The 11 Best Sources of Magnesium

by guest blogger Morley Robbins, wellness coach and magnesium advocate

I’m often asked, “Where can I find more magnesium in my diet?” That’s such an important question! In fact, it’s usually the second question people ask me after first wanting to know how its deficiency is related to most, if not all, of their day-to-day symptoms.

If you’ll remember from my previous post, I explained the many functions of this key mineral for health and began to discuss how stress causes magnesium loss—it’s a fact of life, and it’s how we’re wired as a species. So today’s post will focus on the magnesium-rich foods you can eat to deal with that stress! (In my next post, I’ll help you better understand what aspects of your stress can be reduced—or possibly eliminated—to help you preserve your magnesium stores.)

When choosing Mg-rich foods, it’s good to remember this phrase: “If it’s green, it’s got Maggie”—and that’s because of the central role Mg plays in the chlorophyll molecule. But it’s important to know that magnesium is pervasive in many nutrient-dense foods that our ancestors knew about and relied upon to nourish their “batteries” with this vital master electrolyte. And again, don’t forget to “eat the fat!” to ensure the full benefit of magnesium and other vital minerals. (Those worried about consuming the much-vilified saturated fat for fear of heart disease, rest easy; I’ll cover that nutritional myth in a subsequent post.)

Here are some fun and innovative ways to infuse magnesium into your daily diet: my top 11 magnesium-rich foods. Keep in mind that the RDA for women is 320 milligrams (mg)/day and for guys is 420 mg/day. (My goal is to eat two times my RDA daily, as I seek to thrive, not just survive.) Unless otherwise noted, servings in the list below are 3.5 ounces, or 100 mg. Let’s eat!

  1. Kelp: Not exactly a staple in U.S. kitchens, but it should be, as it’s the granddaddy of sea veggies, and delivers 780 mg of Mg—no other food source comes close to that. You can replace beef or chicken stocks with kelp stock (made by adding a 5″ strip of kelp per quart of liquid) in 10 minutes. Once cooked, you can cut up the strips and place them in the soup. I’ve had great success with Maine Sea Coast Vegetables. Another viable option: Get some kelp powder from your local heath food store or Whole Foods—it’s an amazing way to mineralize your foods.
  2. Wheat germ: I have always enjoyed adding wheat germ to my salads, soups, and smoothies. It wasn’t until recently that I realized what an intense source of magnesium it is, providing 440 mg. In a cereal form, the amount drops to 420 mg, but that’s a full day’s supply for an adult male (and 100 mg more than an adult woman needs). I have used Kretschmer’s Wheat Germ for 35 years.
  3. Buckwheat: This amazingly versatile fruit seed contains a whopping 229 mg of magnesium per serving. You can cook it with butter and eat it as you would grits or porridge, you can add it to soups, or even make pancakes with it (which drops its Mg punch to about 25 mg). It’s gluten free and doesn’t lead to extreme spikes in blood sugar the way grains can. For breakfast, I like Bob’s Red Mill brand of buckwheat groats served up with 2 tablespoons of grass-fed butter.
  4. Garbanzo beans: Delicious, easy to prepare, and nutritious—what more could we ask for? A cup of raw chickpeas delivers more than 230 mg of magnesium. Prepare them and blend the beans with some lemon juice and olive oil and you’ve got a great stress-busting source of Maggie. It can either be a condiment or a meal in and of itself. Plain, raw, or cooked, these beans can be eaten like edamame or added to salads.
  5. Oysters: Having grown up in the Middle Atlantic, I’m partial to seafood, whether it’s fish or shellfish. A serving of 3.5 ounces of oysters delivers up 76 mg of Mg, more than most of the greens that are often praised as good sources of the mineral. Whether they are raw, cooked, or added to a stew, oysters deliver a powerful source of nutrient-dense minerals. Sourcing is key, so fresh-caught is a requirement.
  6. Spinach: Since I was a 5-year-old watching Popeye, the Sailor, I’ve loved spinach, whether it’s raw, creamed, cooked, slipped into eggs, in soups, or dozens of other dishes. While not high in Maggie, its 88 mg is nutrient rich and delivers a great way to ease the stress of the day. I grew up eating frozen, but have graduated to fresh, organic, locally grown.
  7. Almonds and cashews: These nuts are amazing at calming us down. A half-cup serving delivers 135 mg of Maggie! (Just remember, cashews acidify, and almonds are alkalizing. People tend to stick with one or the other, but it’s best to balance the two.) Almonds and cashews are a wonderful way (when organic and raw) to enrich a salad, create a surprising omelet, or enrich a sauce. And let’s face it, they’re great to snack on—again, organic—and best spiced with sea salt. Whole Foods sells a blend of three Mg-rich nuts: almonds, cashews, and pistachios.
  8. Cocoa: Until I discovered its importance as a source of magnesium-rich nutrients, I questioned my lifelong love of chocolate. Now that I know it delivers 420 mg per cup, I fully understand my quest. Born into a stressful home (aren’t we all?), I found it most gratifying, to both my taste buds and my adrenal glands! The key is dark cacao—not milk chocolate, unfortunately. I’ve found that a cacao content of 90+ percent delivers the best punch, and I add it to desserts, make hot cocoa, or simply treat it as my dessert at the end of a meal. Everything in moderation, but this is one food that nourishes both the body and the soul.
  9. Water: Yes, Water.  Let’s not forget the importance of Mg-rich water. It really is a vital part of your diet, but most folks are totally unaware of the value of magnesium-rich water. It makes a huge difference in your body’s ability to refill its stores. Learn why it’s important, and check how your regular source of bottled water stacks up.
  10. Bone broth stock: Through the ages, this nutrient-rich base for all manner of soups has provided a critical source for our minerals. While it’s hard to state its precise content of magnesium, stock made from cooked carcass is tremendously restorative. It is the epitome of “slow cooking,” but it delivers fast results metabolically. Sally Fallon Morell writes extensively about the proper techniques to ensure nutritious results.
  11. Blackstrap molasses: Isn’t it just like cooking that the third rendering is where the magic is? This is such a versatile and tasty way to enhance your need for minerals. For those who love sugar in their coffee, seek to bring some zing to their cereal, or want to infuse their treats with good wholesome nutrition, try blackstrap molasses. It’s a nutritional workhorse that delivers minerals and nutrients like few other foods.

My closing recommendation: While it’s not “food” exactly, a great way to take in magnesium naturally is a stroll along the ocean. That magnesium-rich sea air does wonders for both your body & your soul….

My next post will explain how to make sure we’re holding onto to all this vitalizing magnesium.

Until then!

 

Morley Robbins has been actively serving the healthcare field for the last 32+ years, as a hospital executive, healthcare consultant, and now Wellness Coach. Following a successful career managing and consulting to hospitals and health care systems, he realized that he could no longer stand the revolving door mentality of “sick care” centers. He is dedicating the balance of his career to “saving one starfish at a time” by coaching clients about how to eat “real food,” restore their mineral balance, especially their Magnesium status, and thereby, facilitate the process of natural healing. He has discovered the “fountain of youth” in his newfound persona of “Magnesium Man!” and is proud of his efforts to raise awareness about the importance of magnesium via the efforts of Magnesium Advocacy Group (www.magfor.org).

Print Friendly Version of this pageGet a PDF version of this webpage

Related Posts:

, , , ,

17 Responses to The 11 Best Sources of Magnesium

  1. Linda August 22, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    Thank you for that! I try to eat healthy and that helps. I would rather get as much nutrition as possible from healthy food. I am an organic gardener, but my whole garden is inundated with moles and this is the first year that I have not had very much food from it. Got a plan, and a wing and a prayer! Thanks again!

  2. kayiode August 24, 2012 at 4:48 am #

    thank you for the education.

  3. Ng T. ( Tan ) Wilson August 25, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    My name is Wilson. Ng is my surname while T. which means Tan is the surname of my mother. My address is 827 Salazar Street, Binondo district, Manila City, Republic of the Philippines. I have just read your article and it is very enlightening.

  4. Morley Robbins August 29, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    Wilson-
    Thanks for your note & for taking the time to review this post. Be sure to spread the good word in the Phillipines about the importance of Magnesium!
    Continued success on your journey…
    Cheers!
    Morley
    http://www.magnesiumman.com

  5. barb hill August 29, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    Is it correct that magnesium may help diabetics?

  6. Morley M. Robbins August 30, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    Absolutely, Magnesium (Mg) is a critical mineral in the production of Insulin, but it is also essential in the cell membrane recognizing the Insulin to store the Glucose. Once inside the cell, the Krebs Cycle is used to metabolize that Glucose. For every molecule of Glucose to be processed, it requires 28 molecules of Magnesium. Having said that, many studies have established that Diabetics, as we,l as those classified as Pre-Diabetic have low Mg levels in their serum, as well as their Red Blood Cells. So if your Blood Glucose and/or A1c is elevated, this would be an important place to focus. Just Google: Diabetes Magnesium deficiency and see what rich information is out their about how this mineral deficiency causes many chronic diseases plaguing America.

  7. Matvey December 13, 2012 at 12:27 am #

    Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. There are health gurus claiming raw cacao is the highest source of magnesium but it is not. This article has something against hemp products. Hemp seeds per 100g has 640mg magnesium. Hemp seed is the super food. You will not trip on hemp seed.

  8. Morley Robbins December 13, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    Matvey–
    Thanks for your contribution.
    No bias against hemp, I’ve read 475+ articles on Magnesium and have never seem Hemp listed. Given that it’s a seed, it makes perfect sense. Any chance you share an article or table that lists Hemp as a great source of Maggie?

  9. Matvey December 13, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    Mr. Robbins–

    Buckwheat and almonds are seeds also. This site http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/custom/629104/2 claims hemp has 640mg of Mg. Here http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs10681-004-4811-6 they say hemp has 483mg of Mg per 100g. Hemp seed is good source of omega 3 fats with a perfect ratio to omega 6.

  10. Nadya January 9, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    Hi, Morley
    Lovely list!! I also cook my kale & collards (etc) 30+ minutes, as herbalist Susun S Weed suggests to extract more magnesium, & use kelp daily.
    We used to put wheat germ on SO many things – but found out (DNA testing) 3 1/2 years ago that my daughter, her kids & I have the genes predisposing to gluten intolerance, and a NUMBER of symptoms (skin problems, anxiety, brain fog, mild seizure disorder, heart palpitations, middle age weight gain, anemia) that indicated the genes were ‘active!’
    Off gluten I’m back to my HS weight, no more afternoon ‘slump,’ my oldest granddaughter’s off her anti-seizure meds, my daughter’s anxiety was gone the 4th day of no gluten!!

    I was already taking magnesium, which probably contributed to that gradual weightloss after going off gluten. We also take supplemental D-3, as we live N of the 37th parallel.

    As a massage therapist, I suggest my clients up their magnesium intake frequently. Now, knowing ~ 1/3 of our population is likely to be intolerant to gluten, & recognizing many more ‘hidden’ symptoms, I often suggest they look into it for themselves – my daughter had consulted numerous docs who missed her DH (dermititis herpidiformis) & just thought she needed creams to ‘manage’ it …

  11. Morley Robbins January 9, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    Nadya,
    Thanks for your note and additional tidbits — great info there! I must say, I’m utterly fascinated by Gluten sensitivity. I know that it is a very real issue, but why now? Our ancestors lived in concert with this (and related) grain for thousands years — without issue. Yes, you read about Pharoahs that had tooth decay, but the prevalence of total system failure being induced by grain Gluten is alarming. And the impact is extensive Mg loss, as evidenced by Bill Davis’ wonderful Wheat Belly where 8 of the 9 chapters explore clinical issues related to Gluten sensitivity — all of them are classic symptoms of Mg deficiency.
    And my last comment is to encourage you to focus on food-based sources for Vit-D (grass-fed liver, free-range eggs, wild caught deep sea fish.) It turns out that these classic food sources also have copious amounts of Vit-A, Mg and Vit-K that are important co-factors and antagonists for the proper metabolism of Vit-D.
    Thank you again for taking the time to read the blog and offer up some important information. A votre sante!

  12. Nadya January 9, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    So intriguing, isn’t it, Morley!
    I don’t know if you’ve also had a chance to watch Dr Davis’ u-tube clips ‘Wheat, the UNhealthy Grain’ – he goes into some of the genetic ‘tinkering’ wheat received in recent decades (‘Green Revolution wheat’ which won the, um, ‘breeder’ a Nobel prize) …. my biologist former hubby was always disturbed by the advent of modern mono-crop agriculture, & from the development of the fertile crescent.
    He decided to go GF last year, after 2 of his sisters (with lifelong health problems) were Dx with Celiac disease, & my daughter & I played the ‘gene card’ – his PB & B sugars are now normal, & his mom (almost 97, & diabetic ~ 30 years) is now on a lower insulin dose!! Ironically, he was the one who introduced me to wheat germ in the 70s! My daughter & her coz who shares the Celiac chuckle over the cups of the germ, which of course is rich in gluten, they ate as kids!
    I do have some wild caught fish – my daughter’s allergic to egg yolks, & I notice I don’t do well on them – but thank you for the thought! And have begun getting pasture raised lamb from a local gal. I also love to get as many nutrients as I can directly from foods! & appreciate my Organic farmers, Katie & Casey, who provide me with lovely local veggies ~ 10 1/2 months of the year ….
    Good health to you as well!

  13. Sandra January 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    as the wife of a recovering alcoholic, I am finding this source an INVALUABLE wealth of knowledge and help while we transition through alcoholic cirrhosis and HE. With a miriad of problems to deal with, this cuts to the chase and saves me valuable time! THANK YOU!

  14. doc mike witort r, p.md. March 20, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    morley great link I will be sending you testimonials from time to time. GOD bless . doc!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. paul daniels May 12, 2013 at 12:39 am #

    Hello,

    May I ask where you got the info for the kelp? It seems like you would need to consume almost 650 grams of kelp to get 780 mgs of magnesium. I’ve looked at three different sources that say 100 grams of kelp offers 121 mgs. Or maybe I am missing something. Thanks.

  16. marketing sem September 17, 2014 at 1:39 am #

    Giving Up EarlyThere might be costly and will add to the client how
    the Web Design India company will certainly ensure that your
    coding is correct. You should be virtually invisible to the industry you belong to the
    conscious virtual audience.

  17. search engine marketing campaign September 24, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

    Even web design individuals who are the difference. Feel free
    to use and visually eye-catching website to catch up with just an expert.
    Professional flash web designservices you find those websites that
    web development expertise includes business application development company are concerned with.
    Many visitors to achieve them as font styles should be in a clear idea
    of the site opens. The survey has shown that readers will trust.
    Colors play an important aspect of the cost
    of the concerned online site.

Leave a Reply