Magnesium: A Mineral for Your Mood
Magnesium is an essential mineral found in nuts, seeds, and legumes, but many of us are not getting enough of it in our diets. Magnesium has hundreds of different functions in the body. For example, it helps with energy production, muscle movement, blood pressure, heart rhythm regulation, and bone strength.1
One of the most interesting roles magnesium plays is how it helps support a healthy nervous system, regulating mood-boosting neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. If you struggle with stress management or low mood, can getting more magnesium help? Let’s find out.
Magnesium and Mood
Magnesium can help support an improved mood, better sleep, and a calmer nervous system in a few different ways. A 2020 systematic review of 32 research studies on the mental health effects of magnesium found that its impact on mood may be multifaceted.2
First, researchers found that in many of the reviewed studies, magnesium deficiency was connected to low mood, increased stress, and other mental health concerns. It is estimated that about half of the US population (48%) does not consume enough magnesium.3
According to the review, the effect magnesium has on mood may be related to its ability to block the effects of a neurotransmitter called glutamate. When there’s too much glutamate in the brain, this can lead to negative changes in mood. Specifically, magnesium appears to have an impact on a glutamate receptor called NMDAR. Blocking this receptor may help prevent it from overreacting.4
Additionally, magnesium deficiency has been linked to an imbalanced hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. A dysregulated HPA axis is correlated with an increase in mood-related concerns.5 Increasing magnesium intake may help regulate the HPA axis, helping support a better mood and reduce the physical effects of stress.
Finally, magnesium may help improve mood by supporting healthy sleep cycles. When you don’t get enough sleep, your mood is typically impacted. Magnesium can help increase overall sleep time, reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, and support a healthy circadian rhythm.6 A better night’s sleep helps improve anyone’s mood!
How to Get More Magnesium
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for magnesium is 400-420 mg per day for men and 310-320 mg per day for women. Pregnant and lactating women have higher needs.
Eat more magnesium-rich foods to help ensure that you’re getting enough in your diet. Foods high in magnesium include:1
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chia seeds
- Green leafy vegetables
- Black beans
- Peanut butter
Eating more nuts, seeds, beans, green leafy vegetables, and legumes is a great way to boost your magnesium intake. However, it’s difficult to know if you’re getting enough, especially when dealing with elevated stress levels, which can increase your needs.
A magnesium supplement can also help boost your intake. Our plant-based Magnesium Glycinate Chelate supplement contains 200 mg of magnesium plus a blend of magnesium-rich seeds and vegetables, such as spinach, okra, black beans, and pumpkin seeds. Magnesium glycinate has been found to support healthy sleep and stress support while being gentle on your digestive system.
Stress Less with Magnesium
Magnesium is an important mineral for many reasons, but one of the most prominent is how it supports your brain. From mood support to stress management and better sleep, getting enough magnesium is a key component in your mental wellness. Get more magnesium by eating plenty of nuts, seeds, legumes, and leafy greens, and consider a simple daily supplement.
- Magnesium. (n.d.). Retrieved October 2, 2023, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
- Botturi, A., Ciappolino, V., Delvecchio, G., Boscutti, A., Viscardi, B., & Brambilla, P. (2020). The Role and the Effect of Magnesium in Mental Disorders: A Systematic Review. Nutrients, 12(6). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061661
- Rosanoff, A., Weaver, C. M., & Rude, R. K. (2012). Suboptimal magnesium status in the United States: are the health consequences underestimated? Nutrition Reviews, 70(3), 153–164.
- Pochwat, B., Szewczyk, B., Sowa-Kucma, M., Siwek, A., Doboszewska, U., Piekoszewski, W., Gruca, P., Papp, M., & Nowak, G. (2014). Antidepressant-like activity of magnesium in the chronic mild stress model in rats: alterations in the NMDA receptor subunits. The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology / Official Scientific Journal of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum , 17(3), 393–405.
- Sartori, S. B., Whittle, N., Hetzenauer, A., & Singewald, N. (2012). Magnesium deficiency induces anxiety and HPA axis dysregulation: modulation by therapeutic drug treatment. Neuropharmacology, 62(1), 304–312.
- Abbasi, B., Kimiagar, M., Sadeghniiat, K., Shirazi, M. M., Hedayati, M., & Rashidkhani, B. (2012). The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences: The Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 17(12), 1161–1169.