Magnesium is involved in the formation of bones and teeth. The mineral also helps with muscle contractions and relaxations, as well as regulating blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Possible symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle cramps, tremors, fatigue, headaches, loss of appetite, and nausea.
You can find the magnesium content of vegetables in the table above.
Do You Have A Higher Need For Magnesium?
The daily requirement of magnesium for adults is about 300 to 400 mg. Certain groups of people have a higher magnesium requirement than others. The list reveals some of these groups, including:
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women require more magnesium for fetal development and breastfeeding.
- Older people often have lower magnesium levels and may therefore need more magnesium to stay healthy.
- People with chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, or alcoholism may have an increased need for magnesium.
- Athletes, especially endurance athletes, may need more magnesium as it plays an important role in energy production and muscle contraction. Additionally, intense training can lead to increased magnesium excretion through sweat, further increasing the need for magnesium.
- Certain medications such as diuretics, antibiotics, and antidepressants can lower magnesium levels in the body and increase the need for magnesium.
- People with digestive problems such as celiac disease, Crohn's disease, or ulcerative colitis may have difficulty absorbing magnesium from food. They may need a higher magnesium intake.
With a vegan diet, you can easily meet your needs as long as you pay attention to a balanced and diverse diet. By including magnesium-rich vegetables in your diet, you can already cover a large part. Also, make use of the linked tables to enrich your diet with more magnesium:
- Fruits with high magnesium content
- Magnesium-rich beverages
- Seeds, nuts, and kernels with magnesium
- Spices and herbs with magnesium
- Whole grain and cereal products with magnesium
Vegetables With High Magnesium Content
There are many magnesium-rich foods, but magnesium-rich vegetables are a particularly good option. In particular, green leafy vegetables are one of the best sources of magnesium in a plant-based diet. Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are excellent plant-based sources of magnesium. Spinach and Swiss chard contain about 20% of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium per 100 grams. Kale contains about 8%. Green leafy vegetables are also rich in other important nutrients such as calcium, iron, and vitamin C.
In addition, starchy vegetables such as potatoes, parsnips, and carrots also have higher amounts of magnesium. Especially when potatoes are eaten with the skin, more magnesium is absorbed.
Legumes such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas also provide a higher occurrence of magnesium according to the table. One cup of cooked beans contains about 20 to 25% of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium. Legumes are also rich in fiber and plant proteins. Therefore, they are excellent choices for vegans.
Getting More Magnesium From Vegetables
There are some factors that can help improve magnesium absorption from vegetables:
- Combine magnesium-rich vegetables with vitamin D-rich foods such as mushrooms, fortified plant-based drinks, or vegan supplements to enhance the absorption of magnesium.
- Add fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, kimchi, or fermented pickles to your diet. Fermentation helps the body to better absorb magnesium.
- Soak legumes to reduce the phytic acid content in these foods, which typically inhibits magnesium absorption.
- Cooked vegetables usually have higher bioavailability of magnesium compared to raw vegetables since magnesium is released during cooking and can be more easily absorbed by the body. Keep in mind that some magnesium may be lost in the cooking water. However, this can be compensated for by consuming the cooking water or using it in soups or sauces. Alternatively, vegetables can be quickly cooked instead of cooking them for a long time at a slow pace to minimize the loss of magnesium. Cooking with minimal water and low heat can also reduce the amount of magnesium that gets leached out.
Vegetables As Part Of A Magnesium-rich Diet
Here are some suggestions on how to incorporate magnesium-rich vegetables into your diet:
- Use magnesium-rich vegetables to prepare healthy smoothies or juices. Spinach, kale, and cucumbers are good examples of vegetables that work well in smoothies.
- Prepare delicious dishes with magnesium-rich vegetables. For example, you could try making a vegan vegetable lasagna with spinach or a broccoli quiche.
- Snack on vegetables that are rich in magnesium. Carrots, bell peppers, and celery are great options for snacking and can be paired with various dips like hummus or guacamole.
- Use magnesium-rich vegetables as ingredients in soups or stews. Spinach, broccoli, or kale can also be used as a base for soups. For example, you can prepare a broccoli cream soup or a kale soup this way.
- Use artichokes, arugula, spinach, and broccoli as toppings on pizzas.
- Fill sandwiches or wraps with magnesium-rich vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, arugula, spinach, or bell peppers.
- Add magnesium-rich vegetables like broccoli or spinach as a side dish to pasta dishes.