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Magnesium: Do You Get Enough of This Anti-Stroke Mineral?

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Our moms always told us to eat our greens and beans…and now a new study reveals yet another important reason why these wise women were right. People who consume plenty of foods rich in magnesium—such as leafy green veggies and legumes—appear to have fewer strokes.

Researchers analyzed data from seven studies involving a total of 241,378 people from the US, Europe and Asia who were followed for an average of nearly 12 years. What they found: For every additional 100 mg of magnesium consumed daily, a person’s risk for ischemic stroke (the most common type, which is caused by a blood clot) was reduced by 9%. Concern: Study participants from the US fell far short of the ideal, consuming foods that provided, on average, just 242 mg of magnesium per day—though the RDA is 320 mg for most adult women and 420 for most adult men.

Because this study focused specifically on food, researchers did not make a recommendation regarding the use of magnesium supplementation. However, it is easy to boost your intake of the brain-protecting mineral with food. For instance, you can get about 100 mg of magnesium each from…

  • Beans (black, lima, navy, white), 1 cup.
  • Beet greens, 1 cup cooked.
  • Bran cereal, ½ cup.
  • Brazil nuts, 1 ounce.
  • Cashews, 1¼ ounce.
  • Halibut, 3 ounces.
  • Lentils, 1¼ cup.
  • Okra, 1 cup cooked.
  • Spinach, 1 cup cooked.
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Source: Susanna Larsson, PhD, is an associate professor at the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, and lead author of a study on dietary magnesium and stroke risk published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Date: March 15, 2012 Publication: Bottom Line Health
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