There are plenty of reasons you should go on a keto diet—weight loss benefits, well-managed blood sugar levels, and reduced risk of diseases.
Despite all these benefits, people still have doubts about following the keto diet because of one big reason—the keto flu.
This is characterized by symptoms like brain fog, insomnia, constipation, fatigue, and headaches.
The symptoms are pretty scary, right? But did you know that there’s an easy way to alleviate these symptoms?
You see, these are often caused by dehydration and low levels of electrolytes, like magnesium.
Because of this, one of the best ways to manage keto flu symptoms is to stay hydrated and get enough electrolytes from magnesium-rich foods.
But what foods are rich in magnesium and low in carbohydrates?
Keep on reading to find out!
What Does Magnesium Do?
Magnesium is one of the most essential electrolytes in the body because of the critical roles in the different bodily functions and our overall health.
Here are some of them:
- It helps maintain a healthy heartbeat.
- It regulates muscle contractions.
- It promotes better sleep quality.
- It can reduce the risk of heart disease.
- It can lower blood pressure.
- It can minimize symptoms of depression.
With these in mind, you must monitor your daily magnesium consumption.
Moreover, you should also watch out for any signs of magnesium deficiency such as:
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Muscle fatigue or weakness
- High blood pressure
- Muscle cramps
Muscle cramps and fatigue are also telltale symptoms of keto flu.
If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, it’s a sign that you need to increase your magnesium intake.
How Much Magnesium Do We Need on Keto Diet?
There’s no particular recommendation for magnesium consumption of a person on the keto diet.
That’s why we’ll rely on the American Recommended Dietary Allowance for some assistance.
The RDA of Magnesium will vary depending on age and gender.
In general, men need higher levels of magnesium than women. Also, the older you are, the higher your magnesium requirement will be.
Men would need 420 mg per day, while women have to consume 320 mg of Magnesium daily.
While these amounts may seem low, it’s difficult to consume, considering that not all foods contain high amounts of magnesium.
The Top Keto-friendly Magnesium-Rich Foods Revealed
Taking magnesium supplements can help, we wrote an article to help you pick the right magnesium supplement for you, but if you want to prevent magnesium deficiency while on a ketogenic diet, you must include low carb magnesium-rich foods in your meal plan.
The good news is you have plenty of keto-friendly food options to choose from!
Here are some fantastic examples:
Almonds are one of the nuts that contain the highest levels of Magnesium and only low amounts of carbohydrates.
A 1-oz serving of raw almonds contains around 75 mg of Magnesium and only 2.7 grams of carbohydrates.
Additionally, the skin of raw almonds contains a vast amounts of vitamin E and manganese.
Both of these are potent antioxidants that can reduce your risk of diseases and help fight off aging signs.
Similarly, almond milk contains magnesium. However, it’s lesser as an 8-oz glass of almond milk contains only 17 grams of Magnesium.
The amount of Magnesium present in almond milk varies from one brand to another, so it’s always best to check out the product label.
Additionally, beware of the brands that incorporate added sugars or carrageenans in their almond milks, as these can mess up with your carbohydrate consumption.
How to incorporate almonds in your diet:
- Add crushed almonds into your plain yogurt for more flavor.
- Snack on almonds.
Pro Tip: Keep in mind that almonds’ manganese and vitamin E content are found only in its skin.
That’s why you should eat almonds with the skin on.
- Use almond milk instead of plain milk.
- Make keto-friendly butter out of almonds, or if you don't have time, you can buy the right nut butter.
You may think that eating greens is totally out of the question when on a keto diet.
You’ll be surprised to know that there are low carb but high in fiber leafy greens too.
One of them is spinach. It’s one of the vegetables with the lowest net carb but has the highest nutrients.
In addition to fiber, iron, vitamin A and K, and many other nutrients, Spinach is rich in Magnesium.
Three cups of raw spinach yield about 71 grams of magnesium and only 1 gram of carbohydrates!
Here are some low carb spinach recipe ideas that you can try:
- Creamed Spinach
- Spinach Quiches
- Spinach and Artichoke Dip
- Stir-Fry Spinach and Almond
#3. Brazil Nuts
If you’re already impressed with the amount of magnesium you can get from almonds, you’ll be dumbfounded with the nutrients you can get from Brazil Nuts.
About 6 kernels (28 grams )of this type of nut contains 106 mg of Magnesium.
The best part? It only has 1.4 grams of carbohydrates.
You can also get a decent amount of vitamin E, zinc, calcium, and antioxidants from these nuts.
However, please note that Brazil nuts are high in fats so that they can increase your calorie intake.
An ounce of this delivers around 185 calories, so you need to consider this when tracking and planning your calorie consumption.
How to incorporate Brazil Nuts in your diet:
- Take it as your snacks.
- Make a Brazil Nut butter.
- Create a trail mix with Brazil nuts, other types of nuts, and sugar-free chocolate.
Avocadoes are most probably the most delicious of magnesium you can enjoy on a ketogenic diet.
A medium-sized ripe avocado delivers around 58 grams of Magnesium, which is already 58% of the daily recommended intake.
Not only that, but it also provides 13.5 grams of fiber, which is another nutrient that’s hard to get in low carb diets.
You can get all these nutrients while consuming only 3.5 grams of carbohydrates.
In addition to giving you all these nutrients, eating avocado has been associated with better cholesterol levels, reduced inflammation, and increased feelings of fullness after meals.
Here are some low carb avocado recipes that you can try:
- Avocado egg salad (keto version of a deviled egg)
- Stuffed BLT Avocado
- Avocado Chicken Salad
- Keto Avocado Chips
Artichokes may not be the most popular vegetable around, but it deserves a place in this post because they have the most impressive nutritional content.
A medium-sized boiled artichoke (approximately 120 g) has about 50 mg of magnesium.
In addition to magnesium, you can also get around 10.3 grams of fiber from this vegetable, so it can also be a good fiber source when you’re on a ketogenic diet.
It also comes with 63 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrates.
Other nutrients you can get from this vegetable are folate, antioxidants, and vitamins K and C.
Here are some keto-friendly artichoke recipes that you can try:
- Steamed Artichokes and Butter
- Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Baked Parmesan Artichokes
This may just be a small seed, but you’ll be surprised by the quality and quantity of nutrients that this can give you.
Keto dieters would benefit a lot from introducing this superfood in this diet because of its magnesium content.
A tablespoon of flaxseed (around 7 grams) has 24.7 mg of Magnesium and yields only 37 calories and 0.1 grams of carbohydrates.
That’s pretty crazy, right?
Not only that, but you can also get a high amount of manganese, fiber, copper, and phosphorous from these seeds.
All of these nutrients are important in restoring electrolyte balance when you’re on a keto diet.
Additionally, these aid in lowering blood pressure, facilitating better digestion, and reducing your risk of cancer.
How to incorporate flaxseed in your diet:
- Make keto-friendly flaxseed crackers.
- Add these into your baked keto pastries or breads.
- Sprinkle some in your wraps.
- Cook a keto porridge and add flaxseeds.
#7. Fatty Fishes
Fatty fishes are a must for the ketogenic diet because they are rich in protein.
For your information, there’s one more reason to love fatty fishes when you’re on keto—its magnesium content.
If magnesium is what you’re after, the best fatty fishes for you are salmon, mackerel, and halibut.
Among the three, it’s the halibut that has the highest magnesium content because 85 grams of cooked halibut yields 90 mg of magnesium.
On the other hand, 100 mg of mackerel contains 60mg magnesium while you can get 27 mg of magnesium from the same salmon amount.
Besides protein and magnesium, other nutrients you can get from these types of fishes are selenium, B vitamins, potassium, and omega-3-fatty acids.
The latter is the link between the consumption of these fishes and a reduced risk of heart diseases and other chronic diseases.
Here are some great keto recipes for fatty fishes:
- Fish Casserole
- Fish Pie
- Baked Fish with Lemon Sauce
- Keto Fish Cakes
- Fish Patties
Ah, here’s one food item all keto lovers are already familiar with.
Most of us already include chicken in our ketogenic diet because of the amount of protein it contains.
What we don’t know is it’s also a good source of Magnesium.
You can get around 23 mg of Magnesium from 100 grams of chicken. It also has selenium, B vitamins, and potassium.
The thing you’ll love the most is it comes with no carbohydrates at all!
Despite its zero carbohydrate content, you should avoid eating too much chicken because its high protein content will mess up with your keto macros.
To avoid consuming too much protein, don’t forget to eat chicken and food items that are rich in healthy fats.
Here are some excellent keto chicken recipe ideas:
- Baked Mozzarella Chicken
- Tuscan Chicken
- Chicken Cobb Salad
- Chicken Meatballs and Cauliflower Rice
- Roasted Chicken
#9. Swiss Chard
If you think you can’t eat leafy greens in a ketogenic diet, the Swiss chard will make you think again. You’ll be surprised to discover than 100 grams of this vegetable has 81 mg of magnesium, 19 calories, and only 2.1 grams of carbohydrates.
Since it’s a leafy green vegetable, it also has high levels of dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamins C and K.
If you’re not used to eating Swiss Chard, here are some recipes that you can try:
- Swiss Chard with Bacon
- Swiss Chard and Cheese Frittata
- Swiss Chard and Spinach Omelette
Nuts are probably the most accessible sources of Magnesium.
An ounce of nuts contains 48 mg of magnesium and only 2 grams of carbohydrates.
While it’s a low carb snack, you still need to watch the number of peanuts you’ll eat.
This is because these are high in omega-6 fatty acids.
Eating too many peanuts would mess up with your omega-6/ omega-3 fatty acid ratio and cause inflammation.
Here are some healthy ways on how to incorporate peanut in your keto diet:
- Boil, roast, or soak your peanuts.
- Choose organic peanuts.
Legumes are nutrient-dense vegetables that can provide you high amounts of magnesium on a ketogenic diet.
This family of vegetables includes chickpeas, black beans, soybeans, lentils, and peas.
To give you an idea of how rich legumes are in magnesium, a cup of cooked black beans already delivers a whooping amount of 120 mg of Magnesium.
That’s already 30% of the Recommended Daily Intake of the said nutrient.
Aside from Magnesium, it also contains iron and potassium.
However, this should be your last resort since most legumes contain higher amounts of carbohydrates than other magnesium-rich food on this list.
If you have no choice but to get your magnesium consumption from legumes, eat these in moderation.
Here are the best types of legumes to eat when you’re on keto:
- Black beans
- Kidney beans
- Lima Beans
So there you have it.
These are some of the foods high in magnesium for keto.
With all these options and proper planning, you never have to experience magnesium deficiency even if you’re doing the ketogenic diet.
If, however, you find yourself having difficulties getting the amount of magnesium or electrolytes your body needs, the next best option that you have is to take Magnesium supplements.
Some of the most recommended types of Magnesium supplements are Magnesium Citrate or Magnesium Glycinate, so you may want to look for those when shopping for your Magnesium supplement.
In addition to Magnesium supplements, there are other types of keto supplements that you would need to take. Discover what those are through our reviews.