Skip to content

10 Nuts & Seeds That Are Almost As Good As Taking A Magnesium Supplement

Stephanie Eckelkamp
Contributing Health & Nutrition Editor
By Stephanie Eckelkamp
Contributing Health & Nutrition Editor
Stephanie Eckelkamp is a writer and editor who has been working for leading health publications for the past 10 years. She received her B.S. in journalism from Syracuse University with a minor in nutrition.
Megan Fahey, M.S., R.D., CDN
Expert review by
Megan Fahey, M.S., R.D., CDN
Registered Dietitian
Megan Fahey, M.S., R.D., CDN is a Registered Dietitian, Functional Medicine Nutritionist and Registered Yoga Teacher. She holds her Masters of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Bastyr University, where she was trained to artfully blend eastern and western healing modalities.
Image by Suzanne Clements / Stocksy
Last updated on October 11, 2019

As a nation, we are falling woefully short in a mineral that's essential for nearly 300 biochemical reactions in the body: magnesium. In fact, studies indicate that about 75 percent of Americans don't meet the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium, yet it's needed for our brain, nerves, heart, eyes, immune system, and muscles to function.

And as if that wasn't enough, not getting enough magnesium—even if you're not technically deficient—can set you up for issues like migraines, sugar cravings and insulin resistance, trouble sleeping, anxiety, and more.

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

The good news: There are some pretty delicious foods that pack a big magnesium punch. Nuts and seeds, in particular, are some of the highest magnesium foods on the planet, and incorporating them into your diet can go a long way in boosting your levels naturally (although, there's absolutely nothing wrong with a magnesium supplement).

Here, we've ranked the nuts and seeds with the most magnesium (per 1-ounce serving) so you can supplement the natural way:

1.

Brazil nuts

An ounce of Brazil nuts (about six nuts) contains a whopping 26 percent of your RDA for magnesium. But there is one catch—you shouldn't eat an entire serving of Brazil nuts on a daily basis (every now and then is OK). That's because Brazil nuts are so high in the mineral selenium that you could actually go way overboard. That said, two Brazil nuts per day is an amazing way to get a healthy dose of selenium, which is great for thyroid health.

2.

Chia seeds

Who knew that an ounce of chia seeds has a whopping 23 percent of your RDA for magnesium? This, plus the fact that it's a great source of fiber (40 percent of your RDA) and plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, makes it one worthy smoothie add-in. 

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
3.

Cashews

Time to whip up some homemade cashew milk! This nut packs 20 percent of your RDA for magnesium, along with 10 percent of your RDA for iron, which can help battle fatigue and prevent hair loss.

4.

Pili nuts

Maybe you haven't heard of pili nuts yet, but they should definitely be on your radar. As the highest fat, lowest carb (just 1 gram!) nut out there, they're a keto dieters dream. Plus, they have 20 percent of your daily value of magnesium.

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
5.

Almonds

Whether you're eating them in the form of almonds or almond butter, 1 ounce packs 19 percent of your RDA for magnesium. For a nut, almonds are a pretty great source of protein (6 grams), too, and they even provide you with some calcium.

6.

Pumpkin seeds

Roasted salted pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, make the ideal healthy salad topper, as 1 ounce contains 18 percent of your RDA for magnesium, along with 20 percent of your fiber needs, and 11 percent of your daily iron quota. Plus, they're just plain delicious.

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
7.

Walnuts

Often considered one of the healthiest nuts on the planet (that happens to be one of the most reasonably priced, too), walnuts contain 11 percent of the RDA for magnesium. And while they're not the highest, they do deliver plenty of plant-based omega-3s and contain more polyphenol antioxidants than other nuts.

8.

Hazelnuts

Tied with walnuts, hazelnuts also provide 11 percent of your RDA for magnesium. They also deliver around 10 percent of your vitamin B6 needs, a nutrient that's important for keeping the immune system and nervous system healthy.

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
9.

Sunflower seeds

Proving that good things come in very small packages, sunflower seeds deliver 9 percent of your RDA for magnesium, along with 14 percent of your zinc, a mineral that strengthens the immune system, helps with wound healing and the synthesis of DNA, and more.

10.

Pistachios

Noticeably lower in magnesium than some of the other picks on this list, but worth noting, are pistachios. While they provide only 8 percent of your RDA for magnesium, they're a great source of the carotenoid antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are great for eye health (and with all this screen time, we need all the help we can get!).

Want to turn your passion for wellbeing into a fulfilling career? Become a Certified Health Coach! Learn more here.
Stephanie Eckelkamp
Stephanie Eckelkamp
Contributing Health & Nutrition Editor

Stephanie Eckelkamp is a writer and editor who has been working for leading health publications for the past 10 years. She received her B.S. in journalism from Syracuse University with a minor in nutrition. In addition to contributing to mindbodygreen, she has written for Women's Health, Prevention, and Health. She is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She has a passion for natural, toxin-free living, particularly when it comes to managing issues like anxiety and chronic Lyme disease (read about how she personally overcame Lyme disease here).