Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a key role in maintaining many of the body’s functions including strong bones, steady heart rhythm and nerve and muscle function. It also helps to regulate blood glucose levels. There are some studies being done to see if magnesium can help prevent and/or maintain diseases such as diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association conducted a 20 year study that explored how magnesium intake affects diabetes. They found that consuming more magnesium can lower the risk of diabetes and decrease inflammation. Wonderful! People with diabetes often have lower levels of magnesium in their system, so how can we fix that? Of course, you can always take a supplement (yet another pill?), but magnesium can also be found in many healthy foods.
Here is a list of common foods that contain magnesium
- Raw pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
- Green vegetables, such as spinach and Swiss chard
- Raw broccoli
- Raw, organic cacao
- Black beans and navy beans
Whole grains are another good source of magnesium, but it would be a mistake for someone with diabetes to eat large quantities of grains, even whole grains. Why? Because whole grain foods are high in carbohydrates and grain intake may be related to insulin resistance.
If the foods listed above aren’t already in your diet, it’s a good idea to add them for many reasons, including increasing the amount of magnesium in your system.