This article initially highlights the importance of magnesium as an essential nutrient. It then presents ten foods that are concentrated sources of this mineral. Additional nutritional benefits are mentioned in each food profile. This article concluded by pointing out the importance of increasing your magnesium intake and adding nutrient-dense foods into your diet.
Magnesium (Mg) is a vital mineral nutrient that plays an important role in more than 300 metabolic processes involving enzymes. It also works in synergy with calcium to coordinate muscle contraction and relaxation. These processes make functions, like our heartbeat, possible. Furthermore, this essential mineral could be a factor in preventing conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, migraines, and depression. Even though magnesium is found naturally in many foods, when they undergo processing, most of their nutritional content is lost. So, eating healthy, natural foods is the best way to ensure your body gets adequate amounts of this precious mineral. Here are some suggestions to boost your daily magnesium intake:
Almonds are considered a superstar among nuts because of their rich and diverse nutritional content. They are essentially the edible seeds of the sweet almond tree. A handful of almonds contains about 98 mg of magnesium, which is 25% of the Daily Value (DV). What’s more, almonds bring more calcium than any other nut, not to mention being a very good source of iron, riboflavin, and vitamin E. Their monounsaturated fat content makes them a heart-healthy food. Almonds are a great option if you need a quick but nutritious snack on the go. They are also extremely versatile and complement a variety of dishes, including salads, sauces, stuffing, pasta, and, of course, baked goods and pastries.
Even though they are mostly served as vegetables, avocados are a type of tropical fruit. Their smooth, buttery texture and unique, rich flavor make them a great addition to many dishes. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, chemical compounds that benefit cardiovascular health. Moreover, a cup of raw avocado has approximately 57 mg of magnesium, which is roughly 14% of the DV. Avocados are an excellent source of potassium, folic acid, vitamin K, and B6. The combination of vitamin C, lutein, and copper provides powerful antioxidant protection. You can enjoy this richly flavored and nutritious food in several ways, such as mixed in salads and as an ingredient in toppings, dips, cold soups, and sushi rolls.
Beans have been part of meals around the world throughout history. They are inexpensive and easy to prepare as a main course or a side dish. They are also extremely nutritious since they basically contain everything a new plant needs to grow. Depending on the type of bean, their magnesium content ranges between 60 and 89 mg per three-quarters of a cup. Beans are also low in fat and high in fiber, as well as good sources of protein, folic acid, potassium, and iron. There are several varieties to choose from: black, lima, navy, adzuki, white kidney, pinto, cranberry, chickpeas, and Great Northern. Beans are a versatile food, and they can increase your magnesium intake significantly, especially if consumed frequently.
A fistful of cashews is one of the most delicious and healthy snacks you can have. They are easy to store, carry, and eat, and they require no preparation at all, so they are ideal for busy people. They are lower in fat than most nuts, and 58% of their fat content is oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Cashews are a great magnesium source – a mere quarter of a cup contains 90 mg of this essential mineral. They are rich in iron, phosphorus, and zinc, and a decent source of riboflavin (B2), thiamine (B1), and potassium. They also contain a substantial amount of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that promotes sleep health.
5.) Dark Chocolate
This is undoubtedly a fun source of magnesium. On the other hand, dark chocolate is also an energy-rich food that can burden you with about 170 calories for every ounce you consume, so it’s probably not the best option if you are trying to lose weight. This single ounce (28g) offers 63 mg of magnesium, as well as various quantities of other essential minerals, such as iron, copper, and manganese. Dark chocolate also contains a variety of antioxidants, namely flavonoids and polyphenols. These compounds offer protection from oxidative stress caused by harmful free radicals. If you decide to reward yourself with a treat, choose a type of dark chocolate that is at least 70% cacao solids.
Quinoa is a unique plant-based food with a high nutritional value that is definitely worth adding to your weekly meal plan. Quinoa is particularly high in protein, and the best part is, its protein is complete, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. It is also rich in magnesium, with a cup of cooked seeds giving you about 90 mg of the mineral. Quinoa is also rich in dietary iron, an excellent source of manganese and a decent source of copper. This amazing food can be cooked quickly and easily. Its delicate nutty flavor can be complemented with vegetables and fresh herbs. In addition, the seeds can be ground into flour and used in baked goods and pasta.
Salmon is considered fish royalty and probably with good reason. It is low in calories and saturated fats but high in protein. This high-quality, nutritious food is an excellent source of magnesium, with 4 ounces of broiled fish (the Chinook variety) offering a substantial 138 mg of the mineral, about 35% of the DV. Salmon is also well-known for its remarkable omega-3 fat content. Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA in particular) are an important element of brain and heart health. Other health benefits include a high vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium content, as well as a decent amount of phosphorus and vitamin B6. You can enjoy salmon in various ways-broiled, grilled, hot or cold with a variety of sauces.
8.) Sesame seeds
A common ingredient in many Asian dishes, sesame seeds are small, oval, and flat, with a paper-thin edible hull. These tiny seeds are a concentrated source of many important nutrients. They are high in magnesium – a mere quarter of a cup offers 127 mg – and an excellent source of calcium. Sesame also contains decent amounts of iron, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), phosphorus, and potassium. Furthermore, its unique lignan phytonutrients, sesamin and sesamolin, have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties related to lower levels of cholesterol and blood pressure. Sesame seeds can be sprinkled over baked goods and salad dishes. Tahini, which is butter made from ground sesame seeds, can be added to sauces and main dishes. And sesame bars are a healthy and filling snack.
Like all dark leafy vegetables, spinach is nutrient-dense. A cup of cooked spinach will boost your magnesium intake by adding 156 mg of the mineral. This wonderful vegetable is also high in vitamin A and folate, as well as a good source of vitamin C, riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, and iron. This amazing vegetable is also a good source of dietary fiber and protein, as well as powerful antioxidant phytonutrients, like beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. At a mere 46 calories per cup, you can enjoy spinach both cooked and raw as often as you like. The leaves can be added to various soups, casseroles, and stews. You can also use chopped spinach for stuffing mushroom cups or filling savory pastries.
10.) Whole Wheat Bread
Bread has been a diet staple throughout the centuries in many parts of the world. Until recently in human history, bread was made from whole grains that had undergone minimal processing and maintained their vitamin, mineral, and fiber content. While this is not the case anymore, as most grains are highly refined, you can still choose whole grain products. Whole grains contain important minerals, such as iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. They are also rich in B vitamins and antioxidants, such as vitamin E and selenium. Whole wheat flour is probably the richest magnesium grain source, containing 160 mg per cup. Opt for whole wheat bread at the store and use whole wheat flour for your baked goods and pastries.
Increasing your daily magnesium intake is not as hard as it seems. With some well-thought-out changes in your eating habits, you can make sure your body has all it needs to face the challenges of everyday life. Eating more of these ten foods, as well as others with similar nutritional profiles, is a great place to start. You will also benefit significantly from the presence of several other minerals and essential nutrients in them. It might take a while to feel the positive effects of your choices, but it is definitely worth the effort. A balanced diet based on fresh whole foods will ensure you get everything you need to be healthy, strong, and happy.