Welcome Green Monsters! We're your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet.
Download food monster: the biggest, baddest, yummiest vegan food app!


Health Monster

Magnesium: How to Get Enough and Which Foods Are Best


Magnesium is a critical mineral needed for a variety of normal health functions. Headaches, insomnia, irregularity, moodiness, fatigue, general sadness or a lack of motivation, and even cramps or joint pain are said to be caused by a lack of magnesium. The critical mineral is found abundantly in plants and it’s also the first that’s depleted by stress, fatigue, or too much calcium in the body. Calcium and magnesium both compete for your attention and if one is out of balance, the other is as well. This may be one reason why excess dairy in a person’s diet leads them to experience more muscle fatigue, inflammation, nervousness or anxiety, and can even lead to constipation or worse, osteoporosis. Dairy milk has been found to actually deplete calcium from the bones, along with other critical minerals such as magnesium.

Luckily, magnesium is found in so many delicious plant foods. Animal foods have little to no magnesium at all. Fill up your plate with more magnesium-rich foods that also happen to be high in plant-based calcium. This is the best way to give your body what it needs through your diet without needing a supplement, though some people find they do best with both.

1. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are packed with both magnesium and calcium. They help bring a sense of calm to the body and can help keep your digestive system humming, along with relieving joint pain and inflammation since they’re so rich in chlorophyll. Make a delicious salad, perhaps a green monster smoothie, or use leafy greens like collards to make yummy wraps.

2. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds, specifically almond, cashew, hemp, chia, pumpkin, and sunflower, all have especially high levels of magnesium, along with iron, B vitamins, protein, and healthy fats. A little goes a long way, so add some raw almond butter or a few cashews to your next smoothie or bowl of oats. Or perhaps make some amazing raw vegan energy bars that include several of these ingredients and more.

3. Whole Grains

Whole grains are all rich in magnesium, along with potassium, fiber, complex carbs, and protein. Whole grains help your body feel more energized all throughout the day. Be sure to choose 100 percent whole grains versus whole grain products like bread and tortillas. Make a hot bowl of millet porridge or try this protein-packed vegan salad with quinoa.

4. Bananas

Bananas are a great source of magnesium and other energizing vitamins such as vitamin B6. I find that the combination of magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6 and natural sugars found in bananas offers the perfect remedy for stress, fatigue, insomnia, and more. With all these amazing banana recipes to try, you’re sure to never run out of options!

5. Coffee

Believe it or not, coffee is extremely high in magnesium along with B vitamins. It’s one of the best beverages to get yourself going early on in the day. Decaf may offer some of the same nutritional benefits as regular coffee, but depending on the brew, regular is usually a better source of nutrients. Be sure to choose organic coffee when you can and enjoy your java without a bit of guilt!

6. Cacao

The richest source of magnesium in the world is cacao. Oh, how awesome it is to have another reason to love chocolate, right? Cacao is rich in magnesium, iron, B vitamins, protein, fiber, and tons of other nutrients your body loves. If you need a natural pick-me-up, cacao is your best bet! Have some brewed cacao beans in place of coffee or just have a square of dark chocolate. The best option is raw cacao, either in the form of nibs or powder, which contains more antioxidants than any food, along with red wine and green tea. Try out some of these cacao recipes for more inspiration.

Embrace these magnesium rich foods and you’ll feel better in no time at all. You can see it’s actually quite easy to fit these foods into your day since they’re easy to find and enjoyed by many.

BONUS Recommendation: Download the Food Monster App

baked samosa flautas

If you enjoy articles and recipes like these and want more, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App. For those that don’t have it, it’s a brilliant food app available for both Android and iPhone. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to cut out or reduce allergens like meat, dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, grains, and more find awesome recipes, cooking tips, articles, product recommendations and how-tos. The app shows you how having diet/health/food preferences can be full of delicious abundance rather than restrictions.

The Food Monster app has over 8k recipes and 500 are free. To access the rest, you have to pay a subscription fee but it’s totally worth it because not only do you get instant access to 8k+ recipes, you get 10 NEW recipes every day! You can also make meal plans, add bookmarks, read feature stories, and browse recipes across hundreds of categories like diet, cuisine, meal type, occasion, ingredient, popular, seasonal, and so much more!

Image source: Good News, Coffee Lovers! Coffee Intake Linked with Lower Risk of Liver Cancer

Want to read more posts like this? Sign up for our newsletter below!​

Browse through some recent posts below:

Curb Your Cravings for Sugar With These Naturally Sweet Foods

Curb Your Cravings for Sugar With These Naturally Sweet Foods

25 Delicious Vegan Sources of Protein (The Ultimate Guide!)

25 Delicious Vegan Sources of Protein (The Ultimate Guide!)

The Importance of Calcium and How to Get Enough Without Dairy

The Importance of Calcium and How to Get Enough Without Dairy

10 Tips for Shifting from Processed Foods to Whole Foods

10 Tips for Shifting from Processed Foods to Whole Foods

Disclosure: One Green Planet accepts advertising, sponsorship, affiliate links and other forms of compensation, which may or may not influence the advertising content, topics or articles written on this site. Click here for more information.

0 comments on “Magnesium: How to Get Enough and Which Foods Are Best”

Click to add comment
Kyla Rucci
2 Years Ago

I crave chocolate like crazy, and I finally figured out why when my doctor started giving me a high dose of magnesium supplement. My cravings went down to almost nothing!!! I\'ve tried eating all the things you\'ve suggested, and it helps, but I still crave chocolate almost 24/7. Is there anything I can do other than the supplement? It definitely does the trick, but I\'ve been out and need to go get me some.

Jaya Bhumitra
2 Years Ago

Actually, the info about dairy depleting calcium from our bones has been debunked by newer research: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/alkaline-diets-animal-protein-and-calcium-loss/

However, I totally agree that there are many other reasons not to eat dairy, which is terrible for our health, animals, and the planet! Great article and tips.


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Follow us on

Do Not Show This Again


Submit to OneGreenPlanet

Terms & Conditions ×