A recent meta-analysis in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that magnesium could help reduce blood pressure.

Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire analyzed 22 studies that involved 1,173 people total to understand how magnesium affects blood pressure. Each of these studies supplemented anywhere from 120 mg to nearly a gram of magnesium, and lasted anywhere from three to 24 weeks.

Researchers concluded that while not all the studies found significant blood pressure reduction, the studies combined showed magnesium reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure. What's more, people in these studies got the best results when they veered towards higher magnesium doses.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, proves a major risk factor for heart and renal diseases. I don't have to remind you that cardiovascular disease is the number-one natural killer for Americans.

HERE'S THE DEAL WITH MAGNESIUM:
Over 300 enzymes in your body require this important mineral.

Every time you detox, your body requires magnesium. In other words, with insufficient magnesium levels, your body's not detoxing. And keep in mind detoxification is a daily process, not something you do twice a year.

Among its many other benefits, magnesium regulates blood sugar levels, reduces brain-related issues like insomnia and anxiety, and lowers your risk for heart disease and stroke.

I could go on, but here's the short of it: I can't think of a more beneficial mineral than magnesium.

My friends Dr. Michael and Mary Dan Eades wrote a whole chapter in their classic The Protein Power Lifeplan called "The Magnesium Miracle." Trust me, the Drs. Eades are not prone to hyperbole. Magnesium is that important.

Researchers have found up to 80 percent of Americans don't get enough magnesium. A study in The Journal of Nutrition, for instance, concluded that "substantial numbers of U.S. adults fail to consume adequate magnesium in their diets."

A huge factor for hypertension is low magnesium levels. I don't think it's a coincidence that Americans are largely deficient in this mineral and suffer such high amounts of high blood pressure and heart disease.

Good dietary magnesium sources include nuts and seeds as well as leafy green vegetables.

And you're going to love this one: dark chocolate contains magnesium. When I hear friends complain they crave chocolate, I remind them they might be magnesium deficient.

But getting therapeutic amounts of this mineral, like in these studies, requires supplementation.

Magnesium absorbs poorly. Chances are, if you buy a cheap store brand, you're getting magnesium oxide, the most poorly absorbable form of magnesium. Your body absorbs and utilizes very little magnesium oxide. As usual, you get what you pay for.

My favorite magnesium supplement is Magnesium Malate Chelate. Magnesium Malate Chelate, as the name implies, is fully chelated to glycine and malic acid. It combines two of the most health promoting and most absorbable forms of magnesium. Your body absorbs these magnesium salts and retains them in body tissue (like bone) much better than other forms of this mineral.

If all that means nothing to you, rest assured you're getting the highest quality, most absorbable magnesium supplement you can buy.

Each tablet offers an effective 250 mg of magnesium. Two tablets daily provides a good maintenance dose, although to reduce hypertension and other issues, you'll want to get up to one gram in divided doses.

One warning. Slowly taper up your dose, since magnesium can provide upset stomach if you take too much at once. And one other suggestion: I like to take Magnesium Malate Chelate before bed. Magnesium promotes relaxation and calm, making it the ideal supplement to help you unwind after a long, hectic day.