Keep the immune system working properly

Hypertension Exercise Program

Alternative Remedies for High Blood Pressure

Get Instant Access

Evidence suggests that magnesium may play an important role in regulating blood pressure. Diets that provide plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are good sources of magnesium and potassium, are consistently associated with lower blood pressure. The Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure recommends maintaining an adequate magnesium intake, as well as potassium and calcium intake, as a positive lifestyle modification for preventing and managing high blood pressure.

Magnesium is a part of chlorophyll, the green pigment found in plants, so good sources include green leafy vegetables, potatoes, nuts (especially almonds and cashews), seeds, legumes, and whole-grain breads and cereals. Seafood is also a good source. The magnesium content of refined foods is usually low. Wholewheat bread, for example, has twice as much magnesium as does white bread because it contains the magnesium-rich germ and bran, which are removed when white flour is processed.

Although magnesium is present in many foods (see Figure 7-3), it usually occurs in small amounts. As with most nutrients, daily needs for magnesium cannot be met from a single food. Eating a wide variety of foods, including at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily and plenty of whole grains, helps ensure an adequate intake of magnesium.

Even though dietary surveys suggest that many American do not consume magnesium in the recommended amounts, deficiency symptoms are rarely seen

figure 7-3 FOOD SOURCES OF

MAGNESIUM

1

grains

RDA

Food and Serving Size

Milligrams

Men

Women

Muffins, oat bran, 3 oz.

89

420

320

Rice brown, cooked, 1/2 cup

42

420

320

Kellogg's Raisin Bran, 1/2 cup

42

420

320

Bulgur, cooked, 1/2 cup

29

420

320

Rice, white, parboiled, 1/2 cup

28

420

320

Whole-wheat bread, 1 slice

24

420

320

1

fruits and vegetables

RDA

Food and Serving Size

Milligrams

Men

Women

Spinach, cooked, 1/2 cup

79

420

320

Potato, baked, 1 potato

57

420

320

Lima beans, baby, 1/2 cup

51

420

320

Raisins, seedless, 1/2 cup

23

420

320

1

dairy

RDA

Food and Serving Size

Milligrams

Men

Women

Yogurt, plain, low-fat, 8-oz. container

39

420

320

Soymilk, 1/2 cup

31

420

320

Yogurt, plain, whole-milk, 8-oz. container

27

420

320

Whole milk, 1 cup

24

420

320

1

meats, poultry, fish, and alternates

RDA

Food and Serving Size

Milligrams

Men

Women

Halibut, 3 oz.

91

420

320

Cashew nuts, 1 oz.

74

420

320

Mixed nuts, 1 oz.

64

420

320

Peanuts, 1 oz.

50

420

320

Oysters, cooked, 3 oz.

49

420

320

Baked beans, 1/2 cup

43

420

320

Haddock, cooked, 3 oz.

43

420

320

Refried beans, canned, 1/2 cup

42

420

320

Lentils, 1/2 cup

36

420

320

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 2004. USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 17. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 2004. USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 17. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp.

r in adults in the United States. When magnesium deficiency does occur, it is usually due to disease or medications. Poorly controlled diabetes and a high alcohol intake increase the excretion of magnesium. Signs of chronic magnesium deficiency include muscle twitching, cramps, weakness, depression, blood clots, and other symptoms. If severe, it can cause muscle spasms, hallucinations, and even sudden death.

Very high doses of magnesium supplements can cause diarrhea. Especially in the elderly, they can also cause problems with the kidneys because the kidneys are trying to remove excess magnesium. The elderly are at risk of magnesium tox-icity because kidney function declines with age and they are more likely to take magnesium-containing laxatives and antacids.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment