During my physical last week, my doctor said I need to drastically reduce my sodium intake and curb my stress levels to lower my high blood pressure. No salt or stress in my life? Yeah right! Is there anything else that can help?

I’d recommend supplementing with at least 400 mg of magnesium or eating three servings of magnesium-rich foods (like oat bran, leafy greens, nuts and cocoa powder) daily. A study in the European Journal of Nutrition found that just upping magnesium levels was enough to reduce subjects’ systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 4 and 3 mm Hg respectively—and cut their risk of stroke and heart disease by 37 percent.

How it works: Magnesium relaxes blood vessels and regulates nerve and muscle activity in the heart. As a welcome bonus, this mineral also buffers the body’s stress response, curbing symptoms like anxiety and insomnia.

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