Magnesium: Nature’s “Chill Pill”?

Magnesium plays a role in over 300 different reactions and pathways in the body, ranging from energy production, regulation of blood pressure and heart rate, and muscle contraction and relaxation. So there is no doubt that a deficiency can contribute to an increased risk of mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression.

Some of the highest levels of magnesium in the body are found in the nervous system. It is a cofactor for the production and release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin to improve mood. It also binds to and activates GABA receptors, supporting the calming action of this neurotransmitter.

Also known as the “mood mineral”, magnesium is calming and relaxing to help regulate the nervous system so that you can cope with stress and anxiety a lot better. By stimulating the GABA receptors, it can decrease brain over-activity to help quiet your mind. In addition to its calming effect, it can improve mood and motivation. A deficiency in this mineral can cause decreased levels of dopamine and serotonin, which are both known as your happy hormones that can help balance mood and improve motivation.

Let’s not forget all of the other benefits of this mineral. It is great for decreasing levels of stress by decreasing the release of cortisol, relaxing muscle tension, and supporting sleep.

 There are many forms of magnesium supplements and magnesium-rich foods to choose from in order to see benefit.

How do I choose the right magnesium?

Form of Magnesium Clinical Indication Why?
Magnesium citrate or oxide Constipation This is lowest bio-available form of magnesium, meaning its not well absorbed into the body. It stays in the GI tract to draw water, helping to regulate bowels. It’s also the least expensive form because of this.
Magnesium bisglycinate Anxiety Depression


High blood pressure



Muscle Spasms & Cramps


This highly bioavailable form of magnesium is well absorbed into the body to address the conditions listed.
Magnesium taurate Support for cardiovascular health Taurate is an amino acid that has a particular effect on regulating heart health, particularly rhythm and blood pressure.
Magnesium malate Energy production


This specific form of magnesium has been studied in patients with fibromyalgia and has been shown to improve energy and pain scores.
Magnesium sulfate

(AKA Epsom Salts)

Relaxation This form of magnesium can add a touch of relaxation to your baths; add at least 2 cups to your bathtub water to achieve a relaxant effect on sore or tight muscles.

Our holistic nutritionist, Natalie Purchase, recommends getting magnesium from these food sources: 

  • Dark chocolate – specifically cacao powder or nibs
  • Avocado
  • Nuts such as cashews, Brazil nuts and almonds
  • Legumes such as lentils, black beans and chickpeas
  • Tofu
  • Seeds such as: pumpkin seed, flax seeds and chia seeds
  • Grains such as oats, buckwheat and quinoa
  • Fatty fish such as salmon
  • Bananas
  • Leafy greens such as spinach, kale and collard greens

Need some inspiration? Here are two delicious, magnesium-rich recipes: Chocolate Avocado Pudding and Chocolate Smoothie.


  • Dr. Lynne ND, Dr. Leigha ND & Natalie RHN


Wondering if we can help you with your health concerns? Give us a call at 905-852-2929 and we’d be happy to set you up with a complimentary 15 minute visit to answer any questions you may have. 

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