Magnesium: mineral magic
often disregarded as being a part of everyday life; a bi-product of
relationships, work and money problems that is simply unavoidable.
In this day
and age many people are becoming stressed to the extent that it effects how
they think, feel and behave. This is not something that should be endured and
is certainly not an unavoidable part of everyday life. There are certain
methods of stress prevention that everyone should be aware of, one of which is magnesium.
Why is magnesium so important?
mineral’s contribution to the maintenance of normal bones and muscle function
is relatively well known, along with its importance in terms of energy yielding
metabolism, tiredness and fatigue and a healthily functioning nervous system.
But did you know that Magnesium is needed for more than 325 biochemical
reactions in the body[i]
and that it has a relationship with
psychological function, or, in other words, the
How could magnesium possibly be
related to the brain?
wondering how magnesium could possibly be related to the brain, psychologist Dr
Meg Arroll has all the scientific details:-
‘In order to
function, your brain requires optimum levels of nutrients. When we become
stressed, our brain responds with the ‘stress response’ otherwise known as the
‘fight-flight-or-freeze-response’. A number of bodily responses are triggered
as a result of this, such as increased heart rate and respiration.
physiological responses are in fact vital for our survival. What is
particularly interesting, though, is that hormones such as adrenaline control
these responses, and these hormones can only be released if we consume a
sufficient amount of magnesium, B-vitamins, vitamin C and zinc. In other words,
magnesium, along with B-vitamins, vitamin c and zinc, plays a vital role in our
brain’s response to stress.
response is key to our survival. For this reason, the brain tends to prioritize
it for the use of hormones or ‘neurotransmitters’.
stress response is the brain’s priority, hormones and neurotransmitters are
less likely to be used for functions such as sleep and mood regulation. This is
not a problem if a stressful situation doesn’t last too long, but too much
stress, something that is becoming increasingly problematic in this day and
age, can lead to what is known as ‘state chronic stress’.
used to implement the stress response. High levels of stress uses up a lot of
magnesium, which can in turn lead to a depletion of this macronutrient.
Ensuring sufficient magnesium levels can help our bodies’ better respond to
worth bearing in mind, is that the same nutrients used in the stress response
contribute to the normal functioning of the ‘calming chemical’, or the
‘happiness molecule’. So in fact, long term stress can lead to a double whammy
in terms of its effects on the brain.’
What else is magnesium good for?
comes to magnesium, its health benefits go far beyond that of the brain. Here
are eight more factors that may be influenced by your daily intake of this
Sleep - The sleep
regulating hormone melatonin is disturbed when Magnesium is deficient.
- Magnesium is a necessary
electrolyte essential for proper hydration.
Magnesium is important for muscle flexibility because low Magnesium results in a
buildup of lactic acid, causing pain and tightness.
and anxiety - Serotonin, which relaxes the nervous system and elevates mood, is
dependent on Magnesium.
Stronger muscles - Magnesium is
involved in muscle relaxation and is required to maintain a steady heartbeat as
well as a healthy nervous system.
can be used to cleanse the bowels of toxins.
bones and teeth - Magnesium deficiency causes an unhealthy balance of phosphorous and
calcium in saliva, which damages teeth.
fatigue and energy - Magnesium is
required by the body to convert the food you eat into energy, which is
important for preventing tiredness and fatigue.
ideal daily intake of magnesium being 375mg, The National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2016) has shown that 37% of
teenagers and 12% of adults have very low levels.
You’ll be pleased to find out that cocoa is a very good source of this
mineral, closely followed by bran breakfast cereal, almonds, cashew nuts,
pumpkin seeds, peanuts, whole wheat bread, and spinach. But the increasing
awareness of the benefits of magnesium has also led to the introduction of new
methods of obtaining it, take for example bath flakes, ‘opti’ supplements and
topical gels. There’s never been more choice and it’s the perfect time to work
out which method, be it diet or other, is for you.