Magnesium in Your Food

Q: I suffer from migraines. My doctor has told me to take magnesium supplements, but they are causing gastrointestinal issues. Is there a way to get magnesium from food sources?

A: Magnesium works along with calcium to help regulate the body’s nerve and muscle tone, which is why it may be helpful in managing migraine pain.

Some of the richest sources of magnesium include swiss chard, spinach, summer squash, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, basil, cucumbers, flax seeds, green beans, celery, sunflower seeds, quinoa, salmon, beats, tomatoes and crimini mushrooms. That’s quite a list to choose from!

Keep in mind that magnesium is water-soluble, so blanching, steaming or boiling can result in substantial loss. For example, one third of the magnesium is lost after blanching.

Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting

Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at


Helen Wu
Helen Wu4 years ago

Thank You for Sharing :)

Lin M
Lin M5 years ago

I can't eat seeds so will eat the other foods.

a             y m.
g d c5 years ago


Ro H.
Ro H5 years ago


MGreat Kanth
Past Member 5 years ago

all are my favorite ....cheers to me !!!

James Maynard
James Maynard5 years ago

Great list of foods to choose from. I try to have at
least something from that list every day.

Tanya W.
Tanya W5 years ago


Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey5 years ago

Sunflower seeds are a good source of lots of minerals besides magnesium. Copper and zinc as well.

Suz F.
Suz F5 years ago

...thank you Dr. Brent for info on magnesium--noteing that everyone should check with her/his Dr. Will pass this read along to others...

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra5 years ago

Thank you Dr. Brent, for Sharing this!