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Sorry, healthy fats—this undervalued avocado nutrient has you beat


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Photo: Stocksy/Aniko Lueff Takacs

If nutrients were categorized by what seat they’d take in a high school cafeteria, healthy fats would definitely be at the cool kids’ table. The current nutritional all-star just keep gaining accolades—from keeping your brain young to stabilizing your blood sugar levels. But if fatty acids are the number one reason you’re adding avocado to your toast, salads, and cupcakes, there’s another good-for-you nutrient in your green fruit that you need to know about—magnesium.

According to SELF Nutrition Data, one cup of raw avocado packs about 43.5 milligrams of magnesium, or 11 percent of your recommended daily intake of the mineral. In case you’re not yet familiar with the health-boosting benefits that magnesium has to offer you, here’s a start.

Keep reading for all the intel you need on the magnesium-boosting benefits of avocados.

1. It reduces your stress levels
Like healthy fats, this mineral works wonders on your mental health. Because magnesium calms the physiological effects of stress in the body (like heart-racing or high blood pressure), it’s known for dialing back your fight or flight response and helping your return to your usual zen(ish) state.

2. It soothes your PMS symptoms
A diet lacking magnesium can increase both the contractility of smooth muscle and your prostaglandins levels—the inflammatory compounds that induce your that-time-of-the-month woes. So making sure that you’re consistently consuming the 400 suggested milligrams per day throughout the month could lead to a less painful cycle.

3. It protects your skin from the harmful effects of cortisol and adrenaline

The reason magnesium-rich shower products are trending is thanks to the ingredient’s ability skin cell functioning and turnover. Meaning, see ya, dry skin! Whether you eat your magnesium or lather up with it, you can expect your complexion to get a major glowy hydration boost.

4. It soothes sore muscles

According to Livestrong, magnesium helps your muscles release. That means  that after you’ve spent an hour bent over the handlebars of your bike in spin class, munching on an bowl of pita chips and guac might be the antidote you need.

5. It helps with migraines and IBS

The culprit of your head-splitting migraine is usually caused by the blood vessels in your brain not being dilated enough (thanks, text neck). Luckily, magnesium has dilation superpowers. IBS, on the other hand, is caused by muscle contractions in the gut. And once again, magnesium relaxes your stomach—bringing the sweet relief you so desire.

Hey, we’re not saying that healthy fats need to give up their spot in the superfood caf. We’re just suggesting they pull up a chair for magnesium to join, too.

Convinced? Here’s how to pick the *best* avocados at the market and everything you need to know before popping the pit in the blender, too

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