Magnesium in beef, chicken, pork & other meats

Meat consumption can help us meet our daily needs of magnesium. A serving of chicken, turkey, beef, pork, and lamb contains up to 29 mg of magnesium, providing 4-7% of the Daily Value. But, we shouldn’t depend on meat to meet our daily needs.

Is meat rich in magnesium?

Actually, meat has a moderate magnesium content. Although it isn’t particularly high in magnesium, meat contributes to the daily magnesium intake. Mainly because meat is regularly consumed by people who follow the standard American diet.

Poultry is the richest meat in magnesium, containing 30-34 mg per 100g. A serving of chicken or turkey provides 6-7% of the Daily Value.

Pork, beef, and lamb have a lower magnesium content. A serving provides 4-5% of the DV.

magnesium (mg)
per 100g
magnesium (mg)
per serving
% DV
chicken, breast34297%
chicken, ground30266%
chicken liver27235.5%
pork, ground24205%
beef liver21184.3%
Magnesium in meat.[1]

Does cooking affect the magnesium content of meat?

You can grill, roast, boil, or fry meat. The cooking method doesn’t affect the magnesium content of meat. Magnesium isn’t vulnerable to heat. In fact, magnesium in meat is bioavailable.

Do we absorb magnesium of meat?

We absorb between 30% and 50% of magnesium of food. The absorption rate depends on the dose. We absorb less magnesium when high doses are consumed.[2]

In order to consume more magnesium from meat, we have to get adequate amounts of vitamin D, calcium, protein, and fructose.[3,4,5]

On the contrary, high doses of zinc or vitamin D, smoking, alcohol abuse, or certain drugs may impair the absorption of magnesium.

Can we depend on meat to meet our daily needs?

The recommended daily intake of magnesium is 400-420 mg for adult men and 310-320 mg for adult women. Teenagers and pregnant women also require high doses (360-410 mg).[6]

As meat contains only 17-34 mg of magnesium per 100g, we can’t depend on it to meet our daily needs. We have to consume many other magnesium-rich foods to get the required daily intake. However, magnesium in meat can be essential for people who follow certain diets, like keto.

Moreover, meat is particularly rich in saturated fat. This type of fat is bad for the heart. High amounts of saturated fat can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Hence, the American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 13 grams of saturated fat a day for a 2,000 calorie diet. A typical serving of meet contains 23% of this maximum safe dose.[7]

In addition, most people should eat only small amounts of beef liver. Beef liver is very high in vitamin A. Its regular consumption may cause side effects, due to vitamin A toxicity.

On the contrary, healthy people can consume high amounts of magnesium-rich foods. Certainly, magnesium in meat isn’t a problem. Only 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.

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

Are there other animal-based foods high in magnesium?

Low to moderate magnesium amounts are naturally found in most animal-based foods. Milk, dairy, fish, and eggs contain decent amounts.

Which plant-based foods have more magnesium than meat?

We can substantially increase the daily magnesium intake by consuming plant-based foods. In general, foods high in fiber are also high in magnesium. Hence, following a well-balanced, plant-based diet can provide more than enough magnesium.

Green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and certain fruits are good dietary sources of magnesium.

In fact, the richest foods in magnesium are pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almonds, and spinach!

Banana and avocado are the richest fruits in magnesium. Water can be a good source of magnesium as well.

However, many people consume less magnesium than the recommended daily intake. You can boost your daily magnesium intake with dietary supplements. You can find a wide variety of magnesium supplements on iHerb.

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