HomeHealth articlesdark chocolateWhat Are Magnesium-Rich Foods?

Magnesium is a mineral that is needed for various functions in our body. Read the article to learn about magnesium deficiency, sources of magnesium, and more.

Written by

Dr. Lochana .k

Medically reviewed by

Shakti Mishra

Published At May 21, 2020
Reviewed AtDecember 15, 2022

What Are Magnesium-Rich Foods?

Magnesium is one of the minerals essential in the body for various functions. It is present in bone, and the third most mineral that is found in teeth, out of which dentin contains more magnesium than enamel. It plays an important role in maintaining the homeostasis of calcium and also helps in the prevention of skeletal abnormalities. It also has actions in various enzymatic reactions along with maintaining muscle integrity. The daily requirement of magnesium is 240 mg (milligram) per day for a 9-year-old to 420 mg per day for men.

It can lead to various hypo and hyper states. Though it is difficult to get excess magnesium from daily food, this can happen in people taking supplements.

What Are the Symptoms Seen During Magnesium Deficiency?

Although magnesium deficiency is a rare condition, it is important to know the symptoms that are seen during decreased levels of magnesium. The following symptoms can be experienced during magnesium deficiency:

1. Nausea or vomiting.

2. Fatigue.

3. Loss of appetite.

4. Heart rhythms can become abnormal.

5. Numbness or tingling sensation.

6. Contraction of muscles or muscular cramps.

7. Weakness.

What Causes Magnesium Deficiency?

As mentioned, it is rare to happen; certain health conditions can contribute to decreased magnesium levels in the body, which are as follows:

1. Certain diseases or conditions of the gastrointestinal tract like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.

2. Diabetes.

3. Viral infections of the stomach causing diarrhea and vomiting.

4. Diseases or disorders of the kidney.

Also, certain habits or personal lifestyles, like increased alcohol consumption or caffeine consumption on a regular basis can alter the magnesium levels in the body.

Can Excess Intake Cause Any Side-Effects?

Yes, taking or consumption of high levels of magnesium can also cause some serious side effects. Studies have shown that magnesium toxicity can lead to failure of kidney or renal function can be impaired. This can also lead to diarrhea, nausea, and cramps in the abdomen, and finally, a very high increase in magnesium levels can lead to cardiac arrest.

Usually, a high dose of magnesium can be utilized as a laxative, like milk of magnesia.

What Are the Sources of Magnesium?

Magnesium is seen or obtained naturally in various foods, and some of the best sources of magnesium are mentioned below.

1. Dark Chocolate - As we all know that it is the food that makes a person happy along with being delicious. It has phenylethylamine, which is responsible for endorphins release, also known as neurotransmitters that make a person feels good. The amount of magnesium present in dark chocolate is 228 mg per 100 mg of chocolate.

2. White Beans - This has folate along with magnesium and is also fibrous. The amount of magnesium content in 100 grams of white beans is 190 mg.

3. Black Beans - It is a vegetarian staple, contain high protein levels, and have less fat and cholesterol content. Also, it has high levels of magnesium. For example, 100 grams of black beans contain 171 mg of magnesium.

4. Pumpkin and Squash Seeds - They are a very good source of nutritious snacks. They contain high levels of magnesium. One ounce, which is approximately equivalent to 142 seeds, consists of 168 mg of magnesium.

5. Spinach - Cooked spinach is known to be a good source of magnesium. The amount of magnesium present in spinach is 87 mg per 100 mg of spinach.

6. Almonds - It is a dry fruit with low calories. Also, they are beneficial in the building of bone as it contains calcium and magnesium. For example, 1 ounce of almonds has 76.5 mg of magnesium.

7. Cashews - Another nut or dry fruit is known to be rich in magnesium. But they are also high in carbohydrates and are equally nutritious. Also, they are known to be a good source of certain vitamins like vitamin E, K, and B6, along with containing potassium and iron. One ounce of cashews equates to 73.7 mg of magnesium.

8. Avocados - It is nutritious as well as delicious and has magnesium content in them along with potassium, vitamin B, and K. A medium-sized avocado contains 58 mg of magnesium.

9. Legumes - They belong to a group of plants that have high amounts of nutrients, like beans, chickpeas, etc. They are known to be a rich source of magnesium also. Along with this, they are also a good source of potassium and iron. They account for an important source of proteins for vegetarians.

10. Whole Grains - Grains involve certain cereals, wheat, barley, etc. One ounce of dry buckwheat can provide almost 16 percent of the daily required magnesium level.

11. Fish - Certain fishes, like fatty fish, are a very good source of magnesium. In addition, studies have shown that increased intake of fatty fish is related to a decrease in the risk of many chronic diseases or conditions, especially heart diseases.

12. Fruits - Certain fruits, like bananas, also account for a good source of magnesium. They are also a very good source of potassium. One large-sized banana can account for 37 mg of magnesium which is almost 9 percent of the required quantity.

13. Green Leafy Vegetables - Apart from spinach, certain other green leafy vegetables are also a good source of magnesium. These include turnip greens, kale, mustard greens, etc. Along with providing magnesium, they are also known to be a good source of iron, manganese, and certain vitamins like vitamins A, C, and K.


Magnesium is one of the essential nutrients in the diet and needs to be taken adequately in order to maintain the proper functioning of the body. Everyone should be aware of the symptoms associated with decreased and increased intake of magnesium. In addition, an individual can use online platforms to seek information regarding magnesium's sources.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Complications Do Low Magnesium Levels Cause?

Magnesium deficiency can, over time, cause adverse health effects such as,
- High blood pressure.
- Osteoporosis.
- Heart diseases.
- Type 2 diabetes.


What Signs Do Low Magnesium Levels Cause in Our Body?

Low magnesium levels in the body can exhibit the following signs and symptoms,
- Fatigue.
- Weakness.
- Muscle cramps.
- Numbness and tingling sensations.
- Low calcium and potassium levels.
- Seizures.
- Altered moods.
- Abnormal heart rhythms.


How to Achieve Apt Magnesium Levels Quickly?

- Take magnesium supplements.
- Eat magnesium-rich foods.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks and beverages, and carbonated drinks.
- Eliminate refined sugar from your diet.


What Are the Natural Sources of Magnesium?

Natural sources of magnesium include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, cereals, fish, dark chocolate, and tofu.


Which Are Magnesium-Rich Vegetables?

- Spinach and other green leafy vegetables.
- Edamame beans (a type of soybean).
- Potatoes.
- Broccoli.
- Carrot.
- Okra.
- Tamarind.


What Food Is Packed With Magnesium and Potassium?

The following food items are rich in both magnesium and potassium:
- Fish.
- Bananas.
- Spinach (cooked).
- Potatoes.
- Broccoli.
- Green leafy vegetables.
- Beans.
- Legumes.
- Nuts.
- Whole grains.


What Are Some Magnesium-Rich Drinks?

Juices of orange, pineapple, grapes, prunes, watermelon, cantaloupe, and banana are rich in magnesium.


Which Is a Magnesium-Rich Nut?

Nuts are rich sources of magnesium. Almonds, cashew, and peanuts are packed with magnesium.


Are Eggs Rich in Potassium and Magnesium?

Though eggs contain both magnesium and potassium, they are not rich sources of both. Eggs are considered to be low-potassium foods.


Can Coffee Deplete Magnesium Stores in Our Bodies?

Caffeinated beverages and drinks can deplete the body’s magnesium levels. Hence drinking coffee on a regular basis or in excessive amounts can lower magnesium levels.


Is It Fine to Supplement Magnesium Every Day?

In case of magnesium deficiency, it is fine to take magnesium supplements after a physician’s advice. But too much magnesium levels (above 350 mg) due to supplements can also cause adverse effects like abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and nausea.


Which Magnesium Supplement Can Pregnant Women Take?

Magnesium citrate or glycinate supplements are recommended for pregnant women. However, your gynecologist will choose the best one for you.


Can Magnesium Cause Any Complications to the Fetus?

Prolonged use of magnesium sulfate injections in pregnant women can affect the fetus’ calcium levels and bones. It can lead to a condition called osteopenia (low bone mass) that makes the baby’s bones prone to fracture.


Can Magnesium Cause Abortion in Pregnant Women?

Magnesium deficiency in pregnant women can lead to varied health conditions like preterm labor, restricted baby growth within the womb, pre-eclampsia, and gestational diabetes.


Which Magnesium Can Best Treat Migraines and Anxiety?

Magnesium glycinate treats anxiety and migraines well due to its easier absorbability. Magnesium citrate and oxide also treat these conditions well.


How Much Magnesium Is Needed for Migraine Treatment?

Some studies have achieved better results in treating migraines in people with 500 mg of magnesium supplementation. Though the National Headache Foundation recommends 400 to 600 mg of daily magnesium supplement to treat migraines, it exceeds the recommended per day magnesium levels. Hence, it is ideal to discuss with your physician for an optimal dose.
Dr. Lochana .k
Dr. Lochana .k


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