magnesium rich foods Featured

Why You Should Add These Magnesium Rich Foods to Your Diet

Learn about the mineral magnesium and why it’s so important for us! This post also includes a list of delicious magnesium rich foods you can add to your diet.

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is an extremely important mineral for the human body. It is required as a cofactor in over 300 enzyme systems that perform all kinds of biochemical reactions! Magnesium is needed for protein synthesis, blood pressure regulation, blood sugar control, and muscle and nerve function, just to name a few.

Because more than half of the magnesium in our bodies is found in bone (50%-60%), magnesium levels are difficult to measure. However, many Americans are not getting the recommended amount of magnesium in their diets. The current Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA’s) for magnesium for adults is between 310-420 mg per day, based on age and gender (1).

Magnesium Health Benefits

Magnesium plays a crucial role in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the human body. Because of this, it has significant health benefits.

  • Cardiovascular Disease: Magnesium might help to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure/hypertension is a known risk factor for stroke and heart disease. There is limited evidence that magnesium supplementation is associated with lowering blood pressure. However, one study showed that increased dietary magnesium from the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet lead to a drop in blood pressure (2).
  • Type 2 Diabetes: Diets high in magnesium are beneficial to prevent Type 2 Diabetes, likely because magnesium plays an important role in glucose metabolism. One meta-analysis showed that increasing magnesium intake by 100 mg per day significantly lowered the risk of Type 2 diabetes (3). Type 2 Diabetes causes higher urinary losses of magnesium, so it’s also important for those with the disease to get enough in their diets.
  • Bone Health: More than half of the magnesium in our bodies exists in bones. It is a part of bone formation, and helps regulate concentrations of other factors needed for strong bones. Even though we stop accumulating bone mass by the age of 25, research shows some positive associations between magnesium intake and bone mineral density in adults (4). This is especially important for post-menopausal women, who are at higher risk of osteoporosis! Magnesium may be just as important as calcium and vitamin D to promote good bone health.
  • Sleep: Magnesium supplementation may help with sleep and insomnia. One study showed that 8 weeks of daily magnesium supplementation lead to improved measures of insomnia, such as sleep time and serum melatonin levels (5).

Eight Magnesium Rich Foods

Now that we’ve gone over the importance of magnesium, and recognize what a powerful mineral it is, here are some delicious ways to add it to your diet!

Spinach and Leafy Greens

kale caesar salad

Half a cup of cooked spinach contains 20% of your daily magnesium needs. Enjoy it as a base for a salad, sautéed in an omelet, or blended into a green smoothie! Spinach and leafy greens are also good sources of fiber, and vitamins A, C and K. Try this Kale Caesar Salad with Spice Roasted Chickpeas or Spinach, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Quesadilla recipe to get your daily dose of leafy greens!

Beans and Legumes

mushroom tacos with mango avocado salsa

Beans and legumes are an inexpensive source of plant based protein, plus tons of other nutrients. Half a cup of black beans contain 15% of your daily magnesium needs, and half a cup of kidney beans contain 9%. Beans are one of the foods that people in all five Blue Zones eat regularly, which are areas of the world where people live longer than average. Try out these Quinoa Enchilada Stuffed Peppers or Mushroom Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa, both which include black beans.

Avocado

chickpea avocado stuffed sweet potatoes

We all know that avocado is full of healthy fats and potassium, but it also contains magnesium. One cup has 11% of our daily needs. Avocado is such a yummy and filling addition to salads, grain bowls, and even smoothies! Check out my Chickpea and Avocado Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and Vegan Avocado Quesadillas for some new avocado filled meal ideas.

Tofu

crispy baked tofu, magnesium rich foods

Tofu is a versatile vegetarian diet staple. It is an inexpensive, easy to prepare source of plant-based protein, and it also contains minerals like magnesium, calcium, and iron. A 3.5 oz serving of tofu contains 13% of our daily magnesium needs. Some of my favorite tofu recipes include these Peanut Tofu Vermicelli Rice Noodle Bowls with Quick Pickled Vegetables, Tofu Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce, and Crispy Baked Tofu.

Edamame

edamame

Another soy product, edamame are immature soy beans. They are eaten steamed, and are delicious on their own with just a little salt! Edamame is a nutrition powerhouse, as it contains fiber, healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates. It’s also a good source of Vitamin C, iron, and magnesium – one cup has 24% of our daily needs. Try steamed edamame as one of my favorite Healthy Snack Ideas or in this Broccoli Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing.

Nuts

chocolate coconut balls, magnesium rich foods

Nuts are one of my favorite foods to snack on. They’re a good source of healthy fats, plant-based protein, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals. Almonds and cashews are particularly good source of magnesium. One ounce of either will give us around 20% of our daily needs! I love making healthy sweets using nuts, nut butter, or almond flour. Check out these recipes that use nut based ingredients: Almond Butter Zucchini Brownies, Freezer Cookie Dough Fudge, and Chocolate Coconut Balls.

Seeds

cauliflower sweet potato salad

Like nuts, seeds are also a wonderful food to snack on. A tablespoon of flax, chia, or sesame seeds gives us around 10% of our daily magnesium needs. I love to sprinkle seeds on top of oatmeal bowls or salads, and include them in my baking. This Cauliflower Sweet Potato Salad with Tahini Citrus Vinaigrette recipe uses sesame, or try this Blended Chocolate Chia Pudding.

Dark Chocolate

Fudgy Tahini Brownies with Chocolate Drizzle

Saving the best for last, dark chocolate is probably everyone’s favorite magnesium rich food! A one ounce piece contains 16% of our daily magnesium needs. Dark chocolate is also rich in flavanol antioxidants, which are protective against cardiovascular disease. Dark chocolate is obviously delicious on it’s own, or in desserts! Try these Fudgy Tahini Brownies or Raw Cashew Coconut Snickerdoodle Truffles.

Magnesium is a super important mineral for a ton of biochemical processes in our bodies, and has many health benefits. Load up your plate with magnesium rich foods to get your daily doses! As you can see, including a variety of foods from different food groups will give you a healthy dose of magnesium, as well as other necessary vitamins and minerals.

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spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla Featured

Spinach, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Quesadilla

A modern and more nutritious take on the classic cheese quesadilla. This recipe calls for sprouted grain wraps, goat cheese and lots of vegetables for lots of nourishing ingredients in every bite.

spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla

 This quesadilla might be my new favorite lunch to whip up when I am home. This meal feels decadent and even a little bit fancy, but it is loaded with good-for-you ingredients! Goat cheese is one of the top three best cheeses in my opinion (right up there with brie and fresh mozzarella). I almost always have it served cold in a salad or spread on a cracker, but after making this recipe, warm goat cheese is where it’s at!

In addition to goat cheese, this quesadilla packs in lots of vegetables. The combination of sweet caramelized onion, mushrooms and spinach will give you about one full serving of veggies per quesadilla. That’s just about the easiest way to get you closer to your five a day!

I used Angelic Bakehouse sprouted 7-grain wraps instead of traditional flour tortillas for this quesadilla to make this recipe even more nutritious. These wraps are made with sprouted grains, which may be easier for many people to digest! Sprouting a grain also increases the levels of B vitamins including folate, fiber and amino acids. Sprouted grains also have a reduced glycemic index than non-sprouted grains. This means that sprouted grains cause a slower, more stable rise in blood sugar after consuming them. I absolutely love the nutty taste and texture of these wraps, and they become perfectly soft yet crispy when griddled in the skillet!

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spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla

This recipe is easily customizable, as different cheeses and vegetables would pair well with these wraps.

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spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla

Spinach, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Quesadilla

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 quesadillas 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes

Description

A modern and more nutritious take on the classic cheese quesadilla.  


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 Vidalia onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 4 handfuls baby spinach
  • 4 Angelic Bakehouse sprouted 7-grain wraps
  • 1 small log of goat cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on low-medium heat. Add the sliced onion and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are a light golden brown. Deglaze with balsamic vinegar.
  2. Heat remaining olive oil in a separate skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms, cooking about 5 minutes, then stir in spinach until wilted. Remove veggies from skillet and wipe clean.
  3. Heat the same skillet on medium heat, and add a few sprays of spray oil.
  4. Arrange the quesadillas by spreading 1-2 tbsp goat cheese on onto each wrap. Top with cooked vegetables and lemon zest, and fold over to close.
  5. Cook each quesadilla 2-3 minutes per side until wrap begins is warm and begins to crisp.

Keywords: goat cheese, quesadilla, caramelized onions

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spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla

Thank you Angelic Bakehouse for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.