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

High Magnesium

Nuts:

cashews

almonds

Brazil nuts

peanuts

pecans

Hazel nuts

walnuts

fresh/dried coconut

Seafood:

winkles

conch

shrimp

whelks

clams

cockles

crab

Vegetables:

soybeans

butter beans

soy flour

beans/peas

beet greens

chard

spinach

collards

seaweed

Grains:

all bran

raw oats

whole barley

whole wheat bread

brown rice

corn meal

rye flour

Fruits:

dried figs

dried apricots

dates

Medium Magnesium

Nuts & Fruits:

chestnuts

dried peaches

dried prunes

avocado

bananas

raisins

blackberries

Seafood:

boiled lobster

prawns

oysters

canned sardines

mackerel

bluefish

salmon

herring

haddock

flounder

Vegetables:

parsley

sweet corn

okra

kale

kohlrabi

horseradish

dandelion

cabbage, raw

brussels sprouts

artichokes

potatoes & skin

Grains:

corn meal

white flour

pearled barley

white rice

macaroni, raw

Dairy:

hard cheese

Meats:

liver

heart

bacon

corned beef

lean roast beef

steak

veal

chicken & turkey

Low Magnesium

Meat & Fish:

lean roast pork

grilled lamb

beef tongue

ham

roast beef w/ fat

kidney, brain

halibut

cod

Fruits:

raspberries

cantaloupe

cherries

strawberries

plums

peaches

oranges

pineapple

grapefruit

apricots

apples

pears

cranberries

grapes

Vegetables:

boiled potatoes

boiled peas

boiled broccoli

beets

boiled cauliflower

carrots

mushrooms

onions

eggplant

lettuce

tomatoes

cucumber

asparagus

Dairy:

eggs

milk

butter

cream

Grains:

boiled macaroni

boiled white rice

white flour products

pastries

Extras:

Sugar


 

 

 

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.

Go to http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/

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.

The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) is the amount of an essential nutrient that will meet the daily requirement for almost all (97.5%) HEALTHY individuals in a given gender and age-range group.

The magnesium and calcium RDA for in this age range () is:

According to the USDA’s 2001-2 survey, there’s a % chance you are getting less than your daily magnesium requirement from the foods you eat.

Press "Continue" to take a short questionaire that will estimate your risk of magnesium deficiency.

I drink milk with enriched vitamin D?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I take vitamin D suplements?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I spend an hour or more in the sunlight?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I drink bottled deionized water?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I drink sodas with phosphoric acid?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

All colas and Dr. Pepper type drinks, with or without caffeine, with or without sugar, have phosphoric acid in them.
Here’s how much:
Size of Drink Phosphorus
X-small - 12 oz 39 to 44 mg
Small - 16 oz 52 to 59 mg
Med - 22 oz 71 to 81 mg
Large - 32 oz 104 to 118 mg
X-large - 44 oz 143 to 162 mg
All other sodas have no phosphorus.

I eat candy?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I eat pastries, cakes, pies or desserts?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I have sugar in my coffee?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I eat white bread (including bagels, croissante, muffins, french bread, croutons, crackers, etc.)?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I eat pasta, spagehetti or noodles (including Chinese noodles)?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

My diet is high in saturated fat?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I take a calcium supplement with no added magnesium?

 Never  Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

 

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I use cocaine?

 Never  Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

 

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I feel stressed?

 Never  Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

 

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I drink alcohol?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I eat whole grain foods three times each day?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Almost Daily  Every Day

(or never)

(less then once a week)

(1 to 2 times per week)

(3 to 6 times per week)

 

I eat 7 to 9 servings of fruits/vegetables?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Almost Daily  Every Day

(or never)

(less then once a week)

(1 to 2 times per week)

(3 to 6 times per week)

 

I eat nuts or legumes?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Almost Daily  Every Day

(or never)

(less then once a week)

(1 to 2 times per week)

(3 to 6 times per week)

 

I eat very dark chocolate?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Almost Daily  Every Day

(or never)

(less then once a week)

(1 to 2 times per week)

(3 to 6 times per week)

 

I have high blood pressure (treated or not)?

     True  False    

I have high cholesterol (high LDL cholesterol and/or low HDL cholesterol)?

     True  False    

I have type 2 diabetes or high fasting glucose?

     True  False    

I take thiazide diuretics?

     True  False    

I use digitalis?

     True  False    

My family has a history of heart disease?

     True  False    

You have a low risk of a magnesium deficit.

Congratulations! You are doing a good job. Keep up the good life style; you should not be having any Mg deficit symptoms.

If you do, you may be in the process of building up your magnesium status after an illness, an extended time of poorer habits or a particularly stressful period. If none of these fit your situation, any symptoms you are experiencing on the magnesium deficit list are probably due to another cause, and you might want to consult with a health care specialist.

You have a mild risk of a magnesium deficit.

You are doing well in your Life Style. You can most probably move into safe magnesium status by including more foods high in magnesium in your daily life. Look over the Mg deficit symptoms to see if any apply to you before you decide whether to add Mg supplements to your daily routine for awhile. If you do, get tips by reading Treatment on this webpage.

You have a moderate risk of a magnesium deficit.

Your life style is generally healthy, but you could improve your magnesium intake to be really safe. Check out the foods high in magnesium to see which high magnesium foods you would enjoy adding to your daily life, and look over the Mg deficit symptoms.

If you have some of these symptoms, consider adding a magnesium supplement to your daily life for three months as you also add more high magnesium foods to your diet (see Treatment for more tips on assessing and correcting a borderline or deficit Mg status).

You have a high risk of a magnesium deficit.

You need to make some changes to protect your health from illness and to optimize your life. Go now to the Treatment page of this website to get a good start. You will probably need to add more high magnesium foods to your daily life as well as to supplement with magnesium, depending on how many Mg deficit symptoms you are experiencing.

You have a very high risk of a magnesium deficit.

Make an assessment of your Mg deficit symptoms right away, and if you have two or more, you should consider a daily magnesium supplement for at least three months at as high a level of magnesium that is comfortable for your digestive tract. During that same three months, add daily foods you like that are high in magnesium.

See the treatment section of this webpage for tips on correcting any magnesium deficit you may have. If you are treated by a physician, show him/her this webpage to work towards a healthy magnesium status for you.