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Feeling anxious? Take magnesium

4 min read

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in your body, in fact every organ in the body uses it. It keeps your heart, immune system, nervous system, and mind health and happy. And it also one of the top supplements to take for managing stress and easing anxious minds.

Long term stress and anxiety is harmful to health

Unfortunately, however, a lot of us don't get enough of it in our diets and this can really impact our ability to deal with stress - something that is very much part of modern living. If ignored, long term stress and anxiety can be harmful to our health as it keeps our bodies in a state of fight or flight. This mechanism is supposed to keep us safe in times of danger but the hormones related to it such as adrenaline are not good for our bodies if we're constantly exposed. In fact, it can compromise our mental and emotional health as well as leaving us susceptible to other health issues.

Anxiety is part of life and everyone will feel anxious at some point or other but if it happens on a regular basis it can affect quality of life and more seriously it can undermine health. It's normal to feel stress in some situations and is the only way we can expect ourselves to react at times however constant low-grade worries can create an unhealthy tension in your body and mind and it's this sort of stress that eats away at your health.

Magnesium is often used to help ease symptoms of anxiety

Magnesium is often used to help ease anxious symptoms and in fact a magnesium deficiency can lead to feelings of anxiety so if you feel this way often then you may be deficient in magnesium. Further to this, when you become stressed your body uses up more magnesium than when you aren't so its even more important to keep levels topped up.

Signs of anxiousness include, feeling nervous and restless, lack of focus, trouble sleeping, gastrointestinal problems, feeling weak and tired. Magnesium can help calm symptoms as it induces relaxation, helps regulate the nervous system, combats stress, irritability and restlessness. If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or have a high-stress lifestyle then you might want to try supplementing your diet with magnesium.

Magnesium also helps relieve stress and anxiousness because it helps relax your muscles. Deficiencies in magnesium have been linked to sleep issues, and supplementation of magnesium may improve sleep efficiency and help you fall asleep and stay asleep until morning.

Magnesium is a powerful relaxation mineral 

Magnesium has a well-earned a reputation of being the most powerful relaxation mineral available. It has a vitally important role in muscle contraction and relaxation, working as a counter-ion for calcium and potassium in muscle cells. It affects stress hormones, nerve function and it helps regulate blood pressure. If you are tense it means your muscles may be tight or you might be feeling moody, so consider giving magnesium a go. 

Magnesium is a natural mood-booster

Magnesium is a natural mood-booster - it helps with mood swings, irritability, mental clarity and other mental and emotional concerns. Scientists have repeatedly seen magnesium deficiencies in people who suffer from a variety of mental health issues, and have attributed numerous mental health concerns to a widespread lack of magnesium in our diets. 

Signs of low magnesium

There are many signs of low magnesium that are related to or affect your mood, including:

  • Anxiousness & stress – there is much research linking magnesium deficiencies to negative impacts on mental health, including stronger stress responses and a more anxious mind.
  • Hormone balance – magnesium affects concentrations of parathyroid hormone and regulation of stress hormones, which can affect your mood.
  • Sleep problems – magnesium helps your body and mind relax so that you can sleep therefore if you have trouble sleeping your mood can be affected.
  • Low energy – it’s difficult to be in your best mood when you feel lethargic, and magnesium is required for cellular energy production.
  • Vitamin D absorption – magnesium is required for vitamin D absorption, and a deficiency in vitamin D may also affect mood.

How much magnesium should you take?

As per NHS guidelines the recommended daily allowance of magnesium for adults in the UK is 300mg a day for men (19-64 years) and 270mg for women (19-64 years).

Magnesium is found in a wide variety of foods, including green leafy vegetables – such as spinach, nuts, brown rice, bread (especially wholegrain) fish, meat, and dairy foods. If you think your diet might be leaving you short of magnesium then consider a magnesium supplement

Please note that taking high doses of magnesium (more than 400mg) for a short time can cause diarrhoea. There's not enough evidence to say what the effects might be of taking high doses of magnesium for a long time.

A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.