It is difficult to relax if we have stress and anxiety. The most important thing to do is to identify and deal with the cause of these conditions, especially if they have an emotional basis. In the meantime, we can help the body alleviate the physiological effects of stress and anxiety by eating foods rich in the mineral magnesium.
How magnesium helps
Magnesium helps by calming the nervous system and relaxing muscles, including the heart muscle which is where most feel the effects of anxiety. Magnesium also helps the body to produce the sleep hormone melatonin. All of these actions encourage a deeper more restorative sleep. Who doesn’t want that? Check out this article on 7 amazing things that happen to you while you sleep.
Magnesium also restricts to release of stress hormones, such as cortisol, while acting as a filter to prevent these hormones from entering the brain.
How to get more magnesium
We can take a good quality supplement but isn’t it cheaper and more enjoyable to include more magnesium rich foods into our diet?
These foods include cooked leafy greens; pepitas, hemp and chia seeds; Lima, white and black beans; tuna; cooked quinoa, buckwheat and brown rice; Brazil nuts and almonds; tofu; and dark chocolate. I knew there had to be a reason why I like dark chocolate over milk chocolate! J
Refer to the list below for how much of each of these foods are suggested in order to get from a quarter to a third of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium.
As an added note, to get the most magnesium from your leafy greens, especially spinach, it is important to cook them. This cooking process reduces the oxalic acid that can hinder magnesium absorption.
If you are feeling the effects of stress and anxiety, how about you add at least one of these foods to your diet tomorrow and then slowly increase your magnesium rich foods from there.