Eating foods rich in magnesium can improve your health
To ensure that you’re getting enough magnesium in your diet, be sure to include these five foods rich in magnesium in your meals and snacks.
Magnesium helps with muscle performance
Magnesium is a mineral that helps release energy from food, and thus has a role in muscle performance. There are many different kinds of magnesium, with some also contributing to bone strength, but other forms most commonly contribute to cell function and neurological signaling. In order to get an adequate amount of magnesium through diet alone, you would need to eat 10-15 servings of many of these high magnesium foods per day. Eating too much magnesium or not getting enough through diet can have adverse side effects on your body.
Magnesium reduces blood pressure
Research has shown that magnesium can reduce blood pressure significantly, especially when it’s low to begin with. In addition to potentially lowering blood pressure, magnesium also helps regulate calcium and potassium levels, which are essential for many bodily functions. It may also help prevent kidney stones from forming. Magnesium deficiency is common in Americans, and eating foods high in magnesium can help combat it. There are several good sources of magnesium: spinach, almonds, beans and soy milk—to name a few.
Magnesium improves insulin sensitivity
There’s a lot of research that suggests that magnesium plays an important role in both energy production and overall cellular function, which means it’s likely a good idea to eat magnesium-rich foods. For example, studies have shown that magnesium improves insulin sensitivity, which makes it easier for your body to break down sugars and reduce inflammation. This is just one way eating more magnesium-rich foods—especially when paired with exercise—can help you lose weight.
Magnesium protects against cognitive decline
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Magnesium deficiency is a real thing, and not getting enough of it will mess with all sorts of body functions—one of which being brain function. Magnesium plays an important role in energy production, which means that without enough magnesium, you may not be able to think as quickly or as clearly. Plus, getting more magnesium (and other minerals) will also help protect against heart disease and type 2 diabetes by helping control blood pressure.
Magnesium helps prevent osteoporosis
Osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to become brittle and weak, is common among older adults. In fact, osteoporosis often contributes to bone fractures due to simple falls. Magnesium helps prevent osteoporosis by strengthening bones and promoting bone growth. Consuming magnesium-rich foods also reduces blood pressure, which helps lower your risk of heart attack and stroke—two leading causes of death among older adults. Eat magnesium-rich foods like spinach, almonds, cashews, beans and other legumes.
For those who have a magnesium deficiency: magnesium supplementation may be helpful for reducing migraine frequency (2), decreasing depression symptoms (3), improving sleep quality (4) and even helping with weight loss (5). If you are deficient in magnesium it’s worth checking out how you can add more into your diet or consider taking a supplement if you don’t think you’re getting enough from food alone.
Magnesium prevents migraines
Magnesium deficiency has been linked to migraines and headaches. And there’s evidence that supplementing with magnesium may help treat migraines. In one study, participants who took a daily supplement of magnesium (360 mg) for 12 weeks had significantly fewer migraine days than those who didn’t take any supplements. Magnesium is also important for muscle function, so if you experience muscle tension or cramps, you may want to give it a try.
Magnesium reduces anxiety
It’s true that magnesium deficiency is associated with a number of different medical conditions, including diabetes and heart disease. However, it also plays an important role in mental function, meaning that many people who experience anxiety could benefit from increased magnesium intake. If you’re struggling with feelings of panic or tension, consider adding more magnesium-rich foods to your diet—and see if they don’t help.