Magnesium is a mineral that plays an essential role in various processes and biochemical reactions that happen in our bodies. While high amounts of magnesium are found in our system, most of it is stored in the bones, with a small amount traveling through the bloodstream. Here are some of the processes supported and regulated by magnesium:
- Heart function
- Nerve function
- Muscle contraction and relaxation
- Blood pressure
- DNA regeneration
- Cellular transport
Magnesium is also important for healthy brain activity. This mineral is involved in sending signals between our brains and our bodies, aiding brain processes such as memory, cognitive function, and development. The link between magnesium and brain health has been studied by nutritionists, psychiatrists, and neurologists with promising results.
Let’s take a look at why magnesium is essential for your brain health and how can you add more magnesium into your diet.
Benefits Of Magnesium For Brain Health
Magnesium promotes healthy brain function and has multiple benefits on our overall well-being. It has a calming effect on the organism, restoring sleep, reducing depression, and fighting anxiety. Magnesium plays an important part in regulating the substances in the brain to prevent deterioration and save neurons.
Both physical and mental health are affected by low magnesium levels, which favour illnesses and mental disorders. Here is how magnesium and brain health are linked.
Magnesium acts as a guardian, protecting the brain from overstimulation. This nutrient blocks any excessive amounts of calcium and glutamate that might overwhelm neurotransmitters and cause brain cell death.
Throughout our lives, our brains continuously develop and adapt, establishing new neural connections. As we learn information and live through different experiences, the brain learns from them and rewires itself. This ability is called neuroplasticity.
Since magnesium protects the brain cells, it also supports this process of neuroplasticity. As a result, magnesium can boost your brainpower, improve cognitive performance, and increase your IQ.
Magnesium has the potential to enhance memory. The compound L-threonate (MgT) tested well in animal studies, showing improvements in short and long-term memory. Magnesium may slow down the decline caused by aging, increasing recollection.
Sleep is essential for both the body and the brain. Sleep deprivation or poor sleep can affect your memory, reduce concentration, impair general brain function and decrease your ability to be rational.
Magnesium calms the nervous system, as well as the muscles, improving the quality of sleep and your overall wellbeing. Magnesium can regulate your internal clock to help you find your natural sleep pattern and treat insomnia.
Depression And Anxiety
By substantially reducing stress and overstimulation in the brain, magnesium is a natural anti-depressant. It acts as a barrier, preventing stress hormones to build up and develop chronic stress. Sufficient levels of magnesium can protect the brain from anxiety and reduce anxious behaviour.
On the other side, high-stress levels suppress this mineral, leading to magnesium deficiency and the need to supplement the magnesium intake.
This neurological condition can be debilitating for hours or even days. According to a study conducted in 2016, low magnesium levels could trigger migraines by increasing inflammation in the brain. Making sure that you have the recommended amount of magnesium may keep you from experiencing migraines.
Magnesium takes part in regulating blood sugar levels and lowering blood pressure. This prevents the formation of blood clots, which may reduce the risk of stroke.
Foods Rich In Magnesium
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium is 310–420 mg, depending on age and gender. A balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, fish, and other healthy foods should be able to cover your magnesium needs.
If you wish to add more magnesium to your diet or you if need some inspiration on how to make your meals more balanced, here is a list of foods rich in magnesium:
🥦 Vegetables: broccoli, edamame, carrot, lentils, peas, chickpeas, kidney beans
🍌 Fruits: banana, avocado, raisins, apple, figs, blackberries, raspberries, guava, papaya
🥬 Leafy greens: spinach, swiss chard, kale, collard greens
🌾 Grains: whole wheat, buckwheat, quinoa, wild rice, oat
🌰 Nuts: brazil nut, hazelnut, walnut, almond, cashews
🐟 Fish: salmon, mackerel, halibut, tuna, trout, crab
🥚 Animal products: milk, yoghurt, eggs, cheeses, chicken breast, turkey
With healthy nutrition, we should be able to maintain the recommended amount of magnesium. However, issues such as stress, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), eating foods poor in nutrients, dieting, alcoholism, or certain medication, could lead to magnesium deficiency.
The symptoms of magnesium deficiency are:
- Muscle weakness
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Changes in personality
- Lower levels of calcium and potassium
Food supplements increase your magnesium intake and treat magnesium deficiency. You can find out your magnesium levels through blood or urine tests. Since there are side effects to taking too much magnesium, it’s best to consult a healthcare provider to identify the perfect dose for your needs.
Here are three of our best magnesium supplements to try out: