The most overlooked nutrient when treating high blood pressure 51



View Profile

The likelihood of being diagnosed with high blood pressure (hypertension) continues to grow.

In fact, 1 in 3 Australian adults are now thought to have this condition, with more than two thirds (68%) of them not managing it well.

There are many natural foods shown to help lower blood pressure, and cutting down on sodium (salt) from junk food is the most well-recognised recommendation. But there’s another important nutrient that is typically overlooked…


This essential mineral is involved in over 300 bodily processes, and is a key player in regulating metabolic health. And it’s something we all need to eat more of.

Research shows that a lack of magnesium in the diet (deficiency) is very strongly associated with blood pressure complications. This holds true whether you are overweight or not. As you would expect then, correcting low magnesium has been shown to significantly reduce high blood pressure in numerous studies.

Problem is that approximately one-third of Australian adults do not eat their recommended dietary intake (RDI) of magnesium, making magnesium deficiency the second most common nutrient deficiency in developed countries (after vitamin D).

This is more than likely contributing to the growing rates of high blood pressure we see today. Fortunately, correcting this problem with food is not difficult once we are aware of it.

There are many delicious foods rich in magnesium, including avocados, almonds, cashews and spinach. In fact, including just ½ a cup of almonds or cashews in your daily meal plan provides 50% of your daily magnesium requirements in one hit. Add some spinach in at lunch or dinner and you can meet your requirements without any supplementation.

Magnesium supplements are also a useful alternative if you cannot regularly eat magnesium-rich foods, or you have quite severe magnesium deficiency. Just be sure to choose the right type, and always speak with your doctor first.

Do you take magnesium? What benefits have you seen?

Joe Leech

Joe is a Clinical Dietitian from Sydney, with a Master's degree in nutrition and dietetics. He has spent the last decade studying, researching and writing about nutrition, especially diet-related disease and food intolerance. He believes that conventional medicine and natural medicine do not have to be mutually exclusive, and draws from the best of both areas when discussing nutrition science or giving dietary advice to treat conditions.

  1. I take one a day plus a low dose blood pressure tablet, BP averages at about 125/70, I am nearly 74

    3 REPLY
    • In the last three years I have had a kidney transplant, open heart surgery to replace aortic heart valve and now I am getting over pneumonia, but battling on at 74, had lots of other surgeries it is amazing what we can live without.

  2. I use a magnesium spray on my body. I make this myself. Cheap and effective. Helps me sleep better too

  3. I take magnesium every day and it does not help my blood pressure, but, it gives great relief from foot and leg cramps.

    6 REPLY
    • That’s why I take them. I also,when it’s hot take salt tablets. My sodium and magnesium levels are always low and have been for years. I have high BP which is regulated with medication but it can also drop very suddenly causing me to nearly pass out. Family trait it seems.

    • For years my sodium is always low and I have been having foot and leg cramps lately. So has hubby. What brand of magnesium tablets do you take Jean?

      1 REPLY
      • Drinking several glasses of water everyday,two before you go to bed will really help get rid of cramps,no cost either

    • Leone O’Sullivan Cenovis from Woolies..A big brown bottle with a yellow lid…Coles have them too.I take 2 x 3 times a day but I suggest you start off with half that dose…Mine was on doctors suggestion.

    • Oh.! I also do leg stretching exercises before going to bed…I find that helps too.Hope that helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *