As I have talked about before, I work with many people who are experiencing anxiety in their lives. People often relay feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, experiencing racing thoughts and difficulties sleeping. One solution that I often explore with clients is to add magnesium to their diets. Magnesium is an important mineral found in the earth, sea, humans, plants and animals. It plays a role in over 300 enzymatic reactions within the body, including the metabolism of food, bone formation, synthesis of fatty acids and proteins, and the conduction of nerve impulses.
Low levels of magnesium has been associated with increased anxiety. It seems to impact people’s anxiety in two ways- low magnesium affects people’s reaction to stress and a low-magnesium diet may also alter the types of bacteria present in the gut, increasing anxiety-based behavior.
Magnesium plays an important role in carbohydrate and glucose metabolism, which can increase the risk of diabetes. Low magnesium levels have been tied to impaired insulin secretion and lower insulin sensitivity, both important factors in the development of diabetes.
Magnesium can help lower blood pressure. It is also necessary to maintain the health of the heart muscle and for the transmission of electrical signals in the body.
Magnesium can help with sleep in two ways. By helping to regulate the hormone melatonin, which guides sleep-wake cycles in your body, magnesium can be an important tool in improving sleep. It also helps activate neurotransmitters that are responsible for calming the body and the mind, making sleep more likely.
Magnesium can help relax your bowels and pulls water into your intestines. The water softens and bulks up your stool, helping relieve constipation.
Magnesium is found in many foods including pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, salmon, herring, swiss chard, black beans and quinoa. You can also supplement with magnesium but before adding magnesium to your diet be sure to contact your health professional.
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