Magnesium promotes nerve and muscle function as well as energy production, which can help the body’s response to stress. Low levels of magnesium in the body can lead to stress while stress itself can deplete the body of the mineral.
Research suggests that extreme stress can cause magnesium deficiency because the body reacts by using up the mineral, according to Calm Clinic
. Furthermore, many people don’t get enough dietary magnesium, increasing the risk of developing anxiety and stress. Magnesium is often lost in processed foods, a part of many diets.
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Magnesium is involved in more than 300 chemical reactions throughout the body, some of which affect mental health issues. When people who are magnesium deficient begin taking more of the mineral through foods and supplements, they start feeling better to relieve the anxiety and stress they had been experiencing.
Calm Clinic points to a French study of 264 patients suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. Subjects reported improvement to their mental health when they increased their magnesium intake.
Magnesium “is an antidote to stress, the most powerful relaxation mineral available, and it can help improve your sleep,” says Dr. Mark Hyman, medical director of Cleveland Clinic
's Center for Functional Medicine.
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Hyman explains that magnesium helps cells in the body produce energy and relax muscles. A magnesium deficiency can cause a wide range of symptoms, including anxiety, muscle cramps, headaches, chronic fatigue, insomnia, and irritability — all factors in stress.
Magnesium helps regulate cortisol levels to keep anxiety at bay and melatonin to improve sleep, according to Men’s Journal
The mineral promotes relaxation, which may be why a deficiency could lead to stressful results, reports One Medical Group
, a nationwide primary care practice. Research indicates magnesium helps to regulate the body’s response to stress.
Foods high in magnesium include beans, wheat bran, barley, brown rice, avocado, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, and pecans. Magnesium supplements can be discussed with a doctor. Avoiding or limiting caffeine, sugar, and alcohol prevents the depletion of valuable magnesium in the body.
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