Fight stroke with magnesium

Vinny’s grandparents are getting on, so nobody will blame them if they are starting to look a little worn around the edges. Relying on fast food and maybe even cigarettes over the years to make life easy could be part of the problem. With these sorts of habits, Vinny worried that his family could be setting itself up for medical catastrophes… stroke for example. Holy smokes! Is there anything we can do to help?

Giving up the weed is an obvious solution. But did you know that what we eat can also make a significant impact on our long-term well-being?

Magnesium to the rescue

Magnesium, a mineral found in some foods, has been proven to fight off the scary Mr. Stroke.

The most common kind of stroke happens when the blood thickens enough to form a clot, which blocks a blood vessel in the brain. Researchers at the Swedish Karolinska Institute found that the risk of older folks suffering this kind of problem was reduced by 9% for each 100 milligrams of magnesium they ate each day.

Researchers think it may be because magnesium helps lower blood pressure.

Get started on the road to better health

Here are some foods that have mega-loads of the superhero Magnesium. Put a few of them on your menu every day.

  • Green, leafy vegetables, like spinach, kale, collard greens and broccoli.
  • Nuts and seeds – Pumpkin and sesame seeds, peanuts, almonds, and cashews are good choices.
  • Whole grains, like brown rice, oat bran cereal, and whole grain breads.
  • Beans – Black beans are a particularly good source, with 120 milligrams of magnesium in one cup.
  • Fish – Scallops, halibut, and oysters are all good sources of magnesium. Choose sustainably raised fish when possible.

Vinny says, “the outside and the insides of black beans are yummy!” Only a kid would think to dissect a black bean, which he went on to eat carefully, one by one, off the end of his fork.

If some of these foods are new to you, like they are sometimes to Vinny, go ahead. Be adventuresome and dissect them yourself. You will be surprised how good it is to eat healthy.

Scallops are easy to cook

Saute scallops in a heavy frying pan for just a few minutes, until they firm up. Try this recipe featuring these salty molluscs and some other magnesium-rich foods for a heart-healthy platter of eats.

Scallops with black bean sauce
2-4 servings

  • 1 pound scallops
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cooked or canned black beans, mashed (Use the rest of the beans as a side, mixed with cooked rice.)
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 fresh green chili, finely chopped (optional, especially if serving to the kids)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Prepare scallops

  1. Rinse scallops in cool water. Drain and pat dry. If scallops are large, cut in half across the middle, to make each piece skinnier.
  2. Marinate scallops with soy sauce, honey, pepper, cornstarch, salt, and balsamic vinegar for 30 minutes.

Prepare black bean paste

  1. Rinse black beans in a sieve under cold running water and measure a tablespoon. Reserve the rest for later.
  2. Add garlic, chilies,  and ginger root.
  3. Mix well and mash with a spoon.

Put it all together

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch skillet.
  2. Add three-quarters of the black bean paste, and stir fry for 1 minute.
  3. Add onions and bell peppers and stir fry for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add marinated scallops and cook until scallops turn white and firm, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the rest of the black bean paste and cook for 1 minute.

To serve

  1. Sprinkle with sesame oil.
  2. Accompany with sides of steamed broccoli and steamed rice mixed with lots of cooked black beans.
  1. Stroke and magnesium, Swedish Karolinska Institute
  2. Ten best food sources of magnesium

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