I am NOT a single nutrient for a single disease person. I leave that up to the drug companies. Instead, an overall approach to lifestyle is the answer to today’s chronic disease disaster.
But sometimes single nutrients really do make a difference.
This is not the first time that the mineral magnesium has played the role of superstar in health and disease prevention. Diabetes, migraines, seizures and Alzheimer’s dementia are all conditions that magnesium has shown to have a strong protective effect.
This would be all fine and dandy if magnesium wasn’t a nutrient that is very commonly deficient in today’s processed lifestyle. Foods high in magnesium include:
- Dark green leafies like spinach and kale
- Nuts and seeds
- Most fish
- Beans / lentils
- Whole grains
- Dark chocolate
You can see, from this list, that the typical Western diet does not contains any foods high in magnesium. Any magnesium is usually added to the foods after they are processed and the form of magnesium most commonly used (because it is cheaper) is magnesium oxide. Magnesium oxide is a poorly absorbed form, as opposed to the elemental form most commonly found naturally in foods.
In this particular study, researchers looked at 7216 aged 55-80 Mediterranean adults who were known to have a high cardiovascular risk. Overall, the participants with the highest baseline magnesium intake had a 34% lower risk of dying. Period.
From all causes.
In other words, those people whose diets contained more magnesium were very strongly protected against dying from any chronic disease. That’s powerful.
Lest you run out and stock up on magnesium supplements and cancel your life insurance policy, keep in mind that this study was NOT on supplements, but rather on the levels of magnesium in the diet.
Along with magnesium, the foods on the list above are also very high in countless other protective factors to keep you healthy and disease free. If you don’t already eat the foods regularly in the list above, it is time to start. Your life literally depends on it.