Magnesium: More Than A Good Mood Food

AlmondsFeed Your Goddess With Magnesium

In recent years, magnesium has increasingly been referred to as “the mood food” due to scientifically demonstrated connections between magnesium deficiency and depression, mood disturbances associated with PMS, stress, anxiety, anger, and sleep disturbances. However, magnesium is much more than just a mood food…in fact, magnesium is responsible for or involved in more biochemical reactions in the body than any other mineral! Magnesium helps our bodies function by:

-helping prevent osteoporosis by teaming with calcium and phosphorus to support calcium metabolism and transport into bone and soft tissue

-protecting against heart disease by acting as a safe, natural calcium channel blocker

-regulating blood pressure and heartbeat

-regulating nerve cell function and nerve impulse transmission

-acting as an essential mineral cofactor in DNA cell rebuilding for body repair

-tuning up all cells, organs, and tissues

-acting as a natural tranquilizer

-reducing muscle cramping and tremors

-providing natural pain relief by neutralizing some of the body’s pain provoking chemicals (post-surgical pain, migraine, PMS discomfort all have been shown to benefit from magnesium supplementation!)

-acting as mineral cofactor in transformation of essential fatty acids (EFAs) to prostogladins, potent compounds that control all bodily function at the cellular level

-keeping bowels functioning properly

-promoting sleep

-protecting against chronic fatigue, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, low thyroid function

-helping prevent formation of kidney stones


Getting adequate magnesium is especially critical for:


-less likely to hemorrhage

-fewer cervical problems

-less fluid retention

-higher incidence of normal sized responsive babies


-birth control pills decrease magnesium in the bloodstream


-research has identified low levels of cellular magnesium in depressed individuals, with levels returning to normal after recovery


-decreases in magnesium prior to menstruation are thought to impact on mood swings, cravings, bloating, and breast tenderness


-low levels of both blood and cellular magnesium have been identified in

individuals with hypertension


The DRI (Daily Reference Intake), which is the government’s guideline for minimum adequate daily intake, is:

Women over age 19=320mg

Pregnant women=300mg

Lactating women=355mg

Equally important, however, is the ratio of magnesium to calcium in the diet. The ideal ratio is considered to be 1:1. So if you require 1000mg of calcium daily, you should also be getting 1000mg of magnesium daily, significantly higher than the DRI would suggest!

Food sources of magnesium include:

-raw dark leafy greens

-sea vegetables


-sunflower seeds

-whole grains

-blackstrap molasses

-soybeans (remember, soy products mimic estrogen in the body, so most nutritionists suggest limiting soy to 1 serving per day)

The bioavailability of magnesium is affected by the same inhibitors and enhancers as calcium (take a peek back at last week’s FEED YOUR GODDESS!). In particular, excessive alcohol, protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus, or phytic acid ( from excessive ingestion of grains) interfere with the body’s ability to utilize magnesium.

As with most nutrients, the best sources of magnesium are dietary sources rather than supplements. If you simply can’t get enough magnesium in your diet, or if you want to boost your intake to note the effect on your mood or other symptoms, remember that even really high quality multivitamins won’t have adequate magnesium…or calcium, or Vitamin D! Make sure to read those labels!!

Written by,  Jackie Smith – Feed Your Goddess Contributor for

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  1. Almond is one of my favorite foods. I love using almond oil and virgin coconut oil as well. I use these oils when baking or cooking. I don’t know if it’s just me. But I find all my baked foods and dishes more delicious when I use almond or one of these oils.

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