Top 5 Foods Highest in Magnesium (because you probably don’t get enough)

Magnesium is one of the most “underrated” nutrients in the North American diet. It does not get the same attention as iron or calcium despite being consumed less frequently and just as physiologically important. 

According to Health Canada data, between 30-60% ( depending on age/gender) of Canadian’s do not consume enough magnesium from their diets.

There is a decent chance you are one of them. 

Today’s article will teach you the importance of magnesium and the foods you need to incorporate into your dietary pattern to help ensure you get enough.

Magnesium’s roles in the body

1.  Energy Production/Metabolism

2.  Bone Health

3. Muscle Contraction ( ie: cramp prevention)

4. Blood Pressure/Blood Sugar Regulation

5.  And Many More…

 Top 5 Richest Sources of Magnesium 

1. Prickly Pears:  You read correctly, prickly pears are the highest fruit/vegetable source of magnesium offering about 25% of your daily requirement in a single fruit ( varies slightly by age/gender). 

2. All Bran Cereal:  In addition to being a healthy high fibre breakfast option, All Bran also has around 33% of your daily requirement of magnesium in a 3/4 cup serving. 

3. Black Eyed Peas:   Just like their musical namesake, black eyed peas show us where the love is when it comes to magnesium with a 3/4 cup serving offering around 33% of your daily requirement.  

4. Pumpkin/Squash Seeds: If you eat NONE of the other foods on this list, pumpkin seeds are the ones you want to start eating. A 1/4 cup serving contains 80%+ of your daily magnesium intake depending on your age/gender.

5. Halibut/ Mackerel:  Health Canada recommends we all eat 150 grams of fish a week, primarily because most varieties contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Halibut and Mackerel also have the distinction of containing about 15-20% of your daily magnesium requirement.

Top 5 Alternate Sources of Magnesium

Can’t bear the thought of eating the foods above? Check out the next best options. 

1. Soy Yogurt 

2. Quinoa

3. Potatoes

4. Lentils/Beans

5. Almonds/Sunflower Seeds

If you are not a frequent or at least occasional consumer of the foods in these two lists  there is a decent chance you are one of many Canadians who does not get enough dietary magnesium. 

The good news is you now know exactly how to fix that problem!


Andy De Santis RD MPH