Magnesium is the new “it” nutrient and while you can pop a supplement, that’s probably not necessary if you’re eating a plant-strong diet. Plants are literally loaded with magnesium (which is great to share with your meat-eating friends).

First though, what is magnesium good for? In case you don’t know yet, it’s a powerful nutrient needed for a host of regular enzymatic functions throughout your body. Check out the benefits magnesium can offer if you haven’t already, and take a look at your diet to see if you possibly need more magnesium. Low on energy? Suffering insomnia, irritability, anxiety, lack of energy and fatigue, joint pain, low blood sugar, lack of concentration, PMS, and even icky regularity? Magnesium is a key mineral that not only contributes to the solution of those health issues, but also plays a leading role in preventing them altogether.

Magnesium is also quickly depleted by too much acidic calcium (such as that from dairy) as both compete for absorption in the body. Calcium-rich plant foods, however, are not known to cause any risks with magnesium-deficiency.

So if you think you might need a little more magnesium straight from nature in your life, we’re here to help you out! Here are some of the top foods rich in not only magnesium, but a ton of other plant-based goodies too!

1. Kelp

If you’ve snubbed your nose at this seaweed, it’s time to give it another chance. Kelp has more magnesium than any other vegetable or seaweed, containing 780 milligrams in just one serving! Kelp is also especially helpful for obtaining enough iodine, which enhances thyroid health. It’s also a highly detoxifying seaweed and can be used to make vegan ‘fish’ recipes because it has a delicious, ocean-like flavor. Seaweed like kelp, is rich in natural salts from the sea, which are some of the most powerful sources of magnesium to exist. You can buy it in easy-to-use sprinkles or flakes at any health food store where other seaweeds such as nori and dulse are found, or even buy it in the form of noodles to use in place of pasta. Use kelp flakes to make this yummy Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Sandwich, which really tastes like the real deal (without the tuna, of course!)

2. Oats

Oats are also jam-packed with magnesium, containing nearly 300 milligrams in just one serving. Since they’re also a great source of protein, fiber, potassium, and extremely satisfying, they’re a great grain to start the day out with. Make your  oatmeal in the slow-cooker to keep things simple, or try Carrot Cake Oatmeal With Spiced Ginger Cream for something different. Bonus feature- oats are incredibly inexpensive and easy to use in many different ways.

3. Almonds and Cashews

Almonds are one of the healthiest nuts to enjoy; they’re a fantastic source of protein, Vitamin B6, potassium, and magnesium. Just 1/2 cup of almonds contains around 135 milligrams, which is more than kale and even spinach (two of the highest sources in a plant-based diet.) Cashews are also rich in magnesium, with about the same amount of almonds, along with B vitamins and iron.

4. Cocoa and Cacao

Cocoa and cacao are two different forms of chocolate, but both are incredibly rich in magnesium, no matter which you enjoy. Though cocoa is heated and cacao is raw, they both offer more magnesium than most fruits and vegetables. Magnesium estimations on cacao differ, since many brands and forms may change the amount, but most research concludes that a single serving of cacao nibs or powder contains right around 275 milligrams in just one tablespoon! Cacao is also a rich source of iron, zinc, and contains a large amount of fiber. It’s also one of the most anti-oxidant rich foods on the planet. Learn more about cacao and why you should eat it daily if possible.

5. Seeds

Hemp, chia, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds are four of the best sources of magnesium out of the nut and seed kingdom. One cup of pumpkin seeds delivers 100 percent of your daily needs, while just 3 tablespoons of hemp seed protein delivers 60 percent of your daily needs! Chia and sunflower seeds contain around 10 percent of your daily needs, though still make terrific sources.

Other foods to eat that are high in magnesium include:

  • All leafy greens
  • Bananas
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Winter Squash
  • Other nuts and seeds (besides those mentioned)
  • Coffee
  • All whole grains
  • Beans and Legumes
  • Wild and Brown Rice

Now, how about some magnesium-rich recipes to ramp up your energy and improve your health? Try these magnesium-rich dishes today!


For more on magnesium and your health, feel free to check out all the health benefits of magnesium and more ways you can get enough.

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Image Source: Almond Power Bars with Chocolate Topping