A mineral that is more powerful than most of us realize, magnesium controls a large amount of metabolic and enzymatic processes within our bodies all the time. This vital mineral plays a leading role in bone, mood, heart, blood, digestive, kidney, and overall neurological health. One of the most important roles it plays, however, is in blood sugar balance.
The many ways magnesium protects your blood sugar
helps manage insulin levels in the body and can prevent blood sugar
spikes and crashes from occurring. It also plays a large role in blood
pressure control, preventing high blood pressure from occurring,
especially when combined with enough potassium in the diet. This does
two things: controls stress that can elevate insulin levels and improves
overall blood pressure that, when out of control, increases insulin
resistance and can cause type 2 diabetes to occur more easily.
Why food sources of magnesium are the best option
With evidence rising that our society is magnesium-deficient and
suffering related health problems as a result, more people are opting
for supplements to obtain additional magnesium in their diets. While
this isn’t necessarily a negative thing — and can certainly be helpful
in a world where our soil isn’t as rich in nutrients as it once was —
we’re always much better off obtaining our minerals from real food
Supplements are a great second alternative if they are acquired from a
responsible source, but nothing compares to food when it comes to
optimal nourishment. Magnesium-rich foods are thankfully very abundant
in nature. In fact, magnesium is found in nearly every food group there
is, making it easy for us to get enough. However, some foods, such as
grains, beans, legumes, and some nuts, contain lectins and phytates that
may hinder mineral absorption in the body. They can also pose digestive
problems for many individuals since they are hard for the human body to
Easy-to-digest sources of magnesium to add to your diet
Below are some easy-to-digest,
magnesium-rich foods that you can add to your menus quite easily and
reap the benefits this mineral holds. Since it is depleted fairly
quickly in the body during times of mental and physical stress, be sure
you eat magnesium-rich foods on a regular basis.
This leafy green is packed with protein, calcium, magnesium and many vitamins. It’s also one of the best greens
to eat raw since its fibers are quite easy for the body to break down.
Spinach can be eaten raw or cooked, however, and both are great options
that your body will benefit from. Spinach actually contains more
magnesium (and protein) than any other green, though all are a fairly
These seeds are
packed with nutritional goodness starring iron, omega-3 fatty acids,
potassium, and magnesium. Chia seeds contain roughly 23 percent of your
daily magnesium needs in two tablespoons, which is around 95 milligrams.
These seeds can be enjoyed raw, cooked, ground or whole. Do note,
however, that if you eat them whole, they should be mixed into something
or mixed into a liquid since they are quite fibrous and swell up during
the digestive process.
Hemp seeds and raw hemp protein
powder are both great sources of magnesium. The hemp plant is a
fantastic source of nutrition, including protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty
acids, omega-6 fatty acids in the form of GLA fats, iron, zinc and
potassium. Hemp seeds contain roughly 45 percent of your daily magnesium
needs in just three tablespoons, making them the highest source among
raw nuts and seeds. This is one of the reasons hemp is known as a
beneficial food for mood, heart, digestive and blood sugar health.
Cacao (all forms)
Though it is derived from a bean, raw cacao
is unique in its ability to digest fairly easily in the body. Touted as
the highest source of magnesium in the world, the cacao bean is also
higher in antioxidants than all other superfoods you may be familiar
with. While it does contain caffeine, the other nutrients within cacao —
including magnesium — make it an extremely calming, naturally
energizing plant to enjoy whenever possible. It will also benefit your
blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Choose raw cacao nibs, powder, or
unprocessed cocoa powder to reap the most benefits.
One seed that is getting a bit more
attention for its stellar nutritional profile is the mighty pumpkin
seed! Pumpkin seeds contain more magnesium than spinach with 48 percent
of your daily needs in just half a cup! They beat all other seeds aside
from hemp and chia in their magnesium content. These seeds are also
extremely high in chlorophyll, zinc, iron, and potassium, making them
one of the most alkalizing seeds available. Enjoy pumpkin seeds raw when
you can, and look for those that are bright green in color, not muddy
brown. The greener the seed, the fresher and richer in nutrients it will
Other fantastic sources of magnesium to include in your diet are raw
almonds, bananas, kale, Swiss chard, cashews, quinoa, yogurt, oats,
broccoli, sesame seeds (or tahini) and sunflower seeds. These are also
great sources of fiber, amino acids and other minerals that will benefit
your blood sugar levels further.
To take care of your blood sugar, first be sure to avoid refined
sugars, grains, and processed foods. Then add in magnesium-rich foods to
your diet and your blood sugar health will improve quite easily —
especially when eaten in conjunction with a diet rich in enough protein,
healthy fats and fiber from natural sources.
What are some delicious ways we might be able to combine these foods for a magnesium-rich meal?
—The Alternative Daily