Get to know the miracle mineral magnesium

I'm sure you already know a bit about magnesium. You may know that your heart requires it to function properly. Or you may be aware that magnesium benefits is a key player in your bone health.

But what most people don't realize is that this miracle mineral plays some other critical roles in keeping you healthy.

Magnesium benefits can slash your risk of diabetes and stroke, reduce inflammation, lower your blood pressure and improve your circulation. And if your levels of this essential mineral get too low your risk of dying can skyrocket. One study found that volunteers with the highest levels of magnesium had half the risk of dying from heart disease as those with the lowest levels.

Imagine slashing your risk of dying in half simply by loading up on a mineral that's found naturally in leafy greens, beans, nuts and grains!

But magnesium's benefits don't end there. It turns out that the mineral is a cancer-fighter too, reducing the risk of colon cancer by a healthy 11 percent. And for every 50 mg increase in the nutrient you can slice another 7 percent off of that risk.

This wasn't the first time we've seen a link between magnesium and lower colorectal cancer risk. An earlier study concluded that for every 100 mg increase in the mineral you could cut your cancer risk by 12 percent.

Most people fall woefully short of getting the magnesium they need, and that means they're not getting the magnesium benefits. As I mentioned earlier you can increase your levels by choosing the right foods. But to be sure you're reaching the optimal levels you might want to think about taking a supplement too. Look for magnesium glycinate, the more easily absorbed from of the mineral, on the label.