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Artichokes for Magnesium

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Dietary Magnesium May Lower Risk of Pancreatic Cancer 

Spring is here and artichoke season is upon us. While we can’t give enough praise for this delicious green vegetable, one of its greatest benefits may be the magnesium it provides. One medium artichoke packs a whopping 77 mg magnesium—19% of the daily value—for a mere 60 calories. We have previously discussed this mineral’s vital impact on health. A study out of Indiana University adds to the evidence that we need more magnesium, suggesting dietary magnesium may be beneficial for lowering risk of pancreatic cancer. 

Researchers followed 66,806 men and women aged 50 years and older for about 7 years. At the beginning of the study, participants answered questions about the foods that they typically ate and their health history. Researchers used the dietary information to determine daily magnesium intake. Throughout the study period, participants were monitored for development of cancer or death. 

Compared to those who met their magnesium RDA, the group who got less than 75% of their RDA saw a 76% increase in development of pancreatic cancer. Every 100-milligrams-per-day decrease in magnesium intake was linked with a 24% increase in the occurrence of pancreatic cancer. Researchers suspect dietary magnesium may help lower risk of pancreatic cancer by also lowering risk of type 2 diabetes, a risk factor for pancreatic cancer. 

"While more study is needed, the general population should strive to get the daily recommendations of magnesium through diet, such as dark, leafy greens or nuts, to prevent any risk of pancreatic cancer," explains study leader Daniel Dibaba in a press release. Most Americans are not getting enough magnesium in their diets, so adding artichokes and other magnesium-packed foods like almond butter, spinach, butternut squash and potatoes is a good way to meet your needs. 

Try our Quick Steamed Artichokes with Lemon Dip for a fast, tasty and seasonal way to get a good dose of magnesium onto your plate.

Published April 1, 2016

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