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Foods Rich in Potassium & Magnesium

author image Jennifer Gill
Jennifer Gill is a health educator, certified running coach, licensed sports nutritionist and writer. As the Founder of Sole Health and Wellness, she develops and implements individual, group and corporate running and nutrition programs. She has contributed to several local and national publications on nutrition, physical activity and weight management including a health information service from the National Institutes of Health.
Foods Rich in Potassium & Magnesium
Eating a balanced diet will ensure you get enough potassium and magnesium. Photo Credit: Images

Potassium and magnesium are important minerals needed for all cells in the body to function properly. They are also both electrolytes, involved in conducting electricity throughout the body, affecting nerve function, muscle contraction and the rhythm of the heart. Potassium and magnesium are found in many foods, and meeting your daily requirements for each mineral is not difficult.

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Fruits and Vegetables

Asparagus dish
Asparagus dish Photo Credit: Kati Molin/iStock/Getty Images

Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can help you get the potassium and magnesium you need to meet your daily requirements. Asparagus, bananas, leafy greens such as spinach, Swiss chard and kale, cantaloupe, white and sweet potatoes with skin on, citrus fruits, tomatoes, kiwi, papaya and squash are all sources of both potassium and magnesium, as well as plenty of other vitamins, minerals and fiber. Aim to eat 1 to 2 cups of vegetables at two meals per day and three servings of fruit each day.

Nuts and Beans

Cashews Photo Credit: badmanproduction/iStock/Getty Images

Almonds, cashews, peanuts and walnuts, as well as their respective nut butters, all provide high amounts of magnesium and potassium per serving. Aim for one to two 1-ounce servings of nuts and 2 to 4 tablespoons of nut butter each week. Beans including black and kidney beans, black-eyed peas and lentils are good sources of several vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber, as well as potassium and magnesium. Include 3 to 4 cups of a variety of beans in your weekly meals.

Whole Grains and Fortified Cereals

Oatmeal with blueberries
Oatmeal with blueberries Photo Credit: Robyn Mackenzie/iStock/Getty Images

Replacing refined, processed grains such as white rice with whole grains such as brown rice will increase the overall nutrition of your meal. Whole grains such as brown rice, barley, bulgur, whole-wheat bread and pastas, and oatmeal are all sources of various vitamins and minerals, including potassium and magnesium. Fortified cereals such as shredded wheat and other breakfast cereals also serve as a dietary source for both potassium and magnesium.

Recommended Daily Intakes

Doctor explaining to patient
Doctor explaining to patient Photo Credit: Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images

The Institute of Medicine's recommended dietary allowance for magnesium for men and women ages 19 through 30 is is 400 milligrams and 310 milligrams per day, respectively. After age 30, the RDA for magnesium is 420 milligrams for men and 320 milligrams per day for women. Men and women should get 4,700 milligrams per day of potassium.

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