A diet rich in magnesium may improve mental health

Researchers in Iran and Canada recently published a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, showing a connection between magnesium consumption and mental health.

Researchers collected dietary intake data for nearly 3,200 adults (18–55), as well as information on their mental health.

What the researchers discovered was that for women who consumed the most magnesium in their diet, their odds of having anxiety dropped by almost 40%. At the same time, women who had low magnesium intake had 1.8 times higher odds of having anxiety. As well, men and women who had higher dietary intake of magnesium had 45% lower odds of having depression.

Now, this is dietary magnesium. In other words, the researchers measured magnesium intake based on the magnesium levels of whole foods participants ate. Participants were not taking single-nutrient magnesium supplements.

Foods high in magnesium

Here are foods that are high in magnesium. Note, however, that the study didn’t research these foods specifically.

Food Mg content
per serving
Spinach, cooked 157 mg
Pumpkin seeds 150 mg
Black beans, cooked 120 mg
Cashews 82 mg
Buckwheat 65 mg
Dark chocolate 64 mg
Avocado 58 mg
Salmon 53 mg
Tofu 53 mg
Banana 37 mg


Did you know that Truehope’s EMPowerplus Advanced contains magnesium? It’s one of the 36 all-natural vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids found in this formula specially designed to support mental and physical well being. Just two capsules contain about 80 mg of magnesium, which would put it in 5th place in the above table if it were a food.

This study joins a growing body of research showing a strong connection between nutrition and mental health. Here at Truehope, we’ve been promoting nutrition as mental health treatment for over 25 years.