Magnesium is needed in more than 300 crucial chemical reactions required by brain and body. It helps protect your brain from the waste product ammonia, relaxes blood vessels (lowering blood pressure), and defends the body against heart disease and diabetes. Magnesium has a special place in the Farmacy as all life on earth depends on this mineral. Plants use magnesium to make chlorophyll, which converts sunlight into energy. (This also is a good hint for where to find it). Mind-blowingly, every reaction in the human body needed to create energy needs magnesium to do so, and the brain burns more energy than any organ. If your brain had a spark plug, this would be it. Running low on energy and feeling foggy? Well, two-thirds of Americans don’t get enough magnesium in their diet.

This mineral is required to keep myelin, the insulation on your brain cells, healthy. It also helps you make DHA, the most concentrated omega-3 fat in the brain. Emerging research indicates that magnesium increases BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which promotes the growth of new neurons and healthy connections between brains cells. While key to the spark in our cells’ powerhouses, magnesium in our blood is like mother’s nature “chill pill”–it calms and relaxes blood vessels and nerves. When it was first studied to treat agitated depression in 1921, nearly everyone mellowed out. It is key for memory and learning as well.

A deficiency in magnesium can lead to depression, anxiety, symptoms of ADHD, insomnia, and fatigue.

Top Farmacy Sources: Halibut, Almonds, Cashews, Leafy Greens (Spinach, Beet, Collard), Yogurt, Potatoes, Peanut butter, Whole Wheat Bread

Drew Ramsey, MD

Drew Ramsey, M.D. is a psychiatrist, author, and farmer. He is a clear voice in the mental health conversation and one of psychiatry’s leading proponents of using nutritional interventions. He is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

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