1 in 3 Australian adults are thought to have high blood pressure (hypertension), with more than two thirds (68%) of them not managing it well. Labelled the “silent killer,” due to often having no warning signs or symptoms, high blood pressure is a common, and often dangerous, condition. New research, published in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension, identifies magnesium as a potential remedy.
The research identifies an increased intake of magnesium as a good way to reduce blood pressure levels.
This essential mineral is involved in over 300 bodily processes, and is a key player in regulating metabolic health. It’s something we all need to eat more of, as it has been widely documented to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, maintain a steady heartbeat, support a healthy immune system, and help bones to remain strong.
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.
AHA spokesperson Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., Prof. of Nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania, says, “This study underscores the importance of consuming a healthy diet that provides the recommended amount of magnesium as a strategy for helping to control blood pressure.”
She adds, “Importantly, this amount of magnesium (368 mg/day) can be obtained from a healthy diet that is consistent with AHA dietary recommendations.”
There are many delicious foods rich in magnesium, including avocados, almonds, cashews and spinach. Other sources include green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, some breakfast cereals, and other fortified food. 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.