Magnesium is an essential mineral that the human body needs in order to remain in good health. It helps our body produce nucleic acids that are involved in insulin release, muscle contraction, calcium and potassium transportation, cellular energy production, and more.
Recently, studies have shown that 68 percent of Americans have very low levels of Magnesium. The result of such a Magnesium deficiency is shown through hypertension, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, depression and anxiety.
We know that anxiety disorders are among the most common affective disorders that can be seen in any population. Anxiety affects men, women, children, and the elderly. When unmanaged, anxiety can and will affect job or school performance, and our relationships with others and ourselves.
The most typical way to battle anxiety is with benzodiazepines. Xanax, Klonopin, Valium and Ativan are the most popular medications prescribed to those afflicted with anxiety disorders.
Although these medications are effective in treating a range of anxiety disorders, they come with serious side-effects: addiction and abuse, memory impairment, dizziness, drowsiness, depression, hostility and emotional inhibition, the list goes on.
There are often cases of people suffering through their anxiety because they are afraid of these side-effects. What’s more, these medications are not always available to everyone. If you are someone that does not have access to affordable healthcare, these medications will be unavailable, unaffordable, and out of the question.
Over the years, people have been more and more inclined to seek alternative methods for treating their anxiety. Changing diet, exercising, meditation, and knowing which vitamins and supplements to add to your daily routine are a few ways people have found drug-free ways to manage anxiety. More recently, studies have been looking further into the implementation of magnesium to treat anxiety.
WHAT MAGNESIUM CAN DO
Because Magnesium is important to our psychoneuroendocrine systems, it is key to maintain healthy Magnesium levels. Some of the systems affected are our limbic, which helps to regulate our fear, pleasure and anger – hypothalamus, which regulates our sleep and emotional activity – pituitary, or the “master gland” because it controls our other hormone glands - and adrenocortical, which regulates hormones that help us respond to stress.
REGULATING MAGNESIUM LEVELS
There are many ways to get Magnesium back into our bodies. We can eat food with higher levels of magnesium, prepare Magnesium drinks or take capsules of Magnesium supplements. To reach proper magnesium levels, one should consume at least 400mg of potassium per day.
Pineapple, bananas, cherries and oranges are among the fruits with the highest levels of Magnesium. Each of them possesses over 13mg of Magnesium, per serving!
Beets, broccoli, corn and peas each have over 25mg of magnesium, per serving.
NUTS & SEEDS
Almonds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds each have over 100mg per serving (1/4 cup). Search for or make your own Magnesium granola to get your levels up, fast.
If you are taking Calcium or vitamin D supplements, be sure to look for a magnesium supplement that is at least 250mg higher than your daily intake of Calcium or vitamin D. Both Calcium and vitamin D absorb Magnesium and while they are beneficial when taken together, they compete for absorption.
You can find many supplements that contain both Magnesium and vitamin D or Calcium so that the work is done for you.
Here are a few - more specific - Magnesium supplements depending on what you are looking for.
Magnesium L-Threonate – For cognitive function.
Magnesium Taurate – For calmness and heart health.
Magnesium Glycinate – For relaxation.
Magnesium Aspartate – For energy production and fighting fatigue.
If you are unsure about your magnesium or other mineral levels, it is always a good idea to consult a doctor first, if one is available to you. Ask for a blood panel and create a routine that works specifically for you.