Magnesium in foods
Magnesium is an essential mineral. We need to introduce it into our body through our diet every day as it can’t produce the mineral itself. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends a magnesium intake of around 300 to 400 mg a day for young people and adults regardless of age and sex. Find out what foods contain magnesium and why it’s not always easy to get your daily requirement from your diet alone.
Which foods contain magnesium?
Bananas are probably the best-known examples of a food that contains large amounts of magnesium. But don’t worry, you don’t need to have a banana-only diet. There are lots more “magnesium foods”, including, you’ll be pleased to hear, plain chocolate - so you can have a sweet snack every now and then. Here are a few examples of other foods that are rich in magnesium:
- Wholemeal bread
- Brown rice
- Sunflower seeds
Can you cover your daily magnesium requirement with magnesium-rich foods all the time?
Generally, men need more magnesium than women. For example: Whilst women over 25 need 300 mg magnesium a day, men in the same age group need 50 mg more. The amount women over 25 need to eat to cover their daily magnesium requirement is shown below, depending on type of food:
- approx. 200 g peanuts or
- approx. two bars of plain chocolate or
- approx. three portions of chips or
- approx. six bananas or
- approx. 20 bread rolls
The diet you need to ensure you get sufficient magnesium
Processing foods or not preparing them correctly (for example, overcooking vegetables) can reduce the amount of magnesium they contain. You can achieve your recommended daily allowance of magnesium through a healthy, balanced and varied diet.
Magnesium is contained in lots of foods. so, there are lots of ways to ensure you get enough. Nibbling on a few nuts instead of crisps in front of the telly, or replacing a bread roll with a wholemeal version is an easy way to make your daily routine a little richer in magnesium.