Naturopathic Kitchen: Magnesium-Rich Foods

A bowl of leafy greens with cooked salmon

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.

Dark Chocolate

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

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

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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