Recommended Dietary Allowances for adults:
- Men: 400–420 mg
- Women: 310–320 mg
How much magnesium is in your food?
- Pumpkin seed - kernels: Serving Size 1 oz, 168 mg
- Almonds, dry roasted: Serving Size 1 oz, 80 mg
- Spinach, boiled: Serving Size ½ cup, 78 mg
- Cashews, dry roasted: Serving Size 1 oz, 74 mg
- Pumpkin seeds in shell: Serving Size 1 oz, 74 mg
- Peanuts, oil roasted: Serving Size ¼ cup, 63 mg
- Cereal, shredded wheat: Serving Size 2 large biscuits, 61 mg
- Soymilk, plain or vanilla: Serving Size 1 cup, 61 mg
- Black beans, cooked: Serving Size ½ cup, 60 mg
- Edamame, shelled, cooked: Serving Size ½ cup, 50 mg
- Dark chocolate -60-69% cacoa: Serving Size 1 oz, 50 mg
- Peanut butter, smooth: Serving Size 2 tablespoons, 49 mg
- Bread, whole wheat: Serving Size 2 slices, 46 mg
- Avocado, cubed: Serving Size 1 cup, 44 mg
- Potato, baked with skin: Serving Size 3.5 oz, 43 mg
- Rice, brown, cooked: Serving Size ½ cup, 42 mg
- Yogurt, plain, low fat: Serving Size 8 oz, 42 mg
- Breakfast cereals fortified: Serving Size 10% fortification, 40 mg
- Oatmeal, instant: Serving Size 1 packet, 36 mg
- Kidney beans, canned: Serving Size ½ cup, 35 mg
- Banana: Serving Size 1 medium, 32 mg
- Cocoa powder– unsweetened: Serving Size 1 tablespoon, 27 mg
- Salmon, Atlantic, farmed: Serving Size 3 oz, 26 mg
- Milk: Serving Size 1 cup, 24–27 mg
- Halibut, cooked: Serving Size 3 oz, 24 mg
- Raisins: Serving Size ½ cup, 23 mg
- Chicken breast, roasted: Serving Size 3 oz, 22 mg
- Beef, ground, 90% lean: Serving Size 3 oz, 20 mg
- Broccoli, chopped & cooked: Serving Size ½ cup, 12 mg
- Rice, white, cooked: Serving Size ½ cup, 10 mg
- Apple: Serving Size 1 medium, 9 mg
- Carrot, raw: Serving Size 1 medium, 7 mg
In general rich sources of magnesium are greens, nuts, seeds, dry beans, whole grains, wheat germ, wheat and oat bran. The recommended dietary allowance for magnesium for adult men is 400-420 mg per day. The dietary allowance for adult women is 310-320 mg per day.
For additional information please visit The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Nutrient Database website (see References) which lists the nutrient content of many foods and where you can search a comprehensive list of foods for magnesium content.
Can too much or too little magnesium be harmful?
The magnesium that is naturally present in food is not harmful and does not need to be limited. Magnesium in dietary supplements and medications should not be consumed in amounts above the upper limit, unless recommended by a healthcare provider. Cramps and diarrhea are common side effects.
A deficiency due to low dietary intake is not common in healthy people. However, ongoing low intakes or excessive losses of magnesium due to certain health conditions, chronic alcoholism, Crohn's disease, celiac disease, or intestinal surgery, and/or the use of certain medications, can lead to magnesium deficiency.
The early signs of magnesium deficiency include:
- Loss of appetite.
As magnesium deficiency gets worse, other symptoms may occur, including:
- Muscle contractions and cramps.
- Personality changes.
- Abnormal heart rhythms.
- Coronary spasms.