Best Sources of Magnesium

Oat Bran or Wheat Bran for Breakfast

Bran and FruitNow this is how we start the day, especially if you already eat cereal. While raw oat bran offers about 225 mg of magnesium per 100 grams (and 256 calories), raw wheat bran offers near 350 mg of magnesium at half the calories. You are well on your way here, but there are a couple things to remember. These weights are dry weight. The addition of water will help you to eat more, but most water has very little magnesium content.  They’ll still be fairly high in magnesium, but no magnesium super food.
The other thing to remember is not to overdo it. Too much bran can cause bloating, gas and diarrhea. Take it slowly, and drink lots of water. The more bran you eat, the more water you need. If you stop yourself up with too much raw bran, it can inhibit your body’s absorption of other minerals. If you are wondering how to eat raw bran without feeling like a horse, try mixing with milk or even soymilk. A dd some sweetening in the form of honey or raisins, or others fruits. Add some cinnamon for a little tang.
The nice thing about raw bran for breakfast is that you are almost certain to cover your magnesium needs for the rest of the day by just eating normally.

Pumpkin Seeds

One Pumkin Seed - One Mg MagnesiumPumpkin seeds are in a category of their own so far as magnesium rich foods go. At 535 mg per 100 gram serving, you are covered for the whole day. The advantage of pumpkin seeds is that they are very suitable to snacking. Wherever you are, at any time of day, you can pop a few pumpkin seeds in your mouth and get roughly a milligram of magnesium per seed. Can’t go too wrong here, except watch the calories (over 500 per 100 grams).


Chocolate for delicious magnesiumThe estimates of magnesium in chocolate range 100 mg to over 500 mg per 100 grams of chocolate servings. Milk chocolate or other highly diluted chocolates are well below even the 100 mg figure, and not worth considering for their magnesium value. Yet, it’s all here at the top of the list because most of us love to eat chocolate – so here’s an excuse, sort of. The thing to remember is that raw cocoa beans would be your absolute best source for magnesium, though they are certainly not to everyone’s taste, and not all that easy to find. To make them easier to eat, even enjoyable, try grinding the whole beans in a food processor, and sprinkling them on yogurt or ice cream. Or mix them with a drink in a juicer. Or add them to tea. If even this is more than you want to deal with, just take some cocoa powder and make an extra strong hot chocolate, or eat sweetened dark chocolate (at least 89% cocoa content). For more information about chocolate check out our posts about the benefits of chocolate and health chocolate scams.

Almonds and Other Nuts or Seeds

Almonds each have 3 mg of magnesium Almonds, with cashews running a close second, are excellent sources of magnesium. 100 grams of almonds pack in roughly 180 mg of magnesium, while 100 grams of cashews have almost 170 mg. Broken down, this means one almond is equivalent to 3 mg of magnesium. In fact, if we look at it that way, brazil nuts are super sources, with about 7 mg of magnesium in each nut (about 145 mg per 100 grams of brazil nuts). Pine nuts and just about all other nuts are also good sources of magnesium. Raw nuts, of course, are best (when they can be eaten).


Spinach is rich in magnesiumSpinach. No surprise here- we’ve always known it was healthy. A mere 100 grams of spinach is very easy to eat, very low in calories, and very high in magnesium as well as other great nutrients. Before turning up your nose at this food, try some treats such as spinach salad with bacon dressing, or creamy spinach soup. See our spinach recipes page for more. And read one to see a great partner for spinach.


While many fish are good sources of magnesium, halibut is the king of magnesium rich foods…er, seafoods. Halinut, spinach and garlic cream sauce magnesium super mealA mere 3.5 oz. (100 gram) serving delivers a solid 107 mg of magnesium. Now halibut doesn’t have much taste, which is either a good or bad thing, depending on how much you like fish. Which is why it needs to be cooked with flourish. And there’s no better partner that our friend above – spinach. If you have doubts about the deliciousness that this powerhouse high magnesium meal can bring you, just look at this picture of halibut with spinach and garlic cream sauce. What a wonderful way to cure a magnesium deficiency!

Beans – Black or White

Beans with spinach provide a very high magnesium mealBeans, glorious beans…

Both white beans and black beans pack anywhere between 110-135 mg of magnesium rich goodness to each cup of boiled beans. That means bean soup!

White beans are high in potassium (but low in sodium), iron, manganese and soluble fiber as well. Soluble fiber is what helps your body rid itself of cholesterol. White beans also contain protease inhibitors, which are know to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Black beans are rich in protein, iron and vitamin B. Black beans also help reduce cholesterol, help maintain balanced blood sugar levels and (of course) prevent constipation. All of these factors help to lessen to incidence of heart disease, diabetes and many gastrointestinal disorders. Black beans are also rich in phytochemicals, which are substances found only in plant foods that are know to help fight cancer.

They also couldn’t be easier to eat, as there are a myriad of black bean recipes and white bean recipes. These are among the easiest ways to take in magnesium rich foods and to keep your body fit.

(Click Here for a Full List of Magnesium Rich Foods)

The full FDA list of magnesium content in foods is available from the FDA website.
Otherwise, go to our own list of magnesium rich foods to see some of the best.

A Note on Magnesium Rich Foods Lists

Kombu is magnesium rich, but dangerous in quantity (if you can eat that much)

Toxic amounts of this health food are needed to impact magnesium levels.

Magnesium rich foods lists often include things like herbs, cocoa powder and kombu kelp (a tough and chewy seaweed). Great, except they are measuring magnesium per 100 gram (about 3.5 ounces) serving. Now go and try to down 100 grams of coriander. That would be more than a cup, if dry, and a heck of a lot even fresh. Or how about a cup of cocoa powder (not hot cocoa with milk, just the powder)? Don’t even think about the kombu. You’ll be chewing all day, and get an overdose of iodine long before you replenish your magnesium levels. So go ahead to the other lists, and view their advice – usually written by some overworked woman at a content sweatshop in Mumbai.

(Full List of Magnesium Rich Foods)

You see how useless these unedited lists can be? I assume you are here to learn about which foods high in magnesium can help you avoid magnesium deficiency. And by that, I mean foods that you can enough of as a normal person to get the benefits of their magnesium content. Well, here’s a list of magnesium rich foods that you can actually use, and actually consume without some sort of superhuman and dangerous effort. Let’s get started….

Eat Sourdough Bread for More Magnesium

Sourdough Bread is the best source of magnesium from grainWhile all whole grain breads are high in magnesium, a study in France revealed that whole grain sourdough breads have a huge advantage. While the magnesium content is the same as other magnesium rich breads, the sourdough brings the big booster of increased bio-availability. In other words, your body absorbs and gets to use more of the magnesium than it does from non-fermented type breads. In fact, sourdough helps deliver the whole range of minerals (including magnesium, iron and zinc) much more effectively than other whole grain breads by increasing absorption rates. This study was conducted at the Unité de Laboratoire pour l’Innovation dans les Céréales.

If you live in San Francisco, this study is good news, as sourdough bread is available everywhere. If you live elsewhere, or you want to be adventurous, you may want to try making sourdough bread yourself. The tricky part of this is making what’s called the sourdough starter.

Sourdough starter is a bubbly, fermenting mess of flour and water that gives the sourdough its tangy flavor. It’s also what will boost your magnesium levels.

Organic and (even better) whole wheat bran flour is the way to go here. You want lots of natural microorganisms to help the fermentation. (The bran flour is magnesium superstar to start with, too.)

For the fast method, all you need is to blend one cup of flour with one cup of warm water in a wide-mouth jar to get started on your sourdough culture. To ensure success, add a few wash organic grapes (which will have yeast on the skin) or a started such as kefir. These are not necessary, but they will make it more of a sure thing. If you choose to go it without these added ingredients, try starting with just a half tablespoon of flour with 3 tablespoons of water. The add equal amounts of flour and water each day for a week until you have a full cup.

A clear glass will allows you to see how the culture is developing – and, believe me, you will want to check it often. Leave the jar in a warm and light location, at around 70 to 80° Fahrenheit (21 to 27° Centigrade). If temperatures go over 100° Fahrenheit (38° Celsius) you will end up killing the culture. A cloth or paper towel should be placed loosely over the top of the jar to help keep it moist and to keep out bugs.

Every day, you need to empty out half of your starter culture, and fill the jar again by adding equal amounts of water and flour to the level it was at before you emptied half. It will be ready for use anywhere from 5 days to a month later, depending on temperature and location. This is weird thing about starter – telling when it’s ready.

Just remember, though, that once its ready it just continues to get better – so don’t feel rushed. As long as no purple mold shows up to kill it all off, you’re good to go.

Sourdough starter is alive, and thus it must be fed regularly. When not using your starter, it is important to dump out half the batch from time to time, and mix in fresh flour and water to equal the lost volume. Exactly how often this should be done depends on storage temperatures and the local strain. An active starter should be fed daily (if not multiple times per day depending on temperature and other conditions). See the note below about dormant starters.

Sourdough is best stored at room temperature or slightly warmer. Anything outside of this range will

Sourdough starter for magnesium super bread

How the starter might look

change the proportions of the bacteria and yeast, which affects the flavor of the result. It can be safely stored in the fridge, but temperatures over 80F are too hot. If you store your starter in the fridge, then let it sit out several hours after feeding before returning it to the refrigerator. This allows the yeasts to get active and feed. The temperature in the fridge is enough to slow down the yeast, but not the lacto-bacteria. So after a while your starter will begin to smell boozy and have a sharper tang to it than you might want. To fix this, just dump out 90% and start the feeding cycle again. When it’s ready, you can slow things down by putting in covered (but not too tightly) in the fridge.

To make sure that your starter is full strength before committing it to a dough, you should check to see if it quadruples its size if fed and left for an hour. Feed starter by adding equal amounts of water and flour, and put ¼ cup in a measuring cup. If it hits the one cup marker in an hour or so then it is ready to go. If not, then it needs to be fed more. Accelerate your feeding schedule until it passes the test.

There’s a wonderful explanation of this at, with a helpful video as well.

Making your own sourdough is a wonderful experience, and a super way to really soak up all the magnesium you need.