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What are the benefits of foods high in magnesium?

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Magnesium-rich foods help the body maintain bone integrity and a balanced nervous system, according to The World's Healthiest Foods. Consuming ample amounts of magnesium also enhances the body's ability to produce energy, control blood sugar levels and regulate inflammation.

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Eating foods high in magnesium contributes to bone health because the mineral plays a large role in the metabolism of bone tissue, explains The World's Healthiest Foods. Approximately 50 to 60 percent of the magnesium in a person's body is located inside of the bones, and even minor magnesium deficiencies can result in a great deal of bone loss. One reason this bone loss occurs is that parathyroid hormone levels decrease when magnesium intake is insufficient, which causes the intestines to absorb less calcium. Higher amounts of calcium and magnesium are also lost through urine when parathyroid hormone levels decrease.

Examples of foods high in magnesium are pumpkin seeds, spinach, soybeans and sesame seeds, notes The World's Healthiest Foods. A 180-calorie serving of pumpkin seeds contains 48 percent of the daily recommended intake of magnesium, while a 41-calorie serving of spinach provides 39 percent. A 298-calorie serving of soybeans offers 37 percent of the daily recommended intake of magnesium, and 206 calories worth of sesame seeds provide about 32 percent of the daily recommended magnesium intake.

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