Magnesium for pH Balance

Magnesium is the second alkaline component of the PRAL calculation for pH Balance Diet Score. That PRAL calculation has links to top food lists for other nutrients.

We need magnesium for over 300 processes in our body. These cover many vital functions, including nerves, muscles, immune system, bones, and heart.

Magnesium is found in many foods, including:

  • Spinach, bananas, dried apricots, avocados, and many other vegetables and fruits
  • Almonds, cashews, and other nuts
  • Peas, beans, and other legumes and seeds
  • Tofu, soy flour, and other soy products
  • Brown rice, millet, and other whole grains

Excess magnesium is rare, as our kidneys remove any we do not use. Despite this, the Department of Health magnesium fact sheet for health professionals reports:

Dietary surveys of people in the United States consistently show that intakes of magnesium are lower than recommended amounts.

Magnesium Deficiency and Inadequacy

As intake is generally lower than required, many people are classed as having magnesium inadequacy. This is not immediately severe, but as magnesium is required by so many processes, the effects can be widespread.

Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms can occur. Severe magnesium deficiency can result in hypocalcemia or hypokalemia (low serum calcium or potassium levels, respectively) because mineral homeostasis is disrupted.

Heavy drinking, amongst other things, can move inadequacy to deficiency. However, one factor that we can do little to change is the aging process. As we get older, we need more magnesium, but studies indicate we eat less.

Normal Magnesium Intake for pH Balance

Requirements vary with age and gender. The Daily Value used in food labeling is 400 milligrams per day.

This is quite easy to achieve using a few of the top selections from my list of foods high in magnesium.

High Magnesium Foods List

High Magnesium Foods photoMy high potassium foods list shows all components of the PRAL calculation, with data initially presented in potassium content order. You can click on headings (the nutrient name) for different sequences, and repeat clicking reverses the sort order.

I list foods in serving sizes that provide 100 calories of energy. For pH balance, about 80% of what you eat should be alkaline. Alkaline-forming foods show as negative PRAL scores. You can click links in the table headings for more information.

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PRAL Nutrients Explanation Cals Help PRAL Help Pro
tein Help
Phos
phorus Help
Potas
sium Help
Mag
nesium Help
Cal
cium Help

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Long Description 100 Kcal Serve (g) PRAL Score Pro
tein (g)
Phos
phorus (mg)
Potas
sium (mg)
Mag
nesium (mg)
Cal
cium (mg)

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Spinach, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 435 -45 12.9 243 2,026 378 591

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Spinach, raw 435 -51 12.4 213 2,426 343 430

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Spinach, canned, regular pack, drained solids 435 -34 12.2 191 1,504 330 552

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Spinach, frozen, chopped or leaf, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 294 -20 11.8 147 888 241 450

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Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened, processed with alkali 45 -14 8.2 331 1,140 216 50

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Soy sauce made from soy and wheat (shoyu) 189 -3 15.4 313 821 140 62

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Parsley, raw 278 -31 8.3 161 1,539 139 383

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Chicory greens, raw 435 -36 7.4 204 1,826 130 435

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Squash, summer, all varieties, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 500 -16 4.6 195 960 120 135

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Turnip greens, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 500 -25 5.7 145 1,015 110 685

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Cucumber, peeled, raw 833 -19 4.9 175 1,133 100 117

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Coffee, instant, regular, powder 28 -19 3.5 86 1,001 93 40

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Endive, raw 588 -35 7.4 165 1,847 88 306

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Lettuce, green leaf, raw 667 -21 9.1 193 1,293 87 240

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Lettuce, cos or romaine, raw 588 -25 7.2 176 1,453 82 194

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Coffee, brewed, espresso, restaurant-prepared * 100 -4 0.1 7 115 80 2

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Mustard, prepared, yellow 149 2 6.5 158 206 73 87

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Broccoli, frozen, spears, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 357 -5 11.1 196 643 71 182

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Cereals ready-to-eat, bran flakes, single brand 31 2 3.2 164 172 69 17

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Celery, raw 625 -31 4.3 150 1,625 69 250

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Formulated bar, POWER BAR, chocolate 28 2 3.9 169 100 68 139

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Beans, snap, green, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained without salt 357 -9 5.3 104 568 68 150

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Tomato products, canned, sauce 417 -25 5.5 108 1,379 67 54

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Baking chocolate, unsweetened, squares 20 -1 2.6 80 166 65 20

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Cabbage, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 435 -14 5.5 143 852 65 209

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Tomato juice, canned, with salt added 588 -25 4.5 106 1,347 65 59

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Tomatoes, red, ripe, canned, packed in tomato juice 588 -21 4.6 112 1,106 65 182

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Kale, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 357 -15 6.8 100 814 64 257

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Asparagus, cooked, boiled, drained 455 -10 10.9 245 1,018 64 105

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Collards, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 303 -7 8.2 97 355 64 427

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Onions, spring or scallions (includes tops and bulb), raw 313 -16 5.7 116 863 63 225

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Broccoli, raw 294 -12 8.3 194 929 62 138

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Tomatoes, red, ripe, raw, year round average 556 -23 4.9 133 1,317 61 56

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Broccoli, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 286 -10 6.8 191 837 60 114

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Pickles, cucumber, dill or kosher dill 833 -16 5.0 100 767 58 350

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Vegetable juice cocktail, canned 526 -17 4.9 100 974 58 74

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Seeds, sunflower seed kernels, dried 17 2 3.6 113 110 56 13

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Soup, stock, beef, home-prepared 769 -16 15.2 238 1,423 54 62

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Spices, chili powder 35 -11 4.8 106 691 53 117

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Beans, snap, green, canned, regular pack, drained solids 400 -7 5.0 84 424 52 152

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Sauce, salsa, ready-to-serve 345 -16 5.3 117 983 52 103

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Beans, snap, green, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 286 -6 5.4 83 417 51 126

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Tomato products, canned, paste, without salt added 122 -22 5.3 101 1,237 51 44

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Tomato products, canned, paste, with salt added 122 -22 5.3 101 1,237 51 44

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Beans, pinto, mature seeds, raw 29 -3 6.2 118 401 51 33

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Beans, black, mature seeds, raw 29 -4 6.3 103 435 50 36

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Tomatoes, red, ripe, cooked 556 -19 5.3 156 1,211 50 61

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Lettuce, iceberg (includes crisphead types), raw 714 -16 6.4 143 1,007 50 129

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Peppers, sweet, green, raw 500 -15 4.3 100 875 50 50

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Mustard greens, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 385 -9 9.8 162 623 50 454

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Cereals ready-to-eat, POST Raisin Bran Cereal 31 1 2.4 119 168 49 16

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Cabbage, raw 400 -11 5.1 104 680 48 160

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Nuts, cashew nuts, oil roasted, with salt added 17 1 2.9 91 109 47 7

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Nuts, almonds, dry roasted, without salt added 17 0 3.5 79 119 47 45

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Nuts, almonds, dry roasted, with salt added 17 0 3.5 79 119 47 45

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Nuts, almonds 17 0 3.7 83 127 47 46

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Broccoli, frozen, chopped, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 357 -1 11.1 175 507 46 118

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Peas, green, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 119 0 6.4 139 323 46 32

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Tomatoes, red, ripe, canned, stewed 385 -15 3.5 77 796 46 131

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Nuts, almonds, blanched 17 1 3.6 82 112 45 40

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Beans, white, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt 72 -4 7.0 81 404 45 65

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Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, QUAKER Oat Bran Cereal 27 2 3.3 139 118 45 51

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Crustaceans, crab, blue, cooked, moist heat 120 12 21.5 282 312 43 110

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Mushrooms, white, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 357 -13 7.8 311 1,271 43 21

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Brussels sprouts, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 238 -7 8.7 133 690 43 62

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Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG’S ALL-BRAN COMPLETE Wheat Flakes 31 3 3.1 158 158 42 16

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Refried beans, canned, traditional style (includes USDA commodity) 110 -2 5.9 122 369 42 36

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Strawberries, raw 313 -8 2.1 75 478 41 50

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Wheat flour, whole-grain 29 2 3.9 105 107 40 10

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Tea, instant, unsweetened, lemon-flavored, powder 29 -20 2.1 31 1,001 40 8

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Cereals ready-to-eat, POST, GRAPE-NUTS Cereal 28 2 3.1 97 114 39 12

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Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG’S RAISIN BRAN 32 0 2.5 111 190 39 14

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Rice, brown, long-grain, cooked 90 2 2.3 75 39 39 9

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Nuts, mixed nuts, dry roasted, with peanuts, with salt added 17 1 2.9 73 117 38 12

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Nuts, mixed nuts, with peanuts, oil roasted, with salt added 16 1 3.3 75 104 38 19

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Snacks, popcorn, air-popped 26 2 3.3 93 85 37 2

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Beans, kidney, red, mature seeds, canned 123 0 6.4 131 321 37 36

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Sauce, pasta, spaghetti/marinara, ready-to-serve 204 -11 2.9 69 651 37 55

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Octopus, common, cooked, moist heat 61 5 18.2 170 384 37 65

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Cereals, oats, regular and quick and instant, not fortified, dry 26 3 3.5 108 96 36 14

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Beans, baked, canned, with pork and tomato sauce 106 -1 5.5 123 314 36 60

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Cereals ready-to-eat, granola, homemade 20 1 3.0 93 110 36 16

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Snacks, popcorn, microwave, low fat 24 2 3.0 62 57 36 3

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Lentils, raw 29 2 7.5 131 278 36 16

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Beans, kidney, red, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt 79 0 6.8 112 317 35 22

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Cereals, oats, instant, fortified, plain, dry 28 2 3.3 117 101 35 97

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Melons, cantaloupe, raw 294 -15 2.5 44 785 35 26

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Mollusks, oyster, eastern, wild, raw 196 4 11.2 190 306 35 116

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Squash, winter, all varieties, cooked, baked, without salt 270 -12 2.4 51 651 35 59

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Carrot juice, canned 250 -12 2.4 105 730 35 60

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Beans, pinto, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt 70 -1 6.3 103 305 35 32

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Soymilk, original and vanilla, with added calcium, vitamins A and D 233 -4 6.0 100 284 35 286

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Corn, sweet, yellow, frozen, kernels cut off cob, boiled, drained, without salt 123 -2 3.1 98 288 35 4

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Cereals ready-to-eat, GENERAL MILLS, CHEERIOS 26 0 3.2 127 170 34 106

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Vegetables, mixed, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 154 -2 4.4 78 260 34 38

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Watermelon, raw 333 -7 2.0 37 373 33 23

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Tortillas, ready-to-bake or -fry, corn 46 3 2.6 144 85 33 37

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Crustaceans, shrimp, mixed species, canned 100 13 20.4 195 80 33 145

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Peanut butter, smooth, reduced fat 19 1 5.0 71 129 33 7

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Milk, nonfat, fluid, with added vitamin A and vitamin D (fat free or skim) 294 1 9.9 297 459 32 359

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Milk, nonfat, fluid, without added vitamin A and vitamin D (fat free or skim) 294 1 9.9 297 459 32 359

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Bread, whole-wheat, commercially prepared, toasted 33 3 5.3 99 107 32 42

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Lentils, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt 86 2 7.8 155 318 31 16

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Crustaceans, shrimp, mixed species, raw 141 17 19.2 344 159 31 76

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Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, QUAKER OATMEAL SQUARES 26 2 3.0 98 96 31 54

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Milk, dry, nonfat, regular, without added vitamin A and vitamin D 28 -1 10.0 267 496 30 347

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Bananas, raw 112 -8 1.2 25 402 30 6

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Potato, baked, flesh and skin, without salt 108 -9 2.7 75 575 30 16

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Peanuts, all types, dry-roasted, with salt 17 1 4.0 61 112 30 9

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Peanuts, all types, dry-roasted, without salt 17 1 4.0 61 112 30 9

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Sweet potato, cooked, baked in skin, without salt 111 -9 2.2 60 528 30 42

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Potato, flesh and skin, raw 130 -8 2.6 74 547 30 16

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Bread, whole-wheat, commercially prepared 40 2 4.9 84 101 30 64

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Carrots, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 270 -9 1.6 84 519 30 95

 
 

High Magnesium Key Foods List

As well as being important for general health, magnesium is an important contributor to alkaline diets. Supplementation is not healthy – you need to make good food choices from the list above.

If you have any questions, experiences, or opinions about magnesium in your diet, please join the Magnesium for pH Balance discussion.