Up to 80 percent of Americans may not be getting enough magnesium. And that’s a problem. Because your body uses this common, but critical, mineral for over 300 biochemical reactions.
Magnesium helps regulate your blood sugar, and assists with energy production. It supports your immune system and helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function. It even helps keep your heart beating in rhythm.
And that’s far from all. Your body also uses magnesium for…
- the synthesis of protein
- the production of glutathione
- blood pressure control
- the release of neurotransmitters
- the synthesis of protein
But one often overlooked role of magnesium is the part it plays in our mood and mental health.
In fact, low magnesium could be behind countless cases of brain fog, attention problems and anxiety.
Magnesium helps calm an overstimulated brain
This natural chill pill functions as a sedative of sorts. When you’re feeling stressed, and there’s too much of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate bouncing around your brain, magnesium comes rushing to the rescue.
The mineral slips into some of the NDMA receptor sites where glutamate usually gets plugged into. And this helps you calm down, and stay relaxed and focused.
Which is why low magnesium levels can trigger anxiety, focus problems, irritability or even depression.
The cause of dropping magnesium levels
Ironically, we lose magnesium when we’re feeling stressed. We lose some when we sweat. And then there’s the diet factor.
The typical American diet often doesn’t contain nearly enough magnesium rich foods to begin with. Plus refined oils, grains and sugars—which are a big part of the American diet—lose some or all of their magnesium in their processing.
But even folks who think they’re eating enough may fall short on this critical mineral. Because it turns out the foods themselves may be lower in magnesium than they once were.
Conventional farms don’t rotate their crops or allow the fields to rest between harvests, which leads to a lack of magnesium in the soil. And as a result, the foods grown in the magnesium-poor dirt are lower in the mineral too.
Plus the fertilizers used on those same crops can reduce the amount of minerals the foods absorb as well. In fact, researchers say the magnesium content in certain foods dropped between 15 and 26 percent between 1940 and 1991. And there’s every reason to believe they’ve plummeted even further since then.
Raising your own magnesium levels
Magnesium deficiency often goes undiagnosed because blood tests can’t measure it. Most of your magnesium is stored in your bones.
But if you’re experiencing unexplained brain fog, anxiety, irritability (hair trigger temper) or mild depression and suspect magnesium may be contributing to it, be on the lookout for other common low magnesium linked conditions.
- type 2 diabetes
- heart attack
- hormone imbalances
The best way to boost your magnesium levels is to add more magnesium-rich foods to your diet. Whenever possible buy organically grown foods or shop at your local farmers market.
Following are nine delicious magnesium rich foods to try…
- spinach (a cup): 157 milligrams
- chard (a cup): 154 milligrams
- dark chocolate (one square): 95 milligrams
- pumpkin seeds (1/8 of a cup): 92 milligrams
- halibut (three ounces): 91 milligrams
- almonds (one ounce): 80 milligrams
- black beans (half a cup): 60 milligrams
- avocado (one whole): 58 milligrams
- yogurt or kefir (a cup): 50 milligrams
Men you’re daily recommended amount of magnesium is 400 milligrams daily. And women your goal should be 310 milligrams a day. Supplements are safe too, but try to avoid the citrate or oxide forms which can cause diarrhea in some sensitive folks.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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