Magnesium-rich Foods May Aid Brain Aging

Magnesium can aid blood sugar levels. Many of us don’t get the recommended nutrients we need because we don’t eat enough of the foods that contain them. Additionally, people with blood sugar concerns lose more magnesium through urine than others. That means they need to consume more of it to have healthy levels. And, older people tend to have lower levels of magnesium.

Foods like leafy greens, legumes, nuts, avocados, broccoli, oatmeal, chicken, beef and yogurt are good sources of magnesium. However, you might not get enough if you don’t have a healthy diet. If you don’t like vegetables, it can be hard to get the proper amount through meat and yogurt alone.

Sometimes, having extra reasons to do something helps boost our likelihood of doing it. The more “pros” a thing has, the more likely we are to do it. When you hear about a new study, you may start eating more salads and broccoli.

The Australian National Univ. (ANU) found that more magnesium in a diet led to healthier brain aging. It even reduced the risk of dementia. The study had more than 6,000 healthy people between the ages of 40 and 73. When they ate 500 milligrams of magnesium daily, their brain was about one year younger by the time they reached 55 than someone who ate 350 milligrams a day.

Our study shows a 41 percent increase in magnesium intake could lead to less age-related brain shrinkage, which is associated with better cognitive function and lower risk or delayed onset of dementia in later life,” lead author Khawlah Alateeq. “This research highlights the potential benefits of a diet high in magnesium and the role it plays in promoting good brain health.”
In addition to having less brain shrinkage, the people also had smaller white matter lesions. White matter lesions are a sign of aging. The positive effect of magnesium was most obvious in post-menopausal women.  

Study co-author Dr. Erin Walsh said, “Since there is no cure for dementia and the development of pharmacological treatments have been unsuccessful for the past 30 years, it’s been suggested that greater attention should be directed towards prevention.”

If the idea of leafy greens leaves you cold, we understand. While they are packed with nutrients, not everyone is a fan. But legumes are rich in magnesium as well as beneficial fiber. You can also increase the number of nuts you enjoy and peanut butter. Just be aware of how many calories you’re eating. Pumpkin and chia seeds, as well as almonds, actually have more magnesium than spinach. People don’t praise them as much because they are higher in calories and fat, but they are healthy foods and a great part of a balanced diet!

Banner image: Nathan Nugent via Unsplash

Related Posts

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Please check your email to confirm your subscription.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form
By clicking the "Subscribe" button you agree to our newsletter policy