Magnesium – Vegan Food Sources
Happily, there are myriad magnesium-rich vegan foods! Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, tofu, quinoa, leafy green veg, chlorella, spirulina, and instant coffee are all high in magnesium… hmm, maybe the last one’s not so great. In fact, some of the best food sources of this important macromineral are vegan, making magnesium deficiency quite unlikely if you follow a varied vegan diet and take care to lightly steam veg or eat them raw rather than boiling them to death and leaching all the minerals and vitamins into the water.
Vegan Magnesium-Rich Recipes
Below there’s a handy little table with a whole load of magnesium-rich vegan foods and their average amount of magnesium per serving. I’ve included some non-vegan foods for the sake of comparison, and you’ll see there’s very little doubt about the best places to get your macrominerals! For a recipe that is brimful of magnesium try this tasty vegan tofu, spinach and mushroom lasagne, my favourite vegan lasagne recipe that’s simple to make, looks impressive, is nutritious and delicious! To make it even higher in magnesium you could throw in a handful or broken cashew pieces, make vegan cashew ricotta as an extra rich sauce layer, or have a handful of almonds to accompany your salad.
Selected food sources of magnesium
|Halibut, cooked, 3 ounces||90mg|
|Almonds, dry roasted,1 ounce||80mg|
|Cashews, dry roasted, 1 ounce||75mg|
|Soybeans,mature, cooked, ½ cup||75mg|
|Spinach, frozen,cooked, ½ cup||75mg|
|Nuts, mixed, dry roasted, 1 ounce||65mg|
|Cereal, shredded wheat, 2 rectangular biscuits||55mg|
|Oatmeal, instant, fortified, prepared w/ water, 1 cup||55mg|
|Potato, baked w/ skin, 1 medium||50mg|
|Peanuts, dryroasted,1 ounce||50mg|
|Peanut butter, smooth, 2 Tablespoons||50mg|
|Wheat Bran, crude, 2 Tablespoons||45mg|
|BlackeyedPeas, cooked, ½ cup||45mg|
|Yogurt, plain,skim milk, 8 fluid ounces||45mg|
|Bran Flakes, ½ cup||40mg|
|Vegetarian Baked Beans, ½ cup||40mg|
|Rice, brown,long-grained, cooked, ½ cup||40mg|
|Lentils, mature seeds, cooked, ½ cup||35mg|
|Avocado, California, ½ cup pureed||35mg|
|Kidney Beans,canned, ½ cup||35mg|
|Pinto Beans, cooked, ½ cup||35mg|
|WheatGerm, crude, 2 Tablespoons||35mg|
|Chocolate milk, 1cup||33mg|
|Banana, raw, 1 medium||30mg|
|Milk Chocolate candy bar, 1.5ounce bar||28mg|
|Milk, reduced fat (2%) or fat free, 1 cup||27mg|
|Bread, whole wheat, commercially prepared, 1 slice||25mg|
|Raisins, seedless, ½ cup packed||25mg|
|Whole Milk, 1 cup||24mg|
|Chocolate Pudding, 4 ounce ready-to-eat portion||24mg|
Calcium and Magnesium Cautions
It is important to remember that calcium and magnesium work together in the body too, so if you take a high dose of one it can unbalance your system and cause problems associated with a deficiency of the other. It is also possible that taking a high dose of magnesium in supplement form, or even by gorging on foods rich in magnesium may spark what some naturopaths call a ‘healing crisis’, leaving you with headaches, diarrhoea, and all manner of complaints.
Magnesium Deficiency in Vegans
The moral of the story is – don’t fiddle around with your health by taking large doses of anything and be wary of practitioners advising high levels of any vitamin, mineral, or nutrient without an adequate explanation of why they deem it necessary and what the side-effects may be. Just because magnesium occurs naturally in our food it does not make it safe and some people will react strongly to it even at a low level in supplemental form. On the other hand, the richness and variety of tasty vegan food sources of magnesium make it unlikely that vegans will be deficient in this important macromineral.
Other food sources of magnesium can be found in the USDA’s nutrition tables.
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