Your heart beats about 100,000 times a day. In 70 years, it will be at 2,500 million times, and still it will have to keep working; in fact, it never stops. Since one of your priorities is to keep it going, you need to make sure it gets the right materials so it can work forever. Well, maybe not forever, but you definitely want it to work for a little longer.

Magnesium Benefits for the Heart

Magnesium is a crucial mineral in your body since it facilitates the following functions:

  1. It improves the delivery of oxygen to heart cells, making the heart stronger.
  2. Magnesium is necessary for the calcium pump to work properly, which helps regulate blood pressure.
  3. Magnesium relaxes and dilates smooth muscles, allowing blood to flow more freely.
  4. It is one of the most important minerals for the prevention and reversal of insulin resistance, an underlying cause of high blood pressure.
  5. Magnesium facilitates the transmission of stimuli to the nerves; this causes the heart to keep regular beats. For example, in the case of irregularities in the cardiac rhythm, magnesium is needed to get the heart back to a normal frequency.
  6. Because it helps to maintain the blood flowing smoothly, it prevents the formation of blood clots.

On the other hand, a small magnesium deficiency leads to:

    1. Angina
    2. Heart weakness
    3. Irregularities in the cardiac rhythm.

Foods rich in magnesium may prevent heart attacks

The well-known Framingham study, conducted in the 50s, followed 5,000 people for 20 years. The researchers observed that the higher the levels of magnesium in the blood, the fewer issues people had with their cardiovascular system. Recent studies have also confirmed that an adequate amount of magnesium decreases by 30% of deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases.

Studies were done on the relationship between cardiovascular disease and magnesium

  1. Int. Journal Epidemial, 1999. 12,340 participants, males, and females, for 19 years. 30% lower incidence of cardiovascular diseases when levels of magnesium in the blood were high.
  2. Stroke, 1998. 34,266 participants, males, and females for 4 years.  40% lower risk of stroke in patients that consumed water rich in magnesium.
  3. Am Journal Epidemial, 1996. 1843 participants, males, and females during 7 years. 35% lower risk of a heart attack in patients who consumed water rich in magnesium.
  4. Circulation, 1998. 43,785 participants, males during 8 years.48% lower incidence of stroke in males with high blood pressure who were provided with 430 mg of magnesium per day.

What are the foods high in magnesium?

Although not complete by any means, since most natural foods have some content of magnesium, the table below shows those foods that have a higher content of this mineral.

Fruits Kiwis, raspberries, watermelons, strawberries
Vegetables Swiss chard, spinach, summer squash, mustard greens, broccoli, cucumbers, celery, collard greens, green beans, kale, tomatoes, beets, Brussels sprouts, green peas, eggplant, asparagus,  cauliflower, cabbage, carrots,
Fish Halibut, salmon, scallops, tuna, shrimp
Dry beans Black beans, soybeans, navy beans, pinto beans, lima beans, kidney beans,
Grains Quinoa, buckwheat, spelled, brown rice, wheat, bulgur, oats, millet, rye,
Nuts and seeds Almonds, cashews, flaxseeds,

What lowers your level of magnesium?

Magnesium doesn’t have it too easy nowadays because when you eat a diet high in processed foods and low in fruits and vegetables you create a magnesium deficiency. The following foods leash out magnesium from your body:

  1. Foods high in salt favor the elimination of magnesium.
  2. Too much fat prevents magnesium from being absorbed in the intestine.
  3. Cokes and drinks rich in phosphates lower the absorption of magnesium.
  4.  Alcohol causes you to eliminate about 50 mg of magnesium through your kidneys.
  5. If you practice sports, you need to drink water with at least 100 mg per liter.

As important as it is to include foods high in magnesium in your diet, so it is to make sure you avoid foods that can deprive you of this mineral.

Final words

Your body needs vitamins and minerals to carry out the many functions that are constantly happening in your cells. When one of these vitamins or minerals is absent, some of those functions will not happen. That means that the cells start malfunctioning and eventually they die. When enough cells die, the tissue dies also. And from here, as far as your health is concerned, it is a down the tube process.

Author

I am Andy Carpenter and I would start by saying that I have a Bachelor Degree in Nutrition Science conferred by California State University, Los Angeles and that I am certified as a Registered Dietitian.

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