Foods rich in magnesium

Monday May 31 2021

Magnesium rich foods. PHOTO/

By Joan Salmon

Although  magnesium is primarily considered as a remedy against anxiety and stress, it is also responsible for several other functions such as promoting nerve function, and making proteins. It is therefore important that one increases their intake of foods containing magnesium as they also alleviate bloating, ease constipation and do away with premenstrual symptoms.

Daily intake

Women need 310mg while men need 400mg per day of the mineral. However, Isaiah Munene, a nutritionist, shares that while many people do not meet their recommended intake for magnesium, deficiency symptoms are rare in otherwise healthy people.  

“In such cases, one might show signs such as nausea, loss of appetite, and fatigue,” he says.  Very large doses can cause kidney problems, low blood pressure, urine retention, nausea and vomiting, depression, lethargy, a loss of central nervous system (CNS) control, cardiac arrest, and possibly death. People with a kidney disorder should not take magnesium supplements unless their doctor advises  them to do so.

Foods high in magnesium include;



These, according to Munene, will give you 80mg per 23g in addition to proteins, healthy fat and fibre. “Cashew nuts are some of the best magnesium rich nuts. However, they are also high in calories, therefore, caution should be exercised on how much of these one eats to avoid weight gain,” says Munene.

Nut butters 

Apart from whole nuts, one can get magnesium from nut butters such as peanut paste. “Two tablespoons of this butter or paste will afford one 49mg of magnesium. However, the natural ones are more preferred since they do not have added sugar. 


This leafy vegetable is loaded with 156mg per cup (cooked); the vegetable is also rich in fibre, and Vitamin C, all of which are essential to your body and health. Irene Kimuli, a nutritionist, suggests steaming your spinach to reduce the effects of heat. 

Pumpkin seeds 

Just like nuts, seeds make a great source of magnesium. Pumpkin seeds have 74mg for every 23g. “These seeds are also loaded with other minerals, fibre and vitamins. The fibre is derived from  eating  the seed shells. While roasting  them over fire makes them tastier, it is not as healthy as sun-drying because the former kills several nutrients that are important to the body,” Munene says


These are mainly known for their providence of potassium. However, when one consumes bananas, they can also get magnesium and one banana can give you 32mg of the mineral. “They are easily accessible, can be taken as a snack,” Kimuli shares.


Beans are a source of fibre which when coupled with magnesium allow for good bowel movement, good gastrointestinal health which fights against bloating and constipation. Other plant-based proteins such as soybeans, peas or groundnuts are an amazing source of magnesium.  These will give you between 33mg and 42mg for every half a cup served,” Irene Nakasi, a nutritionist, shares.

Dark chocolate 

Dark chocolate is a source of magnesium. “Starting with the raw materials, a tablespoon of cocoa powder will give one 27mg of magnesium. Therefore, the more the cacao, the more magnesium a chocolate bar contains,” Nakasi says.