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Fresh Vegetables and FruitsMagnesium is believed to be a vital mineral that may help people prevent type 2 diabetes. In addition it is a mineral that people who are diabetics should incorporate into their diets. It is a necessary component of more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Without magnesium, the hormone insulin can’t do its job and deliver glucose, the body’s energy source, to cells. The results are conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. Magnesium is an important component of many foods, such as whole grains, nuts, and green leafy vegetables. It is an essential cofactor for enzymes involved in glucose metabolism and thus essential for people who cannot process insulin in their bodies.

In a recent study just released, “Only about half of Americans get enough magnesium in their diets, a fact that may contribute to the high rates of type 2 diabetes. In a seven-year study, researchers tracked magnesium intake among 2,500 adults without diabetes (though some participants had prediabetes, a precursor to type 2). The highest magnesium intake was associated with a 37 percent lower risk of developing prediabetes and, among those who already had prediabetes, a 32 percent lower risk of developing type 2.”[1]

In addition to helping prevent type 2 diabetes weight gain is also often associated with the use of insulin and a problem with Diabetic patients. It is possible that a magnesium deficiency can also be a cause. “Magnesium is necessary for the body to be satisfied with the amount of food you actually need. Without enough magnesium, we cannot use the fats, proteins and carbohydrates that we eat. This leads to leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone that makes you feel full and satisfied after a meal. If there isn’t enough magnesium, insulin cannot function correctly and you’ll crave sugar for energy. Magnesium is necessary for vitamin D to do its job. Taking vitamin D can make a magnesium deficiency worse. Vitamin D supplementation should be paired with magnesium supplementation to avoid type 2 diabetes.”[2]

To help you pick foods rich in magnesium which is the best way to get the mineral choose from the following; black beans, chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, soybeans, tofu, and edamame. Beans are great for your heart and blood sugar.  Almonds should be a staple in your diet. Almond milk is now readily available in addition. Other nuts to consider are; Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, peanut butter, pecans, pistachios, almond butter. Finally, remember to eat Spinach. Other vegetables to consider would be Swiss chard, kale, collards, beet greens, and romaine lettuce.


1Adela Hruby, James B. Meigs, Christopher J. O’Donnell, Paul F. Jacques, and Nicola M. McKeown, Higher Magnesium Intake Reduces Risk of Impaired Glucose and Insulin Metabolism and Progression From Prediabetes to Diabetes in Middle-Aged Americans Diabetes Care February 2014 37:2 419-427; published ahead of print October 2, 2013 1935-5548

[2] Basic Magnesium Deficiency Causes Obesity and Diabetes