Kate Cornell was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2005. Since then, she has controlled diabetes through dietary changes, exercise, and, more recently, metformin. She shares her experiences and lessons learned here and on her blog, kates-sweet-success.blogspot.com, which was named as one of the top diabetes blogs for 2015 by Healthline.com.

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. Studies are being done to see if magnesium can help prevent diabetes and other diseases, or help control them.

The American Diabetes Association conducted a 20 year study that explored how magnesium intake affects diabetes. They found that consuming more magnesium could 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.

Common foods that contain magnesium:

  • Avocados
  • Raw pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Green vegetables, such as spinach and Swiss chard
  • Raw broccoli
  • Raw, organic cacao
  • Black beans and navy beans
  • Peas

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. Also, 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. You'll get more magnesium, and they are rich in lots of other healthy nutrients too. Always check with your physician before modifying your diet.

To learn more about this topic:

Natural Supplements for People with Diabetes
What Vitamins Do Diabetics Need?
Are Chia Seeds the Next Diabetes Super Food?