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Foods High in Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that plays an important role in the body.

Benefits of magnesium include:

  • Helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar
  • Supports the muscles and nerve function
  • Works with other nutrients to build strong bones
  • Helps the heart keep a steady beat

Your care team may ask you to add more foods high in magnesium to your child’s diet. Foods with high amounts of magnesium include green plants, nuts, and whole grains. Foods with low amounts of magnesium include vegetables, fruits, seeds, milk, and meat.

Certain cooking methods can lower the amount of magnesium in food. Two ways to prevent losing magnesium are:

  • Avoid high-heat cooking methods such as broiling or searing.
  • Use small amounts of water to steam vegetables instead of soaking or boiling them.

Increasing magnesium-rich foods in your child’s diet does not cause a laxative effect. Taking magnesium as a supplement may cause a laxative effect. Talk to your care team about any supplements before your child starts taking them.

The following list of foods may help you add magnesium-rich foods to your child’s diet.

Foods that are good sources of magnesium


Chicken, halibut, mackerel, oysters, salmon, scallops


Artichoke, black beans, black-eyed peas, broccoli, chickpeas, edamame, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, okra, plantain, potato, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, spinach, Swiss chard


Apricots, avocado, banana, blackberry, cantaloupe, kiwi, raisins, strawberries


Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, peanut butter, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts


Bran, brown rice, fortified breakfast cereal, multigrain cereal, oatmeal, quinoa, whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta


Milk (whole, 2%, skim), soy milk, tofu, yogurt


Chocolate, chocolate hazelnut spread, cocoa powder, chocolate instant breakfast powder beverage mix, tahini

Read more about nutrition.

Foods that are good sources of magnesium

Key Points

  • Magnesium is an important mineral in a healthy diet.
  • Magnesium-rich foods include green leafy vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.
  • How you cook foods affects their nutrients. Steam vegetables instead of boiling them to prevent nutrient loss when cooking.

Reviewed: August 2022