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10 Magnesium-Rich Fruits You Must Stock Up On

Fruits High In Magnesium

If you’re looking to up your magnesium intake, exotic prickly pears are a particularly good bet. Butternut squash, avocados, bananas, kiwi fruits, and papayas can also help you meet your daily quota of magnesium. So can delicious watermelons, raisins, tomatoes, and apples.

To say your body needs magnesium is an understatement – after all, this important mineral plays a role in over 300 chemical reactions in the human body. Your muscles also require this mineral to contract and your nerves use it to receive and send messages. Magnesium also helps the heart maintain a steady beat and keeps your immune system healthy.1 And while a host of veggies, greens, seeds, and nuts can ply you with magnesium, a daily dose of fresh and delicious fruits can also chip in and help you meet your daily quota.

  • The recommended dietary intake of magnesium for adults between 19–30 years of age is 400 mg for men and 310 mg for women.
  • From the age of 31, men need an additional 20 mg, that is 420 mg, of this crucial mineral daily, while women need an additional 10 mg (320 mg).
  • The recommended intake for women when pregnant varies between 350–400 mg depending on how old they are.

In the following list, the daily value (DV) or daily target intake of magnesium is pegged at 400 mg for adults and the percentage (%) lets you know how much of your DV you will meet from the indicated serving size of the fruit.2

1. Prickly Pear

Prickly pears are rich in magnesium.

1 cup of prickly pears: 127 mg magnesium (31.7 % DV)

If you’re looking to load up on magnesium, prickly pears are just the ticket! This exotic fruit comes from a cactus and has red or yellow flesh that’s mildly sweet to taste. Just a cup of these and you get 127 mg of magnesium. That’s 31.7 % of your DV. To savor these delicious fruits, cut them in half, discard the seeds, and scoop out the flesh. A touch of lemon juice can help bring out its flavor.3

2. Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is rich in magnesium.

1 cup of squash: 59 mg magnesium (14.75% DV)

Though we tend to count butternut squash as a veggie, it is technically a fruit. One cup of cooked butternut squash can amount to 14.75% DV with 59 mg of this critical nutrient.4 And you have endless options when it comes to including this fruit in your diet. It can be pureed and added to soups, or mashed and used in breads, pies, and muffins. Or saute or roast it with some vegetables to make a healthy side. To satisfy that sweet tooth, cook them with some sugar and serve up with pecans or muesli.

3. Avocado

Avocados are rich in magnesium.

1 cup of avocado cubes: 44 mg magnesium (11% DV)
1 cup of avocado puree: 67 mg of iron (6.75% DV)

That all-time favorite ingredient for an easy dip, avocados are chock-full of healthy fats. And they’re not too shabby when it comes to their magnesium content either. A cup of creamy avocado cubes can give you 44 mg or 11% of your DV. You can also add a Mexican twist to your snacks by whipping up some guacamole. They can, in fact, be a healthy substitute for butter on your toast. A cup of pureed avocado gives you 67 mg of iron – that’s 16.75% DV just like that. 5

4. Banana

Bananas are rich in magnesium.

1 banana, medium size: 32 mg magnesium (8% DV)

Convenient, mess-free, and easy to carry around, bananas make a great snack. One medium sized banana will give you 8% of your magnesium DV via 32 mg of the mineral. Start your day with a delicious banana smoothie or chomp down some banana bread as a special treat to get a dose of magnesium.6

5. Kiwifruit

Kiwifruit is rich in magnesium.

1 cup of kiwi fruit: 31 mg magnesium (7.7% DV)

The exotic kiwi fruit reveals a surprisingly bright inside when its hairy brown peel is removed. For an easy snack, cut one in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. One cup of kiwi fruit slices will give you 31 mg of magnesium. That’s 7.7% of your DV.7

6. Papaya

Papaya is rich in magnesium.

1 cup of mashed papaya: 48 mg magnesium (12% DV)
1 cup of papaya slices: 30 mg magnesium (7.5% DV)

Papayas or paw-paws aren’t just sweet and juicy, but can also amp up your magnesium intake. A cup of papaya slices will give you 30 mg magnesium (7.5% DV) while a cup of mashed papaya can give you 12% DV via 48 mg of magnesium. Cut down the middle lengthways, remove the seeds, and help yourself to a slice. This vibrant orange fruit also makes a great addition to fruit salads and can be chopped up and added to a salsa with chilies.8

7. Watermelon

Watermelon is rich in magnesium.

1 wedge of watermelon: 29 mg magnesium (7.2% DV)

Lazy summer days can seem incomplete without a slice of juicy watermelon. A wedge of these nutrient-rich fruits can give you 7.2% DV of magnesium with 29 mg. Chop them up and add them to your fruit salad or toss with some mint and feta. Make sure you get the ripe melons – they sound hollow when tapped and will be heavier than they look. If you’re buying cut watermelon, get the ones with bright flesh and black rather than white seeds.9

8. Raisins

Watermelon is rich in magnesium.

1/2 cup of raisins: 23 mg magnesium (6% DV)
1/2 cup of Zante currants: 29.5 mg magnesium (7.3% DV)

Raisins, essentially dried grapes, make a sweet addition to your daily dose of magnesium. Half a cup of raisins can give you 23 mg or 6% of your DV for magnesium.10 Go for a variety called Zante currants and you get a slightly higher amount – 7.3% DV.11

You can add raisins to your trail mix or use them in an apple or tomato chutney for sweetness and body. Soak them in brandy or rum and stuff in pancakes or baked apples for an interesting twist. You can even add them to creamy rice or vermicelli puddings. Just remember to wash dusty raisins before you gobble them down.

9. Tomato

Tomatoes are rich in magnesium.

1 cup of raw tomato slices: 20 mg (5% DV)
1 cup of cooked red tomatoes: 22 mg magnesium (5.5% DV)

Yes, tomatoes are fruits, though they’ve done a great job of masquerading as vegetables! Tomatoes can be added to stews, sauces, salads, chutneys, and salsas. You can also roast them whole, cut them in half and toss them on a grill, or fry off tomato slices. Add a couple of slices of toast and an omelet and you’ve got yourself a yummy breakfast! You can get 22 mg of magnesium or 5.5% of your DV from 1 cup of cooked red tomatoes. Have them raw and meet 5% DV with 20 mg of magnesium in a cup.12

10. Apple

Apples are rich in magnesium.

1 apple, medium size: 9 mg magnesium (2% DV)

Tempting and nutritious, apples seem to have it all. They’re an easy snack and taste delicious with a blob of peanut butter. A medium sized apple gives you 9 mg of magnesium or 2% of your DV. They also make a great addition to pies, cakes, and salads. You could even treat yourself to an apple chutney or spruce up a meat dish with some applesauce. A cup of cooked apple will also add to your magnesium intake with 5 mg (1.2% DV) (13 14

References   [ + ]

1. What you should know about magnesium. Harvard Health Publications.
2, 6, 13. Magnesium. National Institutes of Health.
3. Full Report (All Nutrients): 09287, Prickly pears, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.
4. Basic Report: 11485, Squash, winter, butternut, cooked. United States Department of Agriculture.
5. Basic Report: 09037, Avocados, raw, all commercial varieties. United States Department of Agriculture.
7. Basic Report: 09148, Kiwifruit, green, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.
8. Basic Report: 09226, Papayas, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.
9. Basic Report: 09326, Watermelon, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.
10. Basic Report: 09298, Raisins, seedless. United States Department of Agriculture.
11. Basic Report: 09085, Currants, zante, dried. United States Department of Agriculture.
12. Basic Report: 11530, Tomatoes, red, ripe, cooked. United States Department of Agriculture.
14. Basic Report: 09005, Apples, raw, without skin, cooked, boiled. United States Department of Agriculture.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.