Magnesium – the stress mineral
Did you know that stress is the number 1 reason for people to visit their doctor? And do you know what happens inside our bodies when we are stressed?
When we experience stress, our body reacts in different ways:
Heart rate and blood pressure soar in order to increase the flow of blood to the brain to improve decision-making. Also, blood sugar levels rise to furnish more fuel for energy and the blood is shunted away from the gut due to it not being immediately needed for digestion. Clotting occurs also more quickly when we’re stressed to prevent blood loss from lacerations or internal haemorrhage. This happens even faster when we don’t have enough Magnesium in our bodies.
Magnesium can actually play a big role in all of those reactions. When you are magnesium deficient and the blood pressure soars, smooth muscles in the walls of our blood vessels can go into spasms which can lead to chronic hypertension. Magnesium is also responsible for insulin opening up cell membranes to allow sugar into the cells. If you are deficient and your blood sugar rises due to stress, cells don’t receive glucose even when the blood sugar is rising. Furthermore, cramps in the large muscles of arms and legs can appear when the muscles don’t have enough magnesium.
Sometimes, Magnesium can also help with anxiety and panic attacks.
This is due to Magnesium’s ability to promote muscle relaxation, nervous system balance, proper adrenal function and production of normal amounts of serotonin. It also downgrades physical symptoms of stress – the ‘fight-or-flight’ response we experience under pressure – and can help with a good night’s sleep, which is essential for coping with stressful situations.
Accordingly, physicians have noted a potential role for magnesium insufficiency in panic attacks and phobias. This could be due to electrolyte imbalances that affect the central nervous system, and an additional plausible explanation is magnesium’s role in blood sugar management. The signs and symptoms of panic attacks overlap quite strongly with those of acute hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Magnesium is a crucial “ingredient” in the proper metabolism of carbohydrate, and magnesium is critical for healthy blood glucose control. This leads some physicians to the conclusion that insufficient magnesium could be at least one factor behind panic attacks.
Magnesium is easily depleted though. Substances like sugar, caffeine and especially alcohol can drain the body’s magnesium stores, leaving us even more vulnerable to stressful situations.
In general, to provide magnesium to your body, you should look for foods packed with dietary fibre, e.g. almonds, avocado, black beans, brown rice or cashews. Another way to increase your magnesium intake is by taking supplements. Or you can choose the most delicious option: Level Lemonade. Only one bottle of Level Lemonade provides you with 100% of the recommended dietary intake of magnesium and vitamin c while still being low in sugar and insanely tasty!
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