This is an important topic for many reasons including:
- some studies say that over half the population is magnesium deficient,
- magnesium deficiency can result in problems such as hormone imbalance, heart attack, headaches, depression and chronic fatigue, and
- we all simply need to become more aware of how our bodies actually react to stress.
Stress is subjective – waking up in the morning to multiple emails has shown to increase stress in some, while others may perceive stress as a traumatic event or loss. The body may also perceive stress as too much traffic, an intense workout or even a diet (ie/too many processed foods) that causes your body to work overtime in order to digest it. Either way, your body reacts to stress by secreting the “fight or flight” hormones adrenaline and adrenal cortisone, which are released to help us survive during a “threatening” situation.
How is magnesium involved? Stress depletes our magnesium stores. Our adrenals, which get overworked by stress, need magnesium and so when we are stressed, our adrenals respond by increasing the use of, and need for, magnesium. Without enough magnesium, the nerve cells can become excitable and over-reactive, resulting in even more stress, nervousness and sensitivity. Magnesium is also lost through sweat and urine and can be reduced by alcohol, caffeine, sugar, nutrient-deficient soil, to name a few.
Increase magnesium by buying organic and choose foods like spinach, chard, avocado, almonds, pumpkin seeds and yogurt. Magnesium can be hard on your stomach so increase in increments that are comfortable for your system. Speak to your health care practitioner about ensuring you balance your magnesium intake with calcium, phosphorous and vitamin D.