Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it take over your mind and body. Luckily, there are plenty of natural ways to keep your stress levels low — and magnesium could be one of the most important ones. If you’re feeling anxious and tense, these seven benefits of magnesium may calm you down fast and make it easier to fall asleep at night (which will help relieve stress in the long run).
1. Calms the nervous system
Adding magnesium to your diet may help reduce stress and anxiety. Magnesium is one of several essential minerals in a healthy diet, and you can get it through various foods like green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, fish, soy products, and whole grains. However, many people aren’t getting enough of it. In fact, according to research published in The Journal of Nutrition, approximately 80 percent of Americans don’t meet their daily recommended intake for magnesium.
Thus supplementing with magnesium has become more popular among those looking to calm down and relax. However, our bodies may absorb certain magnesium types better than others, such as chelated or citrate forms. For example, calm magnesium powder contains 200 mg of elemental magnesium per teaspoon (4 grams), calcium, vitamin D3, and vitamin K2, making it easier for our bodies to absorb. However, professionals recommend consulting your doctor before taking any new supplements.
2. Helps Balance Mood Swings
Magnesium is a natural stress reliever, acting as an anti-anxiety agent that helps you relax and unwind after a long day. It also helps regulate your sleep patterns, so you wake up feeling refreshed. What’s more, magnesium plays a critical role in calming depression and preventing mania (another mood swing). And when it comes to stress relief, magnesium has no shortage of tactics.
Your body naturally produces several chemicals that affect moods, such as cortisol and norepinephrine. When you meet daily magnesium intake requirements, your body has these chemicals at optimal levels—and they work with your brain’s neurotransmitters to help you feel calm and relaxed without any side effects or drowsiness. Some research suggests magnesium may be just as effective at relieving anxiety symptoms as prescription medications!
3. Relieves Muscle Tension
Your body relies on magnesium to produce muscles and keep them healthy and relaxed. As we age, our bodies can absorb less magnesium through food, so it’s essential to supplement with a great source of natural magnesium—such as Epsom salt baths! Epsom salt is made from crystallized magnesium sulfate and is an easy way to help your body absorb enough of what it needs.
However, you can use more standardized magnesium salts like calm magnesium. Either way, adding some form of magnesium to your diet will help relieve muscle tension and promote relaxation. Remember: if you’ve got a condition, always consult with your doctor before taking any supplements or making significant changes to your diet or lifestyle.
4. Helps Reduce Anxiety
If you’re feeling stressed, your body will be producing more adrenaline to give you a burst of energy. Elevated adrenaline levels can cause anxiety when that boost wears off, leaving you exhausted and on edge. Magnesium calms down adrenaline production and eases symptoms of anxiety. Supplementing your diet with magnesium can help keep your stress levels in check.
Magnesium also helps regulate GABA levels in your brain, which research shows help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. One study found that people who supplemented their diets with 300 mg of magnesium per day for one month reported lower anxiety scores than those who did not increase their magnesium intake. Recommended RDA is 400-420mg/day for a man and 300-310mg/day for women. Food sources include dark leafy greens, nuts (almonds, cashews), seeds (sunflower seeds), beans (black beans), avocados, bananas, and chocolate.
5. Helps Unblock Clogged Arteries
If your arteries are in good condition, your heart will pump blood through them efficiently, without a hitch. But when there’s not enough magnesium to go around or if it’s stuck in other parts of your body, your arteries can become blocked and clogged. As a result, your heart has to work extra hard to get through your bloodstream. Magnesium plays a significant role in preventing blockage and keeping your arteries open and clear
Adequate magnesium intake helps prevent calcification (the buildup of calcium), which causes plaque to form on artery walls. Calcification is one factor contributing to high blood pressure and heart disease. One study found that people with higher magnesium levels had healthier arterial walls than those with lower levels, leading researchers to conclude that magnesium may play an essential role in maintaining vascular health and protecting against atherosclerosis hardening of the arteries.
6. Helps You Sleep Better
Stress can cause insomnia, which is a significant source of stress. The magnesium in your muscles helps produce nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, dilates airways, and helps calm nerves. This relaxation effect can help you nod off easier at night. If sleeplessness is a common source of your stress, talk to your doctor about taking a magnesium supplement—it may be just what you need to drop those unwanted pounds.
There are many ways magnesium can help you be calm and reduce stress and anxiety in your life. If you’re a person who experiences high levels of stress and anxiety, your body is likely deficient in magnesium. By taking steps to increase your magnesium intake, you can help protect against heart disease, kidney disease, hypertension, and stroke. The most common way to get more magnesium into your diet is through food sources like leafy greens, nuts, and seeds. However, if you have trouble digesting food or have digestive issues such as constipation or diarrhea, you may need additional supplementation. It’s essential to take care when choosing a supplement because not all brands are created equal. Look for a brand that an independent lab has tested for purity and potency before purchasing! As always, your doctor’s advice is crucial before making any changes to your health regimen.