleep, and your muscles often cramp, your body may be whispering (or screaming) that you’re magnesium deficient.

This mineral is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the human body, from energy metabolism to muscle function to sleep normalization. At the same time, many of us may be deficient in one way or another without even realizing it.

In this article, we will tell you which foods contain the most magnesium so that you can create your own diet that fully covers your daily needs of this mineral.


List of Foods Containing Magnesium

In each table, we have indicated not only the magnesium content of the product, but also the percentage of the Daily Value. As the daily value will vary for different people and lifestyles, we have used average values for the calculations:

  • for men – 400 mg per day
  • for women – 330 mg.

This gives you an idea of how much and what kind of food you need to eat each day to meet your daily magnesium needs.

Vegetables and Fruits

Table showing the magnesium content of fruits:

ProductMagnesium content (mg per 100 g)% of the daily allowance for men% of daily allowance for women
Dried figs67.616.920.5
Dried Fruit143.54.5
Granny Smith apples with skin5.11.31.5
Red apples with peel4.91.31.5

Table of magnesium content in berries:

ProductMagnesium content (mg per 100 g)% of the daily allowance for men% of daily allowance for women
Red grapes without bones8.62.22.6
Green grapes without bones7.11.82.2

A list of vegetables and greens rich in magnesium:

ProductMagnesium content (mg per 100 g)% of the daily allowance for men% of daily allowance for women
Sweet potatoes2878.5
Red potatoes23.65.97.1
Green cabbage13.93.54.2
Red cabbage13.33.34
Canned green beans12.73.23.8
Green lettuce12.43.13.7
Cucumber (with skin)
Bell pepper92.32.7

As you can see from the tables, the highest amounts of magnesium are found in dried figs, raisins, avocados, persimmons, and spinach – these are the fruits and vegetables that are best consumed to correct deficiencies.

Seeds and Nuts

ProductMagnesium content (mg per 100 g)% of the daily allowance for men% of daily allowance for women
Sesame seeds540135163.6
Pumpkin seeds500125151.5
Flax seeds37293112.7
Roasted salted sunflower seed35889.5108.5
Chia seeds33583.8101.5
Pine nuts20651.562.4

Flour and Flour Products

ProductMagnesium content (mg per 100 g)% of the daily allowance for men% of daily allowance for women
Wheat crackers721821.8
Whole-grain bread66.2-87.116.5-21.820-26.3
Oatmeal cookies32.48.19.8
Bran crackers256.27.8
White bread19.1-44.34.8-115.7-13.4
Premium flour pasta1644.8
Fruit and berry filled waffles102.53
Butter cookies102.53

The amount of magnesium varies in different types of flour. Buckwheat flour, oat flour, rye flour, and sorghum flour are the richest in this trace element.

ProductMagnesium content (mg per 100 g)% of the daily allowance for men% of daily allowance for women
Buckwheat flour16741.850.6
Oat flour12531.337.9
Sorghum flour1162935.1
Rye flour95.423.928.9
Barley flour882226.7
Corn flour30.17.59.1
Wheat flour26.76.78.1
Rice flour21.25.36.4


ProductMagnesium content (mg per 100 g)% of the daily allowance for men% of daily allowance for women
Brown rice11528.834.7
Wheat groats10626.532.1
Pearl grains7919.823.9
Brown cereal5012.515.1
White rice26.56.68
Quick oats266.57.9

Fish and Seafood

ProductMagnesium content (mg per 100 g)% of the daily allowance for men% of daily allowance for women
Pink salmon roe14135.342.8
Atlantic anchovy601518.2
Red king crab4912.314.8
Chum salmon4310.813
Baltic sprat358.810.6
Saffron cod358.810.6
Pacific herring358.810.6
Atlantic cod3289.7
Pink salmon307.59
Coho salmon276.88.2
Chinook salmon276.88.2
Caspian roach256.37.6
Crucian carp256.37.6
Atlantic salmon256.37.6
River crayfish256.37.6
Sturgeon balik215.36.4

Sweet Goods

Among sweets, halva, dark chocolate, and bitter chocolate are best for replenishing magnesium deficiency.

ProductMagnesium content (mg per 100 g)% of the daily allowance for men% of daily allowance for women
Bitter chocolate13333.340.3
Dark chocolate9724.329.4
Milk chocolate681720.6
Glazed toffee379.311.2
Chocolate ice cream3289.7
Vanilla ice cream143.54.2
Gummy candy20.50.6

Liquids and Beverages

ProductMagnesium content (mg per 100 ml)% of the daily allowance for men% of daily allowance for women
Black tea (dry)440 mg per 100 g110133.2
Black ground coffee (dry)336 mg per 100 g84101.8
Instant coffee32781.799
Magnesium-enriched mineral water95-11024-27.528.7-33.3
Coconut water256.257.6
Soya milk17.54.45.3
Kefir (any fat content)143.54.3
Pineapple juice133.253.9
Mineral water12-373-9.33.6-2.8
Skim milk1233.6
Peach juice1233.6
Tomato juice1233.6
Whole milk11.92.9753.6
Orange juice10.62.653.2
Apricot juice102.53
Almond milk8.222.5
Grape juice7.91.9752.4
Grapefruit juice7.71.9252.3
Carrot juice71.752.1
Cranberry juice4.41.11.3
Apple juice411.2
Green tea1.30.3250.4

To increase magnesium, it is better to drink fortified mineral water, coconut water, or soy milk. The data for tea and coffee are based on 100 grams of dry product, not 100 ml of beverage. There will be about 60-70 mg of magnesium in 100 ml of the finished beverage, some of which will be destroyed by boiling water.


ProductMagnesium content (mg per 100 g)% of the daily allowance for men% of daily allowance for women
Ground turkey29.17.38.8
Turkey white meat2878.5
Turkey wings2878.5
Chicken breast26.26.67.9
Turkey dark meat256.37.6
Chicken shank22.45.66.8
Pork loin225.56.6
Chicken thigh225.56.6
Chicken minced meat20.55.16.2
Beef steak194.85.7
Pork mince194.85.7
Beef ham174.35.1
Turkey thigh174.35.1
Minced beef16.54.25

Animal Products

ProductMagnesium content (mg per 100 g)% of the daily allowance for men% of daily allowance for women
Chicken egg44.611.113.5
Processed cheese34.68.710.5
Greek yoghurt10.72.73.2
Cottage cheese8.92.32.7

Legumes and Seaweed

ProductMagnesium content (mg per 100 g)% of the daily allowance for men% of daily allowance for women
Brown algae16541.350
Red beans1644149.7
Pink beans1644149.7
Black beans32.58.29.8

Why You Need Magnesium

Magnesium is the twelfth element in the Mendeleev table, belongs to the alkaline earth metals and is an important part of the diet. In the body, it performs the following functions:

  1. Participates in muscle contraction and relaxation. Magnesium helps reduce the risk of cramps and fatigue during hard muscle work.
  2. Supports bone health. Magnesium promotes the absorption of calcium, which maintains bone density and prevents the onset or progression of osteoporosis.
  3. Regulates carbohydrate metabolism. Magnesium helps control blood sugar levels and maintains the effectiveness of insulin, preventing the development of diabetes.
  4. Activates enzymes. In the presence of magnesium there is an activation of enzyme systems necessary for the synthesis of protein and ATP – a source of energy.
  5. Participates in the transmission of nerve impulses. Magnesium helps reduce stress levels, improves mood and supports the functional activity of neurons.

It is important to get enough magnesium from food. A deficiency of this element increases the risk of cancer.

How Much Magnesium You Need Per Day

The dietary guidelines from cite the following figures for the daily allowance of magnesium: 400-420 mg for men and 310-360 mg for women. This dosage is necessary for the prevention of deficiency and is not suitable for the treatment of established hypomagnesaemia.

The average norms of adequate magnesium intake are 400 mg for men and 330 mg for women. This amount is contained in 160 grams of salmon and almonds, 250 grams of brown rice, 400 grams of buckwheat groats, eggs and seaweed. As for beverages, 300 ml of magnesium-enriched water, two glasses of coconut water, soy milk or kefir will cover the daily requirement.

It is better not to choose one source of magnesium, but to combine them. For example, instead of 400 grams of buckwheat porridge, it is better to get the daily requirement from 150 grams of porridge, 50 grams of chicken eggs, 50 grams of seaweed and mineral water.

Foods That Improve Magnesium Absorption

  1. Fruits and vegetables. Plant foods are high in fiber. It promotes better absorption of magnesium in the small intestine by stimulating peristalsis.
  2. Meat and fish products. According to research, eating protein-rich foods can help with magnesium absorption, but only if there are low levels of this element in the blood serum.
  3. Acidic dairy products. Low-fat fermented dairy products (greek yogurt, buttermilk) may help improve magnesium absorption due to their low pH and the presence of probiotics.
  4. Nuts. Walnuts and hazelnuts contain high levels of vitamin B6 or pyridoxine. This can improve magnesium absorption in the small intestine and facilitate its transport into cells.

Factors That Interfere with Magnesium Absorption

Excessive consumption of coffee, tea, spinach (due to the presence of oxalates in their composition) accelerates the leaching of calcium and magnesium from bone tissue, causing their deficiency.

The same is true for heart patients undergoing long-term treatment with diuretics. Diuretics promote frequent urination, which leads to depletion of total magnesium stores in the body due to high urinary excretion of the trace element.

In people with osteoporosis, gastritis with increased acidity of gastric juice, infectious diseases, the absorption of magnesium from food is worsened. This is due to the therapy received in these diseases:

  • Bisphosphonates, prescribed for the treatment of osteoporosis, compete with magnesium for receptors, as a result of which they reduce the efficiency of absorption and distribution of each other.
  • Proton pump inhibitors, used to treat gastritis and ulcers, interfere with magnesium absorption and can cause reversible hypomagnesemia if taken for long periods of time (a year or more, according to research). When the drugs are discontinued, magnesium absorption normalizes.
  • Antibiotics are used to treat infectious and mycotic diseases. Some of them (tetracycline and quinolone antibiotics) form insoluble complexes with magnesium, which cannot be broken down by the body and are not suitable as a source of the trace element.

Meal Ideas to Boost Magnesium Levels

Magnesium deficiency in the body can be corrected by diet, but it is important to remember:

  1. Moderate to severe hypomagnesemia (less than 0.60 mmol/L) cannot be corrected by diet and must be treated with mineral supplements.
  2. Prolonged adherence to a magnesium-only diet may lead to deficiencies of other micronutrients. It is necessary to vary the diet and monitor the mineral content of the foods consumed.

The amount and content of the diet can be chosen independently using the tables above. In the table below we have given an example of what you should eat in a day to get your daily allowance of magnesium.

ProductApproximate portion size
Pumpkin seeds80 g
Chia seeds115 g
Processed cheese115 g
Avocado140 g
Bananas145 g
Almonds160 g
Cashews160 g
Salmon160 g
Red beans250 g
Whole milk330 ml
Brown rice360 g
Greek yogurt400 g

Dietary Options

First option:

  • breakfast: greek yogurt with a banana;
  • snack: 30 grams of almonds;
  • lunch: guacamole on whole meal toast;
  • dinner: salmon with brown rice and raw cabbage salad;
  • dessert: a square of dark chocolate.

Second option:

  • breakfast: breakfast cereal enriched with magnesium and other minerals;
  • snack: 30 grams of pumpkin seeds;
  • lunch: cheese and chicken egg on wheat crackers;
  • dinner: seaweed and turkey;
  • dessert: dried fruits.

Please note that this is only an example. Of course, these diets must be adapted to your individual situation (for example, it is obvious that for a man who weighs 90 kg and is 2 meters tall, such a diet would be insufficient in terms of calories). Here we have simply listed the dishes that you can add to various meals to replenish magnesium levels in your body.

How Cooking and Storing Foods Affects the Amount of Magnesium in Them

Temperature treatment of food destroys 40% to 50% of its beneficial substances. To minimize the loss of magnesium during cooking, it is worth following some simple recommendations:

  • The water should be brought to the boil together with the products, sharp temperature changes are inadmissible. It is also not worth adding water after boiling, so it is better to estimate the amount of liquid needed beforehand.
  • Do not open the lid too often. Oxygen can cause oxidation and destruction of trace elements.
  • Frozen foods should not be defrosted for a long time before cooking.
  • If possible, shorten the cooking time. For example, boil hard-boiled eggs for eight minutes instead of fifteen.

Use a steamer to save magnesium while preparing a tasty dish. The steam temperature is less than 100°C, while roasting and baking take place at 180-300°C. Cooking with steam avoids significant loss of magnesium.

It is better to eat fruits and vegetables with the peel (if possible) – magnesium reserves are highest in the peel. If peeling is necessary (e.g. potatoes), it is worth cutting off as little as possible to preserve part of the surface layer. It is best to eat foods fresh. Overcooked and frozen fruits, vegetables, and meat products lose 10-40% of their magnesium due to prolonged storage, contact with air, and exposure to light.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Quickly Increase My Magnesium Levels?

To increase magnesium levels, choose foods that are high in magnesium. Dried figs, persimmons, sesame and pumpkin seeds, buckwheat and rice cereals, mineral water, seaweed. Or use a good quality magnesium supplement.

Which Foods Contain the Most Magnesium?

Most magnesium is found in sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, and nuts. There is also a lot of magnesium in seaweed, caviar, buckwheat, bulgur, and dark chocolate.

How Do I Know If I Have a Magnesium Deficiency?

Hypomagnesemia (magnesium deficiency) is manifested by muscle tremors, cramps, digestive disorders (diarrhea, constipation), edema, nervous disorders (irritability, depression, insomnia). Tachycardia and increased blood pressure may occur. Memory may deteriorate, dizziness and headaches may occur.

But these are just symptoms that can be caused by something else. To accurately determine the lack of magnesium in the body, you need to see a doctor and take tests.

What Should I Eat If I Have a Magnesium Deficiency?

Magnesium deficiency in the body does not manifest itself as a desire to eat. Often patients with magnesium deficiency attribute the deterioration of their well-being to general fatigue. At the same time they want to eat something sweet. After eating sweets, the condition is deceptive and briefly improves (due to the release of endorphins and energy), but this has nothing to do with magnesium.

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