Do you know how much magnesium is in your diet? Honestly, neither do we. But from the looks of new research on its connections to high blood pressure and hypertension, we should.
The study from Lindsy Kass and her colleagues at the University of Hertfordshire is one of the first to investigate whether people diagnosed with hypertension habitually eat a diet low in magnesium. They analyzed the nutritional profiles of 25 people diagnosed with primary hypertension and 21 without the condition all from the same geographical area. Overall, all study participants had a dietary intake of magnesium significantly lower than the recommended guidelines offered in both the United Kingdom and the United States, and it was especially low in men.
“Magnesium (Mg) is a key factor in blood pressure regulation and our study suggests that not only can low dietary magnesium intake lead to hypertension but that worryingly, dietary magnesium intake is at lower than currently recommended levels across the board,” said Kass. “Though recommended levels in the U.S. are higher than the UK, the real issue lies with dietary intake and not with the recommendations themselves.”
So how do we get more magnesium into our bodies, you ask? That’s where our dear friend dark chocolate comes into play.
The recommended daily intake of magnesium in the United States is 400 milligrams for men and 310 milligrams for women. Even if you pop a multivitamin each morning, most products only include a third of your daily requirement. Eating 11 and a half small bananas could get you there, but so could 8 ounces of dark chocolate. Maybe it’s just us, but that last option sounds the most appealing by far.
If you want other magnesium-options, reach for spinach, Swiss chard or pumpkin seeds. Just don’t mind us while we’re nibbling away on our favorite sweet treat.