What is so important about magnesium?

What has magnesium got to do with memory?

Magnesium is essential for approximately 300 reactions in our bodies and supports our muscles, nerves, heart, immune system and bones to function effectively. It is involved in sending signals in our brains and has been shown to assist learning and memory.

 

What happens when we are magnesium deficient?

Magnesium deficiency can result in migraines, muscle twitches and mental health issues all of which can interfere with our ability to learn.

Magnesium makes us more tolerant to stress by suppressing the release of the stress hormone cortisone, reducing its ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier. So we need magnesium to help us cope with stress.

However, when we experience stress, our bodies shed magnesium and this can reduce our resilience and cause us to feel more stressed, which again causes our bodies to shed magnesium and the cycle continues until we restore our magnesium levels.  

 

How many of us are magnesium deficient?

In 2011-2012, the Australian Health Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported that “one in three people over the age of two did not meet their requirements for magnesium.”

This was more prevalent among 14-18-year-olds with 61% of males 72% of females failing to meet their requirement for magnesium.

Another study of adults in the US and UK found that 2/3 were failing to meet their magnesium requirements yet this was not a serious problem in developing or poor countries.

 

Why are so many of us magnesium deficient?

Magnesium deficiency can be a result of:

  • Our fast-paced modern lifestyle where many of us are experiencing stress for a significant portion of our time
  • Our modern diet typically consists of highly processed foods with little magnesium (or nutritional value more broadly)
  • The soil our food is grown in may also be lacking in magnesium.

 

How can we improve the magnesium levels in our bodies?

To improve our magnesium levels we can:

Moderate our stress levels through practices such as:

  • inhaling or applying essential oils
  • holding acupressure points
  • getting enough sleep
  • mediation
  • yoga.

Consume foods containing magnesium such as

  • chia seeds
  • quinoa
  • almonds
  • cashews
  • brown rice
  • spinach
  • soy milk
  • wholemeal bread
  • soy milk
  • dark chocolate. 

Absorb magnesium through our skin using:

  • Magnesium body soaks (preferably magnesium chloride over Epsom salts which is magnesium sulfate as it is absorbed up to 7 times more effectively).

 

How can we manage our own stress to support out learning?

The Holistic Learning Program provides you with the tools and resources to moderate your levels of stress, focus your attention and complete actions to enhance your learning.

There are:

  • card packs that can be displayed as gentle reminders of positive practices to aid learning
  • essential oils to moderate your mood
  • body soaks that can be used while you carry out your learning or relaxation activities.

The program can be delivered as

  • Facilitated workshops
  • Small group discussions
  • One-on-one coaching.

There are many options to meet different needs. I am here to help so please don’t hesitate to contact me for more information.

 

References

https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/australian-health-survey-usual-nutrient-intakes/latest-release

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221451411500121X

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/foods-high-in-magnesium