Foods High in Magnesium & Potassium

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Select dark instead of milk chocolate to increase magnesium and potassium consumption.
Select dark instead of milk chocolate to increase magnesium and potassium consumption. (Image: Merih Unal Ozmen/iStock/Getty Images)

Selecting more foods high in magnesium and potassium can help you consume a healthier diet to lower your risk for chronic conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and osteoporosis. The daily value for magnesium is 400 milligrams, and the daily value for potassium is 4,700 milligrams. Many Americans should eat more magnesium and potassium, and they are present in many nutritious foods.

Legumes for Heart Health

Legumes include lentils, split peas, black-eyed peas and beans, such as garbanzo, navy, pinto, black and kidney beans. In addition to magnesium and potassium, they provide protein, folate and dietary fiber. Each cup of cooked garbanzo beans provides 79 milligrams of magnesium and 477 milligrams of potassium, and a cup of cooked lentils has 71 milligrams of magnesium and 731 milligrams of potassium. Make bean, pea or lentil soup or serve bean burgers as vegetarian protein alternatives.

Dairy Products and Strong Bones

A cup of plain, fat-free yogurt contains 47 milligrams of magnesium and 625 milligrams of potassium, and a cup of fat-free milk provides 27 milligrams of magnesium and 382 milligrams of potassium. Consuming dairy products helps you build and maintain strong bones because of milk's calcium content. Add milk to a bowl of whole-grain cereal with sliced bananas for a high-potassium, high-magnesium breakfast, or mix oats into your yogurt for a snack.

Nuts, Peanuts and Heart Health

An ounce of peanuts contains 50 milligrams of magnesium and 187 milligrams of potassium, and an ounce of almonds supplies 79 milligrams of magnesium and 202 milligrams of potassium. Peanuts, peanut butter, macadamias, walnuts, pistachios, pecans and other nuts are also sources of vitamin E, a vitamin with antioxidant properties and heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Consume these high-calorie foods only in moderation to prevent unwanted weight gain, since they have 160 to 210 calories per ounce.

Eat Your Vegetables

Many vegetables are rich in potassium, and green vegetables are especially high in magnesium because the green pigment in plants contains this mineral, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. A cup of cooked spinach contains 78 milligrams of magnesium and 287 milligrams of potassium. Add Swiss chard or kale to omelets and soups, cook spinach into lasagna and pasta sauces, serve collard or turnip greens as side dishes and use fresh spinach leaves as a base for salads.

Bananas for Muscles

A large banana supplies 37 milligrams of magnesium and 487 milligrams of potassium. Consuming bananas can help support proper muscle function because magnesium is essential for muscle contraction and potassium is an electrolyte that can help prevent muscle cramps. Eat a banana after a hard workout to replenish carbohydrates used. Make a peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole grain bread for a high-potassium, high-magnesium lunch, or slice bananas into a bowl of shredded wheat with milk.

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