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9 Magnesium-Rich Foods

30 August 2013 - Posted by Ashley under ,

Although we have already posted a thorough list of foods that contain magnesium, we have failed to go into the other benefits of consuming these nutrient-rich magnesium sources. Magnesium certainly isn’t the only piece to the health puzzle, and we often find ourselves trying to obtain as many nutrients as possible in just a few meals.

So, on top of being rich sources of magnesium, here are some additional pieces of health information on these nutrient-dense foods.

9 Magnesium-Rich Foods

 

Brazil Nuts

  • Brazil nuts are an excellent source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids such as palmitoleic & oleic acids that have been shown to help lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increases HDL or “good cholesterol” in the blood.
  • They are also a very good source of vitamin-E. Vitamin-E is a powerful lipid-soluble antioxidant. It is required for maintaining the integrity of the cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful free radicals.
  • The nuts are an excellent source of B-vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) and folates.
  • Brazil nuts contain high levels of minerals such as selenium, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc. Magnesium is a key nutrient in a whole host of biological processes. Selenium is an important co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme glutathione-peroxidase. Copper helps prevent anemia & bone weakness. Manganese is an important co-factor for antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase.


Halibut

  • Halibut is an abundant source of high quality protein, and an excellent source of magnesium – a natural calcium channel blocker.
  • This cold water fish is also rich in Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega-3 is required for cardiovascular health; its benefits  include reducing the risk of clotting, prevention of erratic or irregular heartbeat, and reduction of triglycerides.
  • Halibut is a good source of B vitamins, including B12, B6 and folic acid (B9), as well as selenium which is a required macro-nutrient for healthy thyroid function.
  • Intake of this nutrient dense fish has been found to improve electrical properties of heart cells & lower the risk of certain types of stroke.


Cocoa/Cacao

  • Cacao is chock full of antioxidant flavanoids – which may play a role in inhibiting cancer and heart disease. Flavanols, a type of flavanoid compound, have also been found to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
  • Cacao helps raise the levels of serotonin in the brain, which acts as a natural anti-depressant, as well as stimulate endorphin secretion.
  • It also contains numerous vital minerals including calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
  • Cacao also contains the alkaloid theobromine which is known to be a natural diuretic, vasodilator, and heart stimulator.


Rice Bran

  • 9 Magnesium-Rich Foods (Rice Bran)Rice bran is an excellent source of dietary fiber and is also low in sodium.
  • On top of magnesium, rice bran is also a good source of phosphorous, which is required for kidney function, heart health, nerve signalling and muscle contraction, as well as potassium, which is critical for brain and nerve function.
  • High quality sources of this bran will also yield a decent amount of protein, on top of some healthy Omega-3 & 6 fatty acids!
  • An notable source of B-vitamins, rice bran contains Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine (B6), Niacin, and Pantothenic Acid.
  • Not sure how to consume rice bran? Try adding it to smoothies for a bit of a boost!


Cashews

  • An oily nut, cashews are a wealth of monounsaturated fats – especially oleic acid.  What does that mean? Heart protection! Not only that but these are also known to help reduce triglyceride levels.
  • As with other tree nuts, cashews are chock full of antioxidants – an important factor in battling neurodegenerative diseases resulting from oxidative damage and stress.
  • Adequate intake of nuts, such as cashews, has been shown to lower the risk of gall stones.
  • Despite the high calorie & fat content of cashews, studies have shown that people who frequently consume nuts have lower incidence of weight gain.
  • Outside of their excellent magnesium content, cashews are a good copper source, as well. Copper is key in the production of melanin, a pigment found in hair and skin cells.


Quinoa

  • 9 Magnesium-Rich Foods (Quinoa)Gluten-free and sometimes referred to as a superfood, quinoa is a valuable source of protein – in fact, is a complete source, containing all 9 essential amino acids.
  • Containing high amounts of antioxidant phytonutrients, quercetin and kaempferol, quinoa makes for a great anti-inflammatory food and a quality addition to a heart-healthy diet.
  • Along with magnesium, quinoa contains high amounts of manganese, which is needed for healthy bones, folate, a water-soluble B-vitamin that is essential to cognitive function and prenatal health, and finally phosphorous.
  • One of the essential amino acids, tryptophan is a precursor for serotonin, a critical neurotransmitter for happiness.


Pumpkin Seeds

  • Are you getting enough zinc? If not, pumpkin seeds are overflowing with it! Zinc helps balance blood sugar, stabilize metabolism, and boost your immune system.
  • Another source of various forms of Vitamin-E  such as alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocomonoenol.
  • High in manganese, magnesium, tryptophan, phosphorous and other essential minerals, pumpkin seeds pack quite a punch in the nutrition department.
  • Surprisingly, pumpkin seeds have also been found to have anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties.


Almonds

  • 9 Magnesium-Rich Foods (Almonds)Almonds, which are a fruit seed, are another high-fat food – high “good fats”, that is, as these are monounsaturated fats.
  • Eating almonds has been found to help reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels due to numerous factors including the above mentioned healthy fats as well as plant sterols.
  • Abundant in magnesium, almonds also contain high amounts of potassium, which is essential in maintaining healthy blood pressure.
  • Almonds actually have the ability to lower the glycemic index of meals, as well as help maintain blood sugar levels and protect against diabetes.


Spinach

  • Dark, leafy greens are rich sources of minerals, but spinach in particular contains an abundance of magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, and zinc.
  • Spinach nutrition doesn’t stop at minerals, as it’s loaded with Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, folate, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6 and a continuing laundry-list of other health-boosting components.
  • Spinach phytonutrients have been shown to have both anti-inflammatory as well as anti-cancer benefits. In fact, the anti-cancer properties of spinach flavanoids are significant enough to have earned their own spotlight as extracts to be used in controlled research studies.
  • A superfood like spinach wouldn’t be complete without antioxidant properties that promote heart health as well as longevity.

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  • Sarah

    I am confused. the posts on the web site say that spinach and green leafy veg can decrease absorption of magnesium so it is better to steam spinach? It also says that nuts, seeds, whole grain and bran can also decrease absorption but these are top on the list for providing magnesium? Please clarify. I am also taking mineral supplements (real food not synthetic ones) and they provide 100% RDA manganese. Do you think this high manganese coudl interfere with the absorption of magnesium in my body? I am still getting eye twitches and I take the magnesium oil every day so i wonder if my diet of lots of spinach, seeds, nuts, bran are interfering? Nothing is making sense?

  • Anna

    Is the reduced absorption rate due to the phytic acid in the nuts etc? I read that phytic acid binds with minerals and prevents them from being absorbed. I understand that soaking nuts and seeds a few hours, e.g. overnight, before eating removes the phytic acid. I also gather that letting bread prove at least twice, i.e. 2 risings, somehow changes the phytic acid and deals with the mineral binding aspect. I think this may be one reason sourdough is so good.
    I don’t know what it is about spinach but am wondering about oxalic acid which I have read cautions about and that eating raw spinach is warned against because of this. But I’ld really like some clarification as I’m never sure whether it’s OK to use raw spinach in my salads.