One of the reason doctors recommend an improvement in diet for their mental health patients is that what we put in our bodies has a strong impact on our mood and on how our nervous system regulates itself. If we're eating too many starchy foods and not even simple carbohydrates and proteins, odds are our mood and our bodies will reflect that.
Magnesium is one such element that can be found in an average diet. You may have heard of it, but what is magnesium’s role in mental health? In what foods can we find it?
Magnesium is a mineral that is associated with a hosts of different functions:
Nervous System Regulation* - Healthline
Focusing on the last function, magnesium is shown to help increase neurotransmitter flow within the brain that can aid in cognitive health. In PLoS One study from 2017, the effects of magnesium on men's mental health was analyzed. As one could guess, the double-blind study found that magnesium supplements appeared to improve the mental health of the individuals overall on a noticeable scale (PubMed).
Additionally, previous studies have found a link between magnesium deficiency and depression. As previously stated, what we eat is significantly important to how our bodies are going to function. Not enough or the right kind of nutrients can begin to negatively affect one's mood and even cause physical symptoms(PubMed).
Other positive effects linked to low magnesium supplement in-take are improved sleep quality, greater bone health, and increase blood sugar regulation. Magnesium deficiency is common in adults today, especially in those under the age of 65. Dr. Mark Hyman refers to magnesium are the relaxation mineral. You must have magnesium for your cells to make energy, for many different chemical pumps to work, to stabilize membranes, and to help muscles relax"(Health Digest). This would make sense, as all the benefits link to a greater stabilization of emotions and bodily maintenance.
So besides supplements, in what foods can you find the best source for magnesium? Here are a few simple options to consider:
Salmon and Other Fish -HealthDigest
As mentioned in so many previous articles, consider what your daily diet consists off. Are you getting a healthy balance of macronutrients? Checking with your doctor for any supplement and mineral deficiency with the body may also be option if you think your body isn't getting the nutrients it needs. So many times are health problems come down to a need for diet improvement, greater water in take, and overall lifestyle regulation. What works better for you: supplementing or dieting?
As always, let us know your thoughts and questions, and be sure to read more about the topic here:
2015 Magnesium and Depression study:
2017 PLoS One Study: