Many people feel the need for activators of the mind and life energy. Just type into an internet search engine to see the word magnesium appear in seconds.
But what is true about the revitalizing, calming, or mood-enhancing properties attributed to this nutrient? More importantly, what is the best way to include it in your diet for these or other benefits?
The pharmacist and nutritionist, One of the Pharmacists, places us in a context: “Recent studies show that magnesium acts on the GABA receptors in the brain and therefore relaxes brain activity and reduces stress and anxiety. This mineral is also known to regulate the production of serotonin, a vital neurotransmitter for mood. Low levels of this neurotransmitter are related to depressive states,” she told CuídatePlus.
With this in mind, The nutritionist and food technologist explains that magnesium, like all micronutrients, plays an important role in our physiology and intervenes in very important functions for the body. “Its deficit is related to symptoms such as depression, psychosis, irritability, confusion, muscle weakness, or fatigue. Therefore, meeting the requirements contributes to normal mental functioning and reduced tiredness and exhaustion, as recognized by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA). ”
Good Sleep Ally
The Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Edinburgh (UK), whose research focuses on circadian rhythms, has spent several years investigating the important role magnesium plays in regulating sleep patterns and quality. Therefore, these experts examined the influence of this nutrient on cells’ ability to adapt to natural day and night environmental cycles and cellular metabolism, especially its ability to convert nutrients into energy during the day rapidly.
On the other hand, some research results indicate magnesium’s possible benefits in relieving migraine symptoms and regulating blood sugar levels.
As there is also evidence that magnesium supplements may help treat certain mental illnesses, “but there is no clear consensus on this.”
Companion of Fatigue? Yes, But with Nuances
Another situation associated with increasing magnesium ingestion is during the premenopausal and menopausal female life stages. “This reference is based on the fact that its deficit can worsen some of the effects of menopause on the nervous system, such as nervousness, irritability, anxiety.”
Regarding the antidepressant effects attributed to this mineral, the nutritionist confirms this benefit but makes it clear that “this does not mean that we will have better mental health or physiological functions if we consume more magnesium than we need.”
Likewise, taking other properties of this mineral to the appropriate environment, such as its potential energizing effects in disintegration situations such as those experienced by some people at this time of year, popularly known as spring asthenia. It is not a sickness but a set of difficult symptoms to adapt to light, temperature, and humidity. This is a temporary problem that should not be treated with medication,”.
“We cannot attribute exceptional properties to magnesium or ensure that its intake helps to overcome this type of situation. The recommendation to increase the consumption of this mineral through diet aims to alleviate the symptoms caused by its deficit and prevent its appearance”, adds the expert.
In this sense, magnesium deficiency can cause tiredness and exhaustion, symptoms that become more evident in situations such as the specific adaptation that occurs, such as the seasonal change in weather or moments of exhaustion of stages with high vital intensity and stress levels like the current one.
Dosage, Symptoms, And Need (Or Not) For Supplements
The daily magnesium recommendations for adults are 400 mg for men and 320 mg. “The main symptoms that can warn of a deficit are fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite, muscle cramps, poor concentration, irritability, and insomnia,”
For this part, we must be careful with the amounts ingested “because excess can cause diarrhoea and therefore a maximum tolerable intake has been set.”
Whether it is advisable to consume pharmacological magnesium supplements, The experts agree that it is always necessary to prioritize this mineral’s requirements through the usual diet. “They should only be used when there is a deficit that the diet cannot cover. And this deficit has to be diagnosed by a doctor who will evaluate to what extent we can benefit from supplementation”.
In the same opinion, before taking this supplement, it must also be confirmed that there is no incompatibility or contraindication. For example, chronic kidney failure could lead to an excessive accumulation of magnesium.
Magnesium Menu: These Are The Nine Essential Foods
The experts list the foods richest in magnesium – fortunately. All very accessible and appetizing – whose normal intake ensures the recommended amounts of this nutrient and avoids a deficit:
- Pumpkin seeds.
- Chia seeds.
- Nuts (especially cashews, almonds, pine nuts, hazelnuts, and walnuts).
- Legumes (especially lupins, beans, and chickpeas).
- Andean millet.
In Tandem With Protein And Vitamin D (For Better Absorption)
Artificial fertilizers used in today’s agriculture significantly reduce the concentration of magnesium in food. Therefore, he recommends consuming organically grown foods whenever possible.
Some strategies optimize the body’s absorption. One of the factors that favour the absorption of magnesium is to ensure an adequate. Level of the active form of vitamin D (obtained from sun exposure). And to consume food to take sources of this mineral in combination. With proteins.”
It is also better absorbed once consumed with foods that contain certain types of slow-digesting carbohydrates. Particularly oligosaccharides (asparagus), inulin (leeks, artichokes), or mannitol (beets, celery, olives).
“On the contrary, non-fermentable fibre (contained in foods. Such as broccoli, beets, lettuce, endive, cabbage or wheat bran), phytates (soy), oxalates (potatoes). And high doses of Calcium can impair magnesium absorption, “says the expert.
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