The Top 30 Vegan Magnesium Sources

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Refresher/Summary:

  • Magnesium is fairly easy to get on a plant-based diet.
  • You need 310-420 mg for adults, which you can get in a serving or two of certain foods.
  • The best vegan sources of magnesium tend to be seeds and nuts, but most foods have some.

Other than fish, there aren’t many good animal product sources of magnesium.

That’s why vegans don’t usually have much trouble getting magnesium. You were eating it before, and now you’re eating more of the foods that are good sources.

Additionally, magnesium is often added to foods that are fortified.

How Much Magnesium Do You Need?

The recommended daily allowance of magnesium ranges from 310-420 mg for adults (Source).

magnesium rda chart

It’s possible to get your RDA in a single serving if you eat the right foods.

Magnesium deficiency isn’t very common, but when it does occur, it comes with symptoms like loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, and muscle cramps.

The Best Overall Vegan Sources of Magnesium

We’ll look at a few tables of the best sources with amounts of magnesium by weight and calories in a second.

But first, you might find this bubble chart useful to visualize what your options are for magnesium. It compares the amount per 100 grams to the amount per 100 calories, to see which food sources are the most efficient.

A perfect food would have a lot of magnesium per serving, while not having too many calories, this would be the top-right corner of the chart below (click to enlarge):

Magnesium is unique in that there really is no source that is both high in magnesium and low in calories.

You have 2 main groups:

  • Leafy greens – The spinach, chard, and other greens are all high in magnesium per calorie, but low on a per weight basis. This means that you need to eat a ton of them to get a substantial amount of magnesium.
  • Seeds and nuts – While these have a lot more calories, they are the more realistic group to choose. They have a lot of magnesium per 100 grams.

The Best Vegan Sources of Magnesium Per 100 Grams

Using data from the USDA, I’ve compiled a list of the 30 best whole foods that you can eat to get magnesium.

It does not include processed and pre-packaged foods like cereals that may be fortified with magnesium.

FoodMagnesium (mg) per 100 grams
Hemp seeds700
Flaxseed393
Brazil nut376
Sesame seeds351
Chia seeds333
Almonds270
Pumpkin seeds263
Cashew260
Pine nuts250
Buckwheat groats221
Seaweed (dried)200
Oats177
Peanuts168
Hazelnut163
Walnut157
Macadamia nut130
Pecans121
Pistachio nuts120
Wheat flour (whole-grain)117
Rye grain110
Swiss chard81
Spinach79
Lima beans74
Water spinach71
Black beans70
Amaranth65
Quinoa64
Soybeans60
Artichoke60
Okra57

Many adults can meet their RDA with a large serving of hemp or flax seeds.

Seeds and certain types of nuts (brazil, pine, cashew) have good amounts of magnesium, as do certain grains (oats, rye, amaranth).

The Best Vegan Sources of Magnesium Per 100 Calories

As we saw in the bubble chart, certain leafy greens have a good amount of magnesium, but you have to eat a ton of them.

That might be good if you’re trying to lose weight, but otherwise you probably want to stick to the foods in the above section.

FoodMagnesium (mg) per 100 calories
Swiss chard427
Water spinach364
Spinach345
Arugula180
Okra174
Watercress167
Bok choy144
Artichoke128
Hemp seeds127
Mustard greens120
Squash106
Zucchini105
Rapini100
Lettuce (red leaf)95
Turnip greens94
Kale93
Cucumber87
Green bean82
Celery78
Flaxseed74
Seaweed (dried)70
Gourd69
Napa cabbage69
Chia seeds68
Radish67
Buckwheat groats64
Amaranth64
Asparagus62
Broccoli61
Sesame seeds61

Overall, most people don’t need to do anything special to reach their RDA of magnesium. But if you’re worried you’ve been missing some, include any of those top vegan magnesium food sources in your meals and you’ll easily reach your goals.

Vegan Recipes High in Magnesium

Most seeds and nuts can either be eaten by themselves or just thrown on salads, but in case you want to get a bit fancier, here’s a few vegan recipes that feature good sources of magnesium:

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

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