This simple mineral can cut risk of heart death by more than half

It may not be a fountain of youth. But if you’ve got heart problems, magnesium could be the next best thing.

A team of Spanish researchers recently analyzed data from 7,216 older men and women with high cardiovascular risk. The subjects were all participants of the PREDIMED trial. (If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is–it’s the same Mediterranean diet trial that I’ve written about before.)

Researchers collected data over five years. And at the end of this study period, results showed that subjects with the highest intakes of magnesium (averaging 442 mg per day) benefited from a 59 percent lower rate of heart-related death.

And that’s not all. Compared to relatively low intakes of around 312 mg per day, high magnesium intakes also lowered cancer mortality by 37 percent. And they reduced death by any cause by 34 percent.

That’s some incredible natural protection right there. Unfortunately, research indicates most people aren’t getting enough of this mineral on a daily basis.

So what can you do?

Fill up on magnesium-rich foods like leafy greens, almonds, and avocados. And make sure your multivitamin features this essential mineral. Because as this study shows, it may literally add years to your life.

“Dietary Magnesium Intake Is Inversely Associated with Mortality in Adults at High Cardiovascular Risk.” J Nutr. 2013 Nov 20.