Magnesium – Vegan Food Sources

magnesium-rich vegan foodsHappily, 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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Leave a Comment

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

halcyon March 12, 2016 at 19:36

I’m confused, THis is meant to be a vegan health type site yet your are posting non vegan options in your recomendations of foods containing Magnesium….um fish isn’t vegan…neither is yoghurt…so why are your promoting such foods?

L Matthews March 12, 2016 at 20:14


Thanks for the comment.

The non-vegan items in the list are there for comparison, so people can see that some of the best dietary sources of magnesium are vegan, not animal-based.

Hope that clarifies things! There’s definitely no intent to promote the consumption of fish or dairy yoghurt!



Eleanor Gamarsh September 11, 2017 at 13:44

My daughter was concerned so sent me to this info. Thinks I my be taking too much Mag. supplement and Cal. Citrate/D/Mag. Need to have memory refreshed on this nutritional stuff. I follow Lacto-Vegetarian diet, often lean toward Vegan because of some sensitivity to Dairy. Tough when I like cheese. Maybe because of Northern European ancestry.