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

Magnesium is one of the most “underrated” nutrients in the North American diet, although it has increasingly come to prominence in recent years.

And for good reason.

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. 

This is problematic from a number of perspectives, not least of which is the fact that magnesium is an important DASH diet nutrient and plays a meaningful role in blood pressure control.

Elevated blood pressure, as you may appreciate by now, is one of the leading reasons why people in North America get prescribed medication.

As as public health professional, this concerns me.

But there is much more to magnesium than just it’s blood pressure lowering capabilities.

It also helps with:

1.  Energy Production/Metabolism

2.  Bone Health

3. Muscle Contraction/Functionality

4. Blood Sugar Regulation

5.  Mental Health

So how can you be sure you are getting enough?

 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



Don’t like ANY of the foods above? Here are 10 more.

  1. Dark Chocolate
  2. Black beans/Edamame
  3. Soy milk
  4. Yogurt
  5. Banana
  6. Avocado
  7. Brown rice
  8. Tuna/Salmon
  9. Peanut butter
  10. Spinach