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This mineral is sometimes called the “calming chemical,” writes psychiatrist Drew Ramsey, MD, in his book Eat to Beat Depression and Anxiety. He notes that it was one of the first nutrients demonstrated to help treat depression.

Magnesium helps keep adrenals in check and contributes to the creation and transmission of the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin. It also helps stimulate the release of soothing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

“It’s the mineral at the center of photosynthesis,” explains Ramsey. “I think about magnesium as a way to conduct the flow of energy from the sun all the way to your brain.”

Emmons frequently recommends this mineral for individuals struggling with anxiety or sleep disturbances.

How to Supplement: Magnesium is found in a variety of foods, including dark chocolate and avocados. Supplements come in pill or powder form; the latter is combined with water to make a fizzy drink. Adult men need 400–420 mg daily; adult women need 310–320 mg. If your bowels become too loose, reduce your dose.

(For more on this critical nutrient, see “Magnesium: Your Body’s Spark Plug.”)

Learn More

Explore our collection of mental health articles to find more information that can assist you in supporting your overall well-being.

This was excerpted from “8 Key Supplements to Boost Your Mental Health — Naturally” which was published in Experience Life magazine.

Alexandra Smith, MA, LPCC

Alexandra Smith, MA, LPCC, is a licensed professional clinical counselor in Minneapolis and an Experience Life contributing editor.

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