Magnesium is involved in many bodily functions, including muscle contractions, blood pressure regulation, and blood sugar control.
The vegan population aside — observational studies show that most Americans don’t get adequate amounts of magnesium in their diet. In fact, approximately half of the US population consumes less than the required magnesium.
One study I’ve read suggests two reasons for that:
- Today’s soil is depleted of minerals, so the crops and vegetables grown in that soil are not as mineral-rich as they used to be;
- There’s magnesium removal through food processing, so even if you strive for a whole foods diet there’s a chance you may fall short.
That being said, magnesium is found in numerous plant-based foods like vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans. Hemp seeds, for instance, are extremely rich in magnesium. In my view, it shouldn’t be difficult to achieve adequate magnesium levels as long as you know what to eat.
In spite of that, there are still a lot of people with subpar levels of magnesium, and a magnesium deficiency can cause a wide range of clinical complications, from painful muscle spasms, fibromyalgia, to osteoporosis and migraines.
So, yes, a magnesium supplement can turn out to be incredibly helpful.
Here are the 4 best vegan magnesium supplements:
The 4 Best Vegan Magnesium Supplements
Future Kind Vegan Magnesium Supplement
Future Kind is a company that focuses specifically on creating vegan-friendly vitamins and supplements, while taking into consideration existing ethical and environmental concerns.
Each post-consumer recycled PET bottle comes with 30 servings, which boils down to 2 capsules a day for 30 days.
More importantly, they’ve tackled magnesium’s biggest challenge and identified (and use) the most bioavailable magnesium form: chelated magnesium glycinate.
Future Kind also works with an FDA-regulated and a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certified facility within the USA, which has an intense control and raw ingredient supplier vetting process.
This is a highly efficient and effective vegan magnesium supplement, and there’s also a big emphasis on using recycled materials, as well as a form of shipping that offsets carbon.
Natural Calm Vegan Magnesium Gummies
Natural Calm is a flavored magnesium formula delivered as gummies, making them an alternative for anyone that finds swallowing capsules rather troubling. However, it can also be said that it’s a formula for people of all ages, including children.
The servings change based on age, so people more than 13 years old are recommended to take 4 gummies daily, which comes down to 30 servings per month.
The form of magnesium used in this formula is magnesium citrate, which is absorbed more completely and is more bioavailable than poorer magnesium forms.
However, it’s not as well-absorbed as chelated magnesium glycinate, which is also typically considered to be soft on the stomach.
One of the better aspects of this Natural Calm magnesium supplement is its sweet taste, a pro some people may appreciate when taking supplements.
Doctor’s Best Vegan Magnesium Powder
Doctor’s Best also offers you a high-absorption magnesium formula made from elemental magnesium chelate combined with the amino acids glycine and lysine.
And although Doctor’s Best isn’t exactly known to be a vegan-friendly company, with this particular product, they provide vegans with a highly affordable solution.
It’s available in two different servings (120 tablets or 240 tablets), but what’s most impressive is that it is significantly less expensive than most supplements.
Additionally, the product is non-GMO, gluten-free, and soy-free.
Doctor’s Best also seems to stick to high-quality standards by testing their products for quality and safety, on top of being manufactured in the United States using highly qualified cGMP manufacturers and raw material ingredients.
VegLife Vegan Magnesium
By reading the name, one can easily tell which audience is VegLife trying to appeal to, and that’s highly appreciated by every vegan.
Their magnesium supplement, although not chelated, contains a combination of different forms, including magnesium glycinate, malate, and citrate.
What’s more, unlikely most supplements out there, each serving provides you with 400 mg of magnesium, which is equivalent to 100% of the recommended daily allowance.
However, to do so, you have to swallow three capsules daily, which might not be ideal for most people, particularly those that don’t enjoy swallowing pills.
For 30 servings per bottle, VegLife has a formula that is more affordable than most, although I have my doubts when it comes to efficiency and bioavailability.
Types of Vegan Magnesium Supplements
Mineral-based supplements are not easy to digest.
In this particular case, it’s possible to find many magnesium supplements that are poorly absorbed and may cause stomach problems.
More easily absorbed forms of magnesium are more expensive but it’s worth it considering you can avoid digestive side effects.
Here are the different forms you can find in magnesium supplements, ranked from best to worst:
- Chelated magnesium glycinate
- Non-chelated Magnesium glycinate
- Magnesium sulfate
- Magnesium malate
- Magnesium citrate
- Magnesium oxide
Magnesium glycinate is the most efficient form, and the chelated version is even easier to digest and absorb. At the same time, it’s also slightly more expensive, but while remaining affordable.
One word of caution: you should ask your doctor or pharmacist if it’s safe to take a magnesium supplement, especially if you have other medical conditions. You shouldn’t take chelated magnesium if you’re allergic to it, or if you have kidney disease.
How Much Magnesium Is Actually Needed?
According to the National Health Institute, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium ranges from 310-420 mg for adults.
Magnesium deficiency is not common, but when it happens, it leads to a number of symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, and muscle cramps.
Having adequate levels of magnesium is also important for the absorption and metabolism of other nutrients like Vitamin D and Calcium, both of which are not as easily found in a vegan diet.
Fortunately, it’s easy to get your recommended daily intake of magnesium.
There are many vegan foods that are either naturally rich sources of magnesium or are fortified.
Still, if for some reason, you have a magnesium deficiency and your doctor has recommended you to take a magnesium supplement, please go ahead.
What Are The Best Vegan Sources Of Magnesium?
Other than fish, there aren’t many animal products rich in magnesium.
That’s why most vegans don’t have any issues getting magnesium, since it’s mostly present in plant-based foods.
Before showing you a list with plant-based sources of magnesium, there’s something I’d like to tell you about the bubble chart below. Basically, the chart compares the amount per 100 grams to the amount per 100 calories, showing which foods are generally more efficient.
Theoretically-speaking, a great nutritional food source will provide you with high amounts of one or two nutrients and a low number of calories.
However, with magnesium that doesn’t really happen in the sense that there isn’t a source that is high in magnesium and low in calories.
Magnesium sources can be divided into two groups:
- Seeds and nuts: These are high in calories, but they’re also sources that contain a lot of magnesium per 100 grams.
- Leafy greens: On a per calorie basis, leafy greens are extremely rich magnesium sources, but it’s very low on a per weight basis. Meaning, you have to eat a TON of these foods to get substantial amounts of magnesium.
In other words, the best foods to get your magnesium from are seeds and nuts.
List of The Best Vegan Sources Of Magnesium
Taking the data available on the USDA website, I’ve comprised a list of some of the best vegan sources of magnesium. This list doesn’t consist of processed or magnesium fortified foods.
|Food||Magnesium Per 100 grams|
|Spinach||87mg (21% DV)|
|Squash and Pumpkin Seeds||550mg (131% DV)|
|Lima Beans||74mg (18% DV)|
|Brown Rice||44mg (10% DV)|
|Almonds||270mg (64% DV)|
|Dark Chocolate||228mg (54% DV)|
|Avocados||29mg (7% DV)|
|Bananas||27mg (6% DV)|
|Hemp Seeds||1071mg (268% DV)|
|Flaxseeds||392mg (98% DV)|
|Sesame Seeds||351mg (88% DV)|
You can easily meet your RDA of magnesium eating plant-based food sources like sesame and flaxseeds, as well as other types of seeds.
This doesn’t mean you should just turn to seeds for magnesium, otherwise, you’re going to ignore the nutritional richness and variety present in other magnesium sources such as swiss chard, spinach, or kale, which also happen to be crucial sources of calcium.
Magnesium is an essential nutrient found in a variety of foods, including whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables.
Magnesium supplements are ideal for people who have a hard diet meeting dietary requirements.
Also, keep in mind that supplements are not regulated by the FDA the same way that medications are, that’s why it’s important to choose ones from reputable companies that have undergone third-party testing. I’ve made that simple for you by providing you with four options above.
If even after reading this blog, you’re still not sure about which supplement to pick, my advice to you would be to ask a healthcare provider for a specific recommendation based on your dietary and medical differences.
Hopefully, this post has helped you reach a conclusion, but feel free to reach out if you need help.