Magnesium is an extremely important mineral. It’s involved in hundreds of chemical reactions in your body and helps you maintain good health. Unfortunately, many people don’t reach the recommended daily intake of 400 mg. However, eating foods high in magnesium can help you meet the daily requirement. Here are 5 healthy foods that are rich in magnesium.
1. Dark Chocolate – 327 mg
Dark chocolate is the ultimate happiness food. Its cocoa fat and sugar increase serotonin, your “good mood” neurotransmitter; chocolate’s phenylethylamine releases endorphins similar to when you’re in love; and its caffeine offers a stimulating boost. The cocoa is also good for you: it’s super high in magnesium: 80 grams (one-quarter bar) provides 25% of daily magnesium needs. It’s also well known for its polyphenol antioxidants that lower LDL cholesterol and boost heart health.
2. Halibut – 170 mg
Halibut is a low-fat fish, so it doesn’t have as much of the heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids as high-fat fish like salmon. However, it is an excellent source of lean, quality protein, and it’s chock-full of vitamins and minerals. A 3-ounce filet has 170 mg of magnesium– over half of your daily needs! It is also a source of calcium, iron, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, vitamin D and vitamin A.
3. Cooked Spinach – 157 mg
Spinach is packed with magnesium, especially when it’s cooked! It provides 157 mg in one cup, which is almost half of what you need in a day. This green superfood is also known for its high iron content. Remember to eat it with food that contains vitamin C to increase absorption of iron, and therefore gain more benefits. Also add healthy oil like extra virgin olive oil to the meal to increase absorption of spinach’s high amounts of vitamins A, E and K.
4. Pumpkin and Squash Seeds – 151 mg
Pumpkin seeds are exceptionally high in magnesium: 2 tablespoons contain 74 mg, 25% of your recommended daily intake (RDI). They also offer 8 grams of protein and 8% of your daily iron needs. And because pumpkin seeds have high levels of the amino acid called tryptophan (that is more easily absorbed than in turkey), eating a handful at night will calm you. They will also increase melatonin levels– a hormone which helps induce sleep.
5. Black Beans – 120 mg
Like other legumes, black beans are a favorite vegetarian staple because of their high protein and fiber content, and low fat and cholesterol. They’re a rich source of magnesium: 1/2 cup = 60 mg. Black beans help strengthen bones because the magnesium is also combined with high calcium and phosphorus. They help manage diabetes because their fiber has been shown to improve blood sugar levels; and they contain antioxidants quercetin and saponins, which are known to be good for your heart.