What are good Paleo sources of magnesium/potassium?

by (4090) Updated August 17, 2014 at 4:26 PM Created April 29, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Following on from the broth question, what are some good paleo sources of magnesium and potassium?

Broth doesn't have that much apparently.

Seeds have loads but are too high in linoleic acid, ditto nuts (or 200g macadamia nuts, which would be hard to consume on a daily basis).

Grains are obviously a nono and inhibit the absorption due to phytic acid.

Beans, because of the phytic acid and lectin.

I see that spinach has some but I'd have to eat over a pound a day to get 300mg.. that's a LOT of spinach!

I also don't think I could eat half a pound of kelp either! Plus doesn't the mag diminish when you cook it.

Potassium is even tougher.. Banana's don't seem to have that much potassium in them, is potassium chloride a usable source even if not strictly paleo?

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18909 · April 29, 2010 at 3:15 PM

This is a very quick calculation using fitday.com from some random paleoish foods just to give an idea. The percentages are of the RDA for the mineral.

1 oz almonds. 19% magnesium.

1 tin sardines. 10% potassium. 9% magnesium.

0.25 cup dried tomatos. 13% potassium.

0.5 cup cooked spinach. 13% potassium. 21 % magnesium.

1 cup broccoil. 15% potassium. 10% magnesium.

1 cup of baked winter squash. 17% potassium. 15% magnesium.

0.5 cup chinese water chestnuts. 10% potassium.

2 medium pork chops. 20% potassium. 11% magnesium.

1/4 honeydew melon. 16% potassium.

1 oz of dried apricots.

This produces a grand total = 1286 calories, 419mg of magnesium, 793mg of calcium, 4,744mg of potassium.

Plus over 100% RDA for every other vitamin and mineral. It's about 100g of carbs and you still have plenty of calories left for more meat, fat etc.

3482 · July 29, 2010 at 2:40 AM

Halibut is my favorite source of magnesium. It's just so good.

Also, I know it's hard not to, but I tend to think that the RDA for a multitude of minerals and vitamins might not be accurate for people eating a healthy paleo diet. It makes sense after all that people eating a crappy diet would need more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to repair all the damage done. People also get less nutrients because of the phytates in grains and the USDA doesn't take that in consideration so probably thinks that somebody gets X amount of a mineral and still presents the symptoms of deficiency, not because that X amount is not enough, but because much less than X is actually metabolized by the body.

We also know that vitamin C requirements are lower when you eat fewer carbs. Vit C and carbs are in competition for absorption. This is why most sources of carbs in nature come chuck full of vit C (the antidote with the poison). I suspect this to be true with other things than vit. C.

Also, I thought potassium was a no brainer and that all major sources where from the vegetable world. Avocados are a good source, but just about any vegetable will have good amounts of it.

55320 · April 29, 2010 at 3:56 PM

I would say that broth is undervalued because the data in Nutritiondata doesn't seem very accurate. If it were there would be more specific variables like "broth cooked 24 hrs with vinegar." Most of that data is from the USDA, which isn't exactly known for caring about traditional foods. Sometimes when you see "0" it means they didn't do that test.

I got 100% RDA Mg yesterday without a supplement. My main sources were lots of asparagus, striped bass, kelp, a few small potatoes, some dark chocolate, and beef heart. It's probably an underestimate too because I ate marrow and bone, which there is little data on that. Plus I grow my lettuce is Mg enriched soil and I ate some of that.

I stopped supplementing because it upset my stomach.

Coconut water is an excellent source of K, so is prunes.

24412 · July 08, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Transdermal magnesium is the way to go as far as I'm concerned. I love kelp and fishies, but not everyday. I don't know about you, but whenever I've been able to swim in the ocean on a regular basis, I feel reallllly good. Dr. Carolyn Dean talks about sea water having a good amount of magnesium you can absorb through your skin, so that might be why. I now live where the ocean is crazy cold though, and am not ready to earn my polar bear badge, so I use magnesium oil. I've been using it as deodorant and on my feet after showers, about a teaspoon a day. I have no idea how much I'm absorbing this way, but I'm hoping it is enough to keep me healthy if I'm not getting enough in my diet.

3277 · April 01, 2012 at 1:46 AM

I was convinced I was deficient in Magnesium because I was getting muscle cramping and twitching.

I was able to get a Magnesium RBC (intra-cellular magnesium) test from www.RequestAtest.com for $44. I ordered it online and went to Lab Corp for the blood draw. It came back as normal so I can stop torturing myself with aggressive oral magnesium supplementation which had terrible GI impact for me.

From what I've read, it could be due to potassium and / or caclium.



PS: a regular blood test for magnesium isn't very accurate because the body will rob magnesium from various parts of the body to maintain the desired level in a very narrow range in the blood.

9983 · April 29, 2010 at 2:55 PM

For everything magnesium see Dr. Tourgeman's post here: http://nephropal.blogspot.com/2009/07/magnesium.html#comments Artichokes, pumpkin seeds, and almonds are all good sources. Steamed artichokes are one of my favorite. The edible part of the "leaves" are excellent tasting when dipped in homemade mayonnaise and lemon juice. And the artichoke is a good source of inulin which ferments in the gut and restores good gut flora. Other good sources to repair the gut are jicama, jeruselam artichokes, burdock root and chicory root, leaks and onions.

And for potassium see this: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/foods-high-in-potassium-calcium-and-magnesium.html

What jumps out at me is avocados are a good sourse of potassium and is a whole food.

18236 · February 20, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Raw Cacao Powder is exceptionally high in magnesium at 420mg per 100 g, making it one of the richest known natural food sources.


198 · February 20, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Romaine lettuce. One head will give you almost a half of daily dose of potassium and 20% of magnesium. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2475/2

0 · March 11, 2014 at 3:15 PM

I was potasium deficient and I solved it by introducing baby clams into my diet.

0 · March 11, 2014 at 3:14 PM

I was potassium deficient and I solved it by introducing baby clams into my diet.

7741 · July 09, 2011 at 5:56 PM

I get close to RDA just from my near-daily consumption of coconut water, potatoes, green veg, fish.

Also bananas and pumpkin seeds but I don't eat those as often.

25 · July 09, 2011 at 12:37 AM

In searching for high nutrition greens, I found that Endive is a good source of vitamins and minerals.


I'm looking forward to incorporating this new green into my diet.

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39204 · February 20, 2011 at 7:06 PM

I get mine from spinach and russet potatoes. I eat 1/3rd to a half a pound of spinach a day + 1 potato. I'm of the opinion that the RDAs are all wrong, but not necessarily in a consistent direction.

128 · April 29, 2010 at 2:42 PM

For the K+ coconut water has a lot of potassium in it and it is easy to drink more of it. Granted it has sugars in it but it is for sure Paleo and not to hard to find. I like the Vita brand b/c they don't pasteurize.

5330 · April 29, 2010 at 2:41 PM

try this website: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/magnesium.asp#h2

Food sources of magnesium

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