Anxiety is a common word today in the wellness community. What should be a natural response alerting us to danger (think “fight or flight”) often persists and develops into a chronic condition. While there are many reasons for we humans to be anxious–from crime and terrorism to global warming–a change in our diets could also be to blame. A key nutrient missing from many of our modern foods is magnesium.
This essential mineral is vital for the proper functioning of the body. Magnesiumplays a big part in biochemical reactions all over your body, including the brain. Research has shown a link between magnesium deficiency and increased likelihood of mood disorders, including anxiety, depression, and chronic stress. Since the rate of mood disorders is on the rise, our poor diets could be to blame. (1, 2)
Where Is The Magnesium?
Examining the change in our society is the key to understanding why most of us are magnesium deficient. Before refined, bleached flours were a staple in our diet, people obtained a good amount of magnesium from whole grains. Prior to 1905, the average American intake of this mineral was approximately 400mg daily, with less than 1% of Americans developing depression before age 75. Fast forward to the 1955 white bread revolution, and 6% of Americans had depression before the age of 24. Calcium disrupts the intake of magnesium, but this too was pushed upon the population as a cure to make bones big and strong. It’s no wonder that our magnesium intake, or lack thereof, has coincided with an increase in mental illness and mood disorders. (1, 2)
So how much do we really need for optimal brain function and stress reduction? The current recommended daily value is 320-420mg daily. The average American only takes in about 250mg daily, which could be counteracted by too much calcium. Aside from adding more whole grains and natural sources, supplementing with magnesium can be a great way to ensure you’re getting enough of this key nutrient. (1)
Magnesium Gummies: A Natural “Chill Pill”
If you’re suffering from poor sleep, daily anxiety, depression, and uncontrolled stress, magnesium supplements might help soothe your symptoms. You can make these magnesium gummies at home with just a few ingredients, which are great for easing stress and relaxing tense muscles. Your nervous system will thank you, and these chewables can also help you get a good night’s sleep.
- 3/4 Cup Juice (like organic lemonade)
- 3 Tbsp Gelatin Powder (use grass-fed, organic options)
- 5 Tbsp Magnesium Citrate Powder (experiment with different flavor combinations)
- 1 Tbsp Sweetener (Organic cane sugar, raw honey, stevia, etc.)
- A Pinch of Salt
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine cold juice and slowly whisk in magnesium powder. It foams, so add a tablespoon at a time and wait for the foam to die down in between.
- In a small saucepan, pour in the juice/magnesium mixture and sprinkle gelatin powder over the top before turning on your burner. Allow it to stand for a few minutes until the mixture forms a gel. Once any white powder or clumps are gone, your gelatin is ready.
- Turn the burner on medium-low, adding your sweetener of choice and salt once the mixture liquefies.
- Pour the mixture into a glass measuring cup with a spout, and pour into a silicone mold or small baking dish to set.
- Refrigerate to set, and cut into squares or pop gummies out of the mold.
This recipe makes about 35 gummies, with each holding about 69mg of magnesium. As too much magnesium can produce a laxative effect, make sure to start slow and build up to the recommended daily value. Store in the fridge in an airtight container, and enjoy your chill pill gummies to soothe your anxiety and get the best night’s sleep! (3)