Is Dark Chocolate Really A Good Source Of Magnesium?

What’s Best Dark Chocolate For Magnesium?

This is a setting-the-record-straight kind of post. It’s the season of chocolate (dark chocolate magnesium), and I want to address what is fast becoming a popular misconception.

Have you ever heard that dark chocolate is a good source of magnesium?

It’s true that relative to a lot of other foods, dark chocolate is high in magnesium (dark chocolate magnesium).

That is, to get about 100 mg of magnesium (a third or a quarter of what most adults need every day), you could have:

  • half a box of baby spinach leaves (i.e. a very, very large salad)
  • 1.5 cups of cooked lentils (really filling!)
  • …wait, whoa, two-thirds of a very large bar of dark chocolate!

What do I mean by ‘very large’?

You’re probably familiar with the Lindt chocolate bars that come in 70%, 80%, 90% cacao and other varieties. They’re everywhere. The tall, wide, thin bars that you break into reasonably sized squares.

You would have to eat ⅔ of a large Lindt bar to get 100 mg of magnesium. Not a good idea. It’s just too much chocolate!


Cacao powder is much more promising, offering about 40 mg of magnesium in each tablespoon.

You can add cacao to healthy, sugar-free foods every day (unlike Lindt bars). Here are a few ideas:

  • Try adding a tablespoon to smoothies, especially if you’re using a very sweet base, like frozen bananas, cherries, or Vega protein powders. The cacao balances some of that sweet.
  • In these chilly months, whip up some hot cacao using a plant-based milk and a low-glycemic or natural sweetener, like stevia or maple syrup.
  • Get creative with raw food desserts, like vegan puddings, dairy-free raw cheesecakes, brownies and other treats.

Just to be clear, though, I’m talking about raw cacao, a superfood – not dutch processed cocoa typically used in baking. In addition to powdered cacao, you can find raw cacao in ‘nibs’.

Be aware that just like sugary chocolate, cacao may confer a bit of a buzz. It does contain stimulants.


Realistically, even if you become a big-time raw cacao enthusiast, you probably won’t use more than a tablespoon a day, contributing about 10% of your magnesium needs.

So, the next time you hear that dark chocolate is a good source of magnesium, just smile. You and I both know now that magnesium isn’t the #1 reason to choose dark chocolate.

If you’re not getting enough magnesium-dense foods every day – or if you’re experiencing symptoms of magnesium deficiency, try Natural Calm.

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