Nutrition focus: Magnesium
Magnesium, like so many minerals, is critical for a variety of cellular functions. Some studies estimate that the majority of Americans (75%) don't get the recommended daily allowance of magnesium. It is a common deficiency now due to soil depletion (foods have less magnesium due to poor soil quality), refined foods which remove naturally present magnesium and finally, environmental pollutants and toxins which interfere with magnesium's natural activities.
Magnesium is fundamental for:
- Cellular energy transfer
- Regulates the parathyroid hormone which is essential for calcium absorption
- Lowers blood pressure and peripheral blood vessel resistance
- Maintains blood sugar levels (glucose)
One of the most important things about magnesium is its role in mental health.
- Increases GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) - a calming signaling chemical in the brain. Lower GABA levels are associated with anxiety and panic.
- Reduces cortisol, the body's primary stress hormone. Elevated levels of cortisol are associated with depression, anxiety, memory loss and fatigue.
- Improves serotonin levels - another brain signaling chemical. Lower levels of serotonin are associated with depression.
- Anti-inflammatory: all mental health conditions seem to be worsened when inflammation in the body from illness, poor diet or stress occurs
Other roles of magnesium:
- Potent laxative especially in the form of magnesium citrate
- Can improve sleep
- Useful in prevention of migraines
Symptoms of low magnesium levels
Nystagmus (abnormal eye movements)
Symptoms of elevated magnesium levels
Low calcium in the blood
Muscle weakness with dampened reflexes
Slowed heart rate
Lowered blood pressure which can get dangerously low
Decreased respiratory rate with possible respiratory suppression
Foods that are high in magnesium
Green veggies esp. spinach/broccoli/beet greens - chorophyll has magnesium in it
So eat your magnesium for better bones, muscle and mental health!
Nutrition & Yoga for Emotional Health on February 10, 2018 at 10:30-11:30am at Whole Yoga & Wellness. We will be talking about magnesium for sure and other foods along with a great yoga practice to support mood. This class is great for women who have just had a baby to help support new moms through the baby blues and the more serious post-partum depression (see http://www.wholekidspediatrics.com/blog/article/momma-maternal-health-part-i and http://www.wholekidspediatrics.com/blog/article/momma-maternal-health-part-ii). Nursing babies are welcome! This workshop is also great for families dealing with ADHD, depression, anxiety and other mood problems.
You can get a 25% discount off the workshop if you enter your email at www.wholekidspediatrics.com/yoga-and-wellness. You will also have the opportunity to download the free and fabulous home remedy resource, The Wholistic Medicine Cabinet!