How much magnesium in milk, dairy & vegan milks?

Cow’s milk as well as plant-based milks and yogurt are rich in magnesium. They provide 4-7% of the recommended daily intake per serving! Cheese can’t help us meet our daily needs of magnesium, though, as most cheeses provide less than 2% of the DV per serving.

Is cow’s milk rich in magnesium?

Cow’s milk is a good dietary source of magnesium. It has approximately 12 mg of magnesium per 100g. A glass of cow’s milk has about 30 mg of magnesium. This dose is 7% of the Daily Value (DV). Low-fat milks have a similar magnesium content to whole milks.

Cow’s milk isn’t the only milk high in magnesium, though. Many other animal-derived milks contain high amounts of magnesium. For instance, goat’s milk has a similar magnesium content to cow’s milk. A glass also provides 7% of the DV.

What’s the magnesium content of dairy products?

Besides cow’s milk, only yogurt is rich in magnesium. Whole yogurt, low-fat yogurt, and Greek yogurt have a similar magnesium content. In fact, yogurt has approximately 11 mg of magnesium per 100g, or 17 mg of magnesium per serving. A container provides approximately 4% of the DV.

On the contrary, although, cow’s milk is rich in magnesium, cheese isn’t a good dietary source of magnesium. All common cheeses contain less magnesium than 3% of the required daily intake per serving!

Actually, the only cheeses providing more magnesium than 2% of the DV per serving are Parmesan. Edam, brie, and Gouda. Parmesan is the richest cheese in magnesium, containing 9.9 mg per serving, which is 2.4% of the DV.

magnesium (mg)
per 100g
magnesium (mg)
per 1 oz
% DV
blue cheese236.51.6%
cottage cheese8.92.50.6%
heavy cream720.5%
spread cheese61.70.4%
Magnesium in favorite cheeses.[1]

Thus, we can’t depend on cheese to get the required daily dose of magnesium. Most noteworthy, cheese is particularly high in saturated fat. Most cheeses have about 5 g of saturated fat per 1 oz. This amount is 40% of the maximum safe intake!

According to the American Heart Association, we shouldn’t consume more than 13 g of saturated fatty acids per 2,000 calories. Eating too much saturated fat can raise LDL cholesterol. A high level of LDL cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.[2]

Furthermore, butter contains negligible amounts of magnesium. Butter contains only 2 g of magnesium per 100g. We should butter in moderation. A tbsp has 7.2 g of saturated fat. Butter is mainly fat.

Do plant-based milks have more magnesium than cow’s milk?

Most plant-based milks are high in magnesium as well. Soy milk is the richest plant-based milk in magnesium. A glass of soy milk provides up to 9% of the DV. Rice, almond, and oat milks are also good dietary sources of magnesium.

Actually, almonds are the richest nuts and one of the richest foods in magnesium.

magnesium (mg)
per 100 mL
magnesium (mg)
per glass
% DV
soy milk15389%
rice milk11287%
almond milk7174%
oat milk6154%
coconut milk000%
Magnesium in plant-based milks.

You can find a wide variety of plant-based milks on Amazon.

Do we absorb the magnesium of milk & dairy?

It’s estimated that we absorb 30-50% of magnesium of food. The absorption rate depends on the consumed dose. We tend to absorb less magnesium when we get higher doses.[3]

What’s the recommended daily intake?

The recommended daily intake of magnesium is approximately 400-420 mg for adult men and 310-320 mg for adult women. Teenagers and pregnant women have high magnesium needs (360-410 mg) as well. Children require lower dosages.[4]

Can dairy help us meet our daily needs?

Certainly, milk and yogurt can help us meet our daily magnesium needs. They have a moderate magnesium content, as a serving provides 4-7% of the DV.

On the contrary, cheese is poor in magnesium. Better eat cheese in moderation, as it’s high in calories, sodium, saturated fats, and even trans fats!

Can we get too much magnesium from milk?

Healthy people can’t get too much magnesium from milk or dairy. The kidneys eliminate excess amounts in the urine. However, patients with impaired renal function or kidney failure can get too much magnesium from diet. In certain diseases, the kidneys can’t remove excess magnesium.

How to increase the absorption rate of magnesium of milk?

Actually, there are many factors that might inhibit the absorption rate of magnesium in milk and other dairy.

Above all, we should have normal vitamin D levels for optimal magnesium absorption. Vitamin D stimulates intestinal magnesium absorption. However, as vitamin D deficiency is pretty common, many people would benefit from taking high doses of vitamin D from dietary supplements.[5]

Increased intakes of protein and fructose may improve magnesium absorption as well. Hence, you could add fruits to yogurt. Actually, banana and avocado are the richest fruits in magnesium.[6]

What’s the calcium/magnesium ratio of milk?

Furthermore, we have to consume the recommended daily intake of calcium for better absorption of magnesium. Too little or too much calcium may negatively affect the absorption rate of magnesium. The calcium/magnesium ratio should be between 1.70 and 2.60.[7]

However, as milk is particularly rich in calcium, it has a pretty high calcium/magnesium ratio of 10. Thus, you should drink cow’s milk in moderation. Even plant-based milks have a high calcium/magnesium ratio, as they’re fortified with calcium!

Most noteworthy, a high calcium to magnesium ratio seems to strongly associated with increased disease risk.[8]

Other common foods high in magnesium

Magnesium is naturally found in both animal (e.g. meat, fish, eggs) and plant-based foods, as well as certain beverages. Green leafy vegetables, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and certain fruits are good sources of magnesium. In general, foods high in fiber are also high in magnesium.

Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almonds, and spinach are the richest common foods in magnesium. They provide 19-37% of the required daily intake per serving!

Whole grains have decent amounts of magnesium as well. Refined grains contain negligible amounts of magnesium, though. The removal of the nutrient-rich germ and bran substantially decreases the magnesium content of the grain.

In addition, tap, mineral, and bottled water can be good sources of magnesium. But the amount of magnesium in water significantly varies. It ranges from 1 mg per liter to more than 120 mg per liter!

Certainly, following a well-balanced, plant-based diet can provide more than enough magnesium. However, dietary surveys in the United States consistently show that many people consume less than the recommended daily intake of magnesium.

You can boost your daily magnesium intake with dietary supplements. You can find a wide variety of magnesium supplements on iHerb.

Always consult your physician before changing your diet or taking dietary supplements.

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