- The root cause of low mood could be magnesium deficiency
- Diet rich in fruits and vegetables can provide you with magnesium
- Magnesium is important for relaxation and can help you sleep well
Are you feeling anxious, depressed and even struggling with insomnia? Well, it could partially be because of lockdown, and the simple fact that your life has turned upside down because of it. Also, it could be because of nutritional deficiencies, which actually determine how you feel physically and mentally. Celeb nutritionist Pooja Makhija, in an IGTV, talks about how magnesium is a nutrient which has a direct impact on depression and anxiety. While not disregarding the need for medical intervention which many people with mental health issues need, she emphasises on the importance of getting sufficient magnesium either from your diet or from supplements as prescribed by your health expert.
Magnesium: How this micronutrient influences depression and anxiety
It is important to understand the root cause of stress, anxiety, depression and mood swings. It could be because of external factors like your environment, your diet, the level of physical activity and much more. In the video, Makhija emphasises on the importance of addressing mental health issues at the root cause instead of simply treating them symptomatically.
Magnesium is a micronutrient and is required by the body in small amounts (300 to 400 mg/day depending on your age and gender). It is easy to get this nutrient from diet as dark leafy green veggies, pulses, legumes, nuts and seeds are all good source of magnesium.
"The mineral is important for relaxation and help one sleep well. It is also important for neurotransmitters which are directly related to your mood, depression and anxiety," says Makhija.
"Serotonin and melatonin are crucial in determining your mood. Magnesium works as an important co-factor required for conversion of tryptophan (from proteins we get from food) to serotonin and melatonin, both of which help in falling asleep."
Poor gut health or lack of proper nutrition in your diet can result in insufficient production of these neurotransmitters, which may in turn make you anxious and depressed. "90% of the serotonin is made by your gut, which works efficiently with proper nutrition and adequate magnesium," says Makhija in the video.
She goes on to add the magnesium is a co-factor in six hundred different enzymatic reactions. It is very important for sleeping well, preventing muscular cramps, maintaining a good mood and keeping up your energy levels.
It is important to understand that long-term deficiency of magnesium will lead to low mood, depression and insomnia. "All of it can be simply corrected by consuming a diet rich in magnesium or taking magnesium supplements," says Makhija.
(Pooja Makhija is a nutritionist, dietitian and author)
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