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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mood & Magnesium

Do you notice that you crave chocolate every time something stressful happens? Does a mood swing often send you to the store where you buy and sneakily stash a king size Snickers or some chocolaty treat into your purse? If so, there may be a little more to this habit than the idea of comfort food or even a sugar addiction.

Chocolate contains a good amount of a mineral called Magnesium. Amongst other vital roles, Magnesium aids the body in dealing with stress. In one study, over 75% of severely depressed patients showed low levels of magnesium in blood tests. This may sound trivial due to the enormous amount of vitamin and mineral deficiencies in different populations, but it is not when you consider that almost 100% of those who received Magnesium injections showed complete recovery of symptoms*!

Magnesium supplementation also helps women who suffer from mild to severe P.M.S. Similar studies to the one above were done on women approaching menses, and Magnesium's ability to relieve the symptoms of P.M.S. were much like the numbers above. All of these studies lead to the conclusion that Magnesium is vital for mood regulation and is something in which many of us (2/3 of the American Population) are deficient*. So this mineral certainly deserves our attention when it comes to our mood & our craving for chocolate.

In addition, Magnesium regulates bone health to the same extent as Calcium & muscle function to include the health of the heart! One's blood pressure is also effected negatively by a deficiency in this mineral as are blood sugar levels. And this widespread deficiency has been directly correlated with an increase in certain types of cancers.

If this article has made an impression on you, that is a good thing. Here is a list of foods high in Magnesium:

1. Chocolate
2. Okra
3. Halibut
4. Scallops
5. Black Beans
6. Pumpkin Seeds
7. Squash Seeds
8. Whole Grains

Oh, and it is key to know that this is not an excuse to eat high sugar, low quality chocolate. If you truly want to do yourself and your health a favor, buy chocolate that is organic and dark or at least good quality stuff. I am going to go get some right now!

*Info from The Magnesium Miracle by Dr. Carolyn Dean
Photo by Stephanie at lickmyspoon.com


  1. I guess that explains why chocolate always makes me feel better. Especially if it's Fair Trade. I figure the health benefits and helping cocoa farmers is a double guilt reduction, far outweighing any sugar and calories ingested.

  2. Well....when I get stressed, I mostly want to sleep :-) and eat....doesn't matter what it is!!!!!!!!! oz of kitchenbutterfly.com

  3. I love your blog. I strongly believe in using natural remedies whenever possible. Just the other day I heard of a child that had autism and was put on a gluten free diet - instant improvement. It is amazing what out body tells us when we listen to it. Thanks for all the great posts. Please keep them coming!

  4. Hi Oz, well it doesn't sound like you have a Magnesium deficiency. You might be in the 'comfort food' category when it comes to stress and eating! Oh, and I read the front page of your blog-very touching.

  5. Hi Flirting with flour (Ms. Chantal),
    Thank You. I will be sure to keep posting, and I'm going to try to make time to try your peanut butter cups. We love that combination here, so I know it would be time and food well spent...

  6. ...waiting for that peanut butter cup recipe. I love this blog, Stella...

  7. this sounds like a pleasant medicine for a change, I'll have to hamster a bunch of good chocolate before my next period. I love your tips and I do believe in healing through food and plants.

  8. Ha ha! I love that chocolate is right at the top of the list. For the record I love okra too, but chocolate's much easier to "prepare".

  9. Is that really true? Does that mean then I am not "depressed" if I crave none of those things and actually find chocolate a bit off-putting? LOL I know its not true so no worries. When I am really down (and when I am pms-ing) I crave salty things. Ham, potatoes an butter, eggs, chips, fried mushrooms, cheese... those are my weak points when I search for 'comforting' or at least saitsfying. They fill the loneliest parts of me - briefly, temporarily - until I have a moment to think for myself again and then I just want more of those comforting type things to fill me up again because no on else will.
    Can I ask you a personal question: what do you consider to be the definition of "kitchen witch" and how witchy/wiccan are you?
    I envy people who live in cities. They have bars and clubd to meet people and can get decent organic and local food SIghs... me wishes I could get organic produce here, but mstly only organic apples and cellery are available (for a steep price)


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