What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is an essential nutrient that the body requires for various functions, including regulating blood sugar, blood pressure, nerve function, and DNA synthesis. 1
60% of Americans fail to get enough magnesium in their diets. 2 Here are some magnesium-rich foods to start adding to your eating habits today.
Magnesium-Rich Foods to Add to Your Diet
Avocados are a great way to get more magnesium into your diet. One medium-sized avocado contains 14% of the recommended daily value. 3 Research also shows that regular consumption of avocados may reduce inflammation and improve cholesterol. 4 5
Simple Ways to Add Avocado to Your Diet:
- Top your morning toast with sliced or mashed avocado and your favorite seasonings
- Make a simple guacamole by blending avocado, lime juice, salt, and cayenne to taste (if time and groceries permit, garlic, onion and tomato can make it more flavorful)
- Add diced avocado to tacos, burritos, and wraps
- Add fresh or frozen avocado to your favorite smoothie for a creamier texture
*Worried that avocado turns over ripe too quickly? Freezing chunks is a great solution.
Just 28 grams of dark chocolate contains 65 mg of magnesium, which is 15% of the recommended daily value. 6 In addition to being a good source of magnesium, chocolate is also packed with antioxidants and contains gut-healthy prebiotic fiber. 7 8 Choose organic, fair-trade dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa solids.
Simple Ways to Add Dark Chocolate to Your Diet:
- Add dark chocolate chips to your favorite cookie recipe
- Melt dark chocolate and drizzle it on fruit
- Snack on a square when a craving hits
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, collard greens, and turnip greens are all a good source of magnesium. One cup of cooked spinach contains 37% of the daily recommended value of magnesium. 9 Adding leafy greens to your diet is also a great way consume vitamins and beneficial plant compounds that may help reduce the risk of a number of health conditions. 10 11
Simple Ways to Add Leafy Greens to Your Diet:
- Add spinach, kale, collards, or other leafy greens to soups, pasta sauces, and stews
- Serve eggs on a bed of leafy greens instead of toast—HELLO breakfast salad
- Swap out lettuce for baby spinach in sandwiches and wraps
- Use pesto instead of salad dressing or mayonnaise
Fatty fish like salmon, halibut, and mackerel are high in magnesium. A 100-gram serving of cooked salmon contains 30 mg, or 7% of the recommended daily value of magnesium. 12 Fatty fish are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and a variety of other nutrients. 13 Research shows that a diet high in these types of fish may decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic health issues. 14 Always choose wild-caught options for the highest nutritional content. Farmed fish are fed antibiotics, consolidate pesticides and other chemicals, and tend to be lower in nutrients and flavor than wild-caught fish.
Simple Ways to Add Fish to Your Diet:
- Add cooked fish to tacos, burritos, salads and wraps
- Make a grain bowl with rice or quinoa, veggies, and cooked fish
- Make your own sushi rolls using wild-caught salmon
- Swap out beef patties for salmon or halibut burgers (get the recipe here)
- Combine canned wild-caught fish with an egg, seasoning, and some breadcrumbs for a quick croquette
If you are interested in learning more ways to add magnesium to your diet, or want to know if a magnesium supplement is right for you, speak to a naturopathic doctor. There are various forms of magnesium supplements with different indications (muscle relaxation, anxiety/stress, aiding with constipation). An ND will work with you to create a dietary and supplement plan customized to your individual health needs.
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