Common Foods Very High, High, Medium and Low in Magnesium
Adapted from Seelig, 1964 and Pennington, 1989
In general, magnesium content in each subgroup is listed in descending order.
To increase magnesium in your diet, emphasize items listed in left-hand or center column and at the top of each sub-group.
Very High Magnesium
cocoa and bitter chocolate
whole wheat bread
Nuts & Fruits:
potatoes & skin
lean roast beef
chicken & turkey
Meat & Fish:
lean roast pork
roast beef w/ fat
boiled white rice
white flour products
You Can Add Foods You Eat and Like To This Resource
Can’t find a food on this list? You can add the foods you eat to the proper column in Resource I - part A by looking up the food in the National Agriculture Library Database, free on the internet. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/ The database contains analyses of foods for many nutrients on a per 100 grams basis, or per tablespoon or cup. Look up your food on the “per 100 grams” basis. The foods in column one - high magnesium - are greater than 100 milligrams magnesium per 100 grams. Column two foods - medium magnesium - have between 25 and 100 milligrams magnesium per 100 grams. Column three foods - those low in magnesium - have less than 25 milligrams magnesium per 100 grams.
To get to the database:
Log into the internet.
Type in the food you want to know about in the search window. You will probably get a list of foods.
Select the food you want.
Select “per 100 g”.
Scroll down to “Minerals” to magnesium
This is the magnesium content of that food in milligrams per 100 grams of food.
If the number is greater than 100, the food goes in column 1 and is a high magnesium food.
If the number is between 25 and 99, the food goes in column 2 and is a medium magnesium food.
If the number is below 25, it is a low magnesium food and goes in column 3.
Note that this database also gives you the calcium content of each food, also in milligrams per 100 grams. From this and the magnesium content you can calculate the magnesium to calcium ratio of that food.
Divide the magnesium value by the calcium value. If the resulting value is greater than 1, the food has more magnesium than calcium, and has a good ratio. If the resulting value is less than 0.5, then there is twice as much calcium as magnesium in that food, at least, and the ratio is beginning to be unbalanced. However, remember that it is the ratio of calcium to magnesium in your total diet, including supplements and water, that is important.
We recommend an overall, total ratio of 2 calcium to 1 magnesium, by weight, as a goal.