Magnesium supplements modestly lower blood pressure, according to a 2016 analysis of 34 clinical trials, published in the journal Hypertension. The average decline was about 2 points in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Doses ranged from 240 to 960 milligrams a day (the RDA is 320 to 420 milligrams a day) and were taken for an average of three months.
In mid-2017, an analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at 11 clinical trials examining the effect of magnesium supplements (365 to 450 milligrams a day) on blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, or insulin resistance. As with the previous analysis, the supplements lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure by about 2 points.
But supplements aren’t necessary to get those levels of magnesium. A healthy diet, rich in whole grains, vegetables, beans, seeds, fish, and nuts, will supply plenty of magnesium, along with other nutrients that promote cardiovascular health. Magnesium-rich foods are a big part of the anti-hypertension DASH diet.
This chart lists some of the best food sources of magnesium:
|Halibut or mackerel, cooked, 4 ounces||120|
|Sunflower seeds, dried, 1 ounce||100|
|Spinach/chard, cooked, 1/2 cup||80|
|Almonds or cashews, 1 ounce||77|
|Flounder or sole, cooked, 4 ounces||75|
|Wheat germ, 1 ounce||70|
|Beans, cooked, 1/2 cup||50|
|Oatmeal, cooked, 1 cup||55|
|Peanuts, 1 ounce||50|
|Potato, baked with skin, medium||50|
|Tofu, 3 ounces||50|
|Avocado, 4 ounces||50|
|Yogurt, plain, 1 cup||45|
|Corn kernels, cooked, 1 cup||45|
|Pasta, whole-wheat, cooked, 1 cup||42|
|Rice, brown, cooked, 1/2 cup||40|
|Dark chocolate, 1 ounce||30|
|Milk, 1 cup||25|
|Bread, whole-wheat, 1 slice||25|
Originally published October 16, 2016, updated July 20, 2017.