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Top 13 Foods Rich in Magnesium for Muscle and Nerve Health


Magnesium is a vital mineral that is needed by our body to function properly. It plays a critical role in regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

Most of the magnesium in our body is found inside our cells where it has an important role in activating enzymes, making ATP (adenosine triphosphate), and manufacturing DNA. Our bodies also need magnesium for protein synthesis, good bone health, strong teeth and healthy teeth enamel.

Magnesium deficiency can lead to a number of conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis.

Although many people across America don’t get enough of it, Magnesium is a shortcoming nutrient. This is due to how necessary it is and the effects of not getting enough can be serious on certain people.

How Much Magnesium Do You Need?

Based on studies, adults need to take 400-420 milligrams of magnesium per day and 310-320 milligrams of magnesium if they were born female.

Take this list of foods high in magnesium when you head to the grocery store next time – according to the FDA, 420 milligrams per day is enough.

1. Spinach: 156.6 mg, 37% DV

Dark leafy greens are great for your health. They can provide folate, potassium, calcium and fiber – not to mention magnesium, which your body needs. This healthy vegan food can provide 37% of what you need in a day.

2. Squash and Pumpkin Seeds: 156.2 mg, 37% DV

Squash and pumpkin seeds are high in nutrients including fiber, protein, potassium, magnesium & iron! They offer 37% of the DV for magnesium per 1-ounce serving so consider adding them to your keto diet for this essential nutrient.

Plus, you can make them part of your favourite trail mix or add them to your salads for extra crunch

3. Lima Beans: 125.8 mg, 30% DV

If you like beans, you’ll love lima beans: in general, they’re known for having a higher amount of nutrients and fiber than other types.

Cooked lima beans provide 30% of your daily magnesium needs and nearly 12 grams of plant-based protein per 1 cooked cup. They also give you 37% of the fiber you need, so it’s a great addition to any balanced diet.

4. Black Beans: 120.4 mg, 29% DV

Black beans are a well-known source of complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids to make up the perfect blend of all the building blocks your body needs for healthy muscles. Plus, 1 cup cooked black beans contains 29% of the DV for magnesium — making them an ideal choice to help you bulk up!

A 2016 study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate pulses like black beans regularly were more likely to lose weight.

5. Quinoa: 118.4 mg, 28% DV

Quinoa is a great choice for vegans and vegetarians because it’s rich in protein, and one cooked cup will give you 28% of your DV for magnesium.

6. Flaxseeds: 111.3 mg, 27% DV

Flaxseeds offer heart-healthy plant-based ALA omega-3 fatty acids that reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Flax is a popular addition to oatmeals, yogurts, cereals, and stir fry. When it’s ground up, it mixes seamlessly into your dishes. Experts say it’s easier for our body to digest than whole flaxseeds.

Flaxseeds are a great way to incorporate a balance of fat and fiber into your diet. Just one tablespoon contains 27% of your daily intake for magnesium, which is good for the heart.

7. Edamame: 99.2 mg, 24% DV

Edamame is a Japanese appetizer consisting of boiled soybeans in their pods. They’re simple and healthy thanks to their plant-based protein, fiber, iron, and unsaturated fat.

One cup of edamame provides 24% of your magnesium requirements.

8. Brown Rice: 85.8 mg, 20% DV

Brown rice is a whole grain, meaning it contains all three parts of the grain—the bran, endosperm and germ. This makes it more nutritious than white rice, which only has the inner layer of the grain – more nutritious and it’s also a relief to know that brown rice doesn’t have any refined additives.

The bran and the germ are the most nutrient-rich part of grains, including antioxidants, B vitamins, fiber, and protein. This is because refining grains removes these important nutrients.

A diet high in whole grains, like brown rice, is believed to help lower your risk of heart disease. A recent study from March 2015 proved that people who eat a lot of rice have even less chances for death from cardiovascular diseases.

Brown rice has 20% of the daily value for magnesium.

9. Lentils: 71.3 mg, 17% DV

Lentils are a low-fat, high-fiber legume that work well in a variety of dishes. On a per-cup basis, cooked lentils contain 17% of the daily value for magnesium.

The legume comes in different colors, with slightly different benefits.

Lentils are a rich source of anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that is often found in purple and blue foods.

10. Whole-Wheat Pasta: 63.2 mg, 15% DV

Brown rice is not the only whole grain out there. Remember, pasta can be an important part of a healthy diet too.

Compared to white pasta, whole wheat noodles offer more nutrition including fiber (4.6 grams versus 2.2 grams) and protein (8 grams versus 7 grams). The fiber and protein content in whole-wheat pasta can help you feel full longer, according to studies done by the American Medical Association.

Whole-wheat pasta is not only healthy, but it also contains a good amount of magnesium. One cup of cooked whole-wheat pasta provides 15% of the DV for magnesium.

11. Dark Chocolate: 64.8 mg, 15% DV

Yes, dark chocolate does have health benefits. You just need to enjoy it in moderation for the good of your health. One serving provides heart-healthy antioxidants and 15% of your DV for magnesium.

12. Avocados: 58.3 mg, 14% DV

Avocados are a great fruit to eat for all sorts of reasons. It’s perfect for vegetarians, vegans, or just anybody who’s looking to get more healthy fats into their diet. They’re also packed with fiber, magnesium, and vitamin c & e which are important nutrients

Avocados are the new superstar of health foods and for good reason.

This fruit is high in fat, but those fats are largely unsaturated. This will be good for your heart health, as reported by the ​American Journal of Clinical Nutrition​​.

Avocados are an incredibly nutritious food. They contain C&E, protein, fiber and some magnesium. This fruit is great on its own but can also be turned into some creative recipes!

13. Bananas: 40.5 mg, 10% DV

Bananas might be one of the most convenient, nutritious snacks made by nature. And, as you know, they pair well with a lot of other things–like peanut butter or honey.

It’s a well-known fact that athletes use it as a fuel, thanks to its quick-acting carbohydrates, potassium and other electrolytes including magnesium, which may help prevent or stop muscle cramping.

In fact, bananas are a fruit that is high in magnesium: 1 cup offers 10% of the DV. One large banana has 9% of the DV.


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