The most overlooked nutrient when treating high blood pressure

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…

Magnesium.

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.

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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?