Magnesium and anxiety link

Magnesium is probably the number 1 mineral you’ve heard about the most. It’s a master mineral and is responsible for the correct metabolic function of over 350 enzymes in the body. There is emerging research that we are definitely not getting enough of it. In fact, research shows that many people are sub-clinically deficient in magnesium, this becomes a problem because when magnesium levels are low, this can contribute and exacerbate many neuropsychiatric problems, including anxiety. Present research demonstrates the validity of emerging evidence in humans that reduced magnesium levels are associated with different facets of anxiety behaviour.

Where can I get my magnesium from?

Some of the top foods that contain this marvellous mineral are: Pumpkin seeds, almonds, spinach, swiss chard, soybeans, tempeh and black eyed peas. If you are consuming a good diet with a range of vegetables, good sources of proteins and fats then you are well on your way. The only thing that is tricky is that we don’t really know exactly how much magnesium is in our foods. Several studies of historical food composition tables show an apparent decline in food nutrient content over the past 70 years. This is due to loss of soil fertility by ongoing industrial agriculture.

We know magnesium is found in foods such as green leafy vegetables because as the produce grows, it takes up minerals from the soil, however, if the soil is lacking or depleted in minerals the veggies won’t contain as much. if minerals are not first present in the soil they will not be present in the produce grown.

So what do we do in order to ensure we can get enough magnesium?

I will always advocate food first because if you are prioritising magnesium-rich foods you will be prioritising a nutrient-rich diet, this is at the heart of addressing anxious feelings. A nutrient-dense diet will naturally go towards a way of eating that keeps blood sugar levels in balance and will be low in stimulating foods and beverages, these being some key factors in regulating anxious episodes. After using food first, magnesium is one of the minerals which can be successfully supplemented, however, self supplementing is not something I recommend, as there are different types of magnesium, eg, magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide, magnesium aspartate, magnesium glycinate and magnesium gluconate. They all work differently in the body and absorb differently. Working with a practitioner to design a personalised supplement protocol is definitely recommended.

Other ways of incorporating magnesium into your routine to address anxiety

Bathe and Spray – I get asked a lot about magnesium being taken topically, ie – sprays, bathed in or skin cream, some say that this is a better option to increase the magnesium in the body, however, there just isn’t the conclusive research to back this up. Transdermal magnesium is great if we’re talking about a relaxing form of muscle ease, magnesium, after all, is great for aching muscles, bathing in an Epsom salt bath understandably, will relax the body and give the mind time to switch off, which is great for someone having anxious feelings. Does it increase the serum magnesium levels in the body? The honest answer is that the evidence is just not there yet.  However incorporating magnesium foot soaks, baths and sprays on tight muscles is something that can be beneficial.

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