It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of websites claiming that the secret to better health lies in the latest fad diet, or a newly-discovered food item. But new research published in the journal Hypertension shows that one nutrient we’re all familiar with contains properties proven to lower blood pressure.
The new study was led by Dr. Yiqing Song, associate professor of epidemiology at Indiana University’s School of Public Health, whose team pooled data from 34 clinical trials on magnesium supplements for closer analysis. According to researchers, these pre-existing studies had shown that participants who consumed magnesium supplements noted positive changes to blood pressure. All of those studies had been small, however, and none of the results had ever been consolidated into a larger study.
Across all 34 trials, participants took anywhere between 240 milligrams and 960 milligrams a day. These new findings detected a small but significant link between magnesium intake and healthy reductions in blood pressure. Higher magnesium levels were directly connected to better blood flow, say researchers, allowing for a drop in blood pressure.
So, should you be taking a magnesium supplement? Perhaps the most telling part of the research says that if you’re eating a balanced diet, no.
American Heart Association spokeswoman Penny Kris-Etherton said in an AHA news release that findings “underscores the importance of consuming a healthy diet that provides the recommended amount of magnesium as a strategy for helping to control blood pressure.” That’s because according to the AHA, the daily recommended amount for any person is 368 milligrams a day.
One in every three Americans has high blood pressure. If you’re among that group, or simply wish to avoid HBP altogether, you can make sure you’re receiving the daily recommended amount of magnesium by eating the following foods:
- Dark, leafy greens (kale, spinach)
- Squash and pumpkin seeds
Leave a Reply