How magnesium can help us do that
Tawnya Ritco, RHN
Are you looking for ways to calm down amidst the high-stress realities of day-to-day life? If you’re feeling out of balance and you can’t seem to find your equilibrium, start with the basics. Find out how simply taking in enough nutritional magnesium can play a role.
We all aspire to find calm under pressure. We look for ways to stay strong even when faced with the greatest of challenges, to remain unaffected, even by chaos. The problem is that modern-day life can be chaotic at times!
Incredible advances in technology have only made us more accessible, with less downtime and often insufficient sleep. With so much chronic stress on a daily basis and with an inadequate response in terms of sleep, rest, and exercise, many of us have trouble “calming down.”
Rebalancing our lives with adequate sleep and exercise and a nutritious diet can help manage the stress at home and at work. Oftentimes, though, we can’t calm down because our systems are so out of balance.
Protracted high levels of stress cause serious mineral and vitamin deficiencies. And when our levels of essential minerals are depleted, we weaken our defences and help prolong a vicious cycle of stress and stress-related conditions and illnesses.
That’s especially true of the essential mineral magnesium, a co-factor in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body. Magnesium is particularly important in the fight against stress—and in helping to calm down—because of its relationship with serotonin.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that sends signals between the nerve cells in the brain and throughout the nervous system. This makes it a key regulator of our mood, appetite, and sleep, as well as cognitive functions such as memory and learning.
The bad news is that chronically low levels of serotonin are often associated with depression and anxiety. The good news is that adequate levels of magnesium allow our body to naturally produce enough serotonin to maintain balanced mental function.
So how do we ensure sufficient magnesium intake? The best solution is an integrative approach to nutrition that incorporates magnesium-rich foods such as dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and unrefined whole grains. When and where we fall short, supplementing to achieve the daily recommended adult allowance of 310 to 420 g can help maintain optimal levels.
Magnesium helps naturally produce enough serotonin to allow us to literally calm down. Supplementation with magnesium can be effective at calming our brain and nerves, especially when combined with adequate sleep and exercise. In fact, it can help us find that sleep and, in turn, stay energized for the exercise that can help us find balance.
The bottom line: a balanced brain and nervous system is a healthier brain and nervous system.