This week I’m all about how stress affects our hormones, and how that can be linked to gut health and immune function.

One nutrient that just about always tops my list for combatting stress is magnesium.

That’s because it has hundreds of jobs in our bodies, including improving neurotransmitter function and signaling, relaxing muscles all over the body, and regulating insulin sensitivity.

This translates to feeling calmer and happier, sleeping better, having fewer intense cramps and headaches, and having fewer sugar cravings.

If you find you frequently have symptoms like…

  • sugar/chocolate cravings
  • difficulty sleeping
  • anxiety
  • brain fog
  • PMS/PMDD
  • menstrual/muscle cramps
  • headaches/migraines
  • irregular bowel habits and/or constipation

…it may be worthwhile to boost your intake of magnesium.

Fortunately, the richest sources of magnesium are plant-based and generally pretty easy to incorporate into your everyday diet! These sources include:

  • almonds
  • avocados
  • black beans and other legumes
  • spinach and other dark leafy greens
  • dark chocolate (cacao)
  • pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • sesame seeds
  • dates
  • quinoa

Easy ways to include them all into your day:

  • Breakfast smoothie: add 1 Tbsp. each raw cacao and pumpkin seeds to a banana and date smoothie with unsweetened almond milk
  • Lunch burrito: add ½ cup black beans and 1 small (or ½ large) diced/mashed avocado to leftover cooked brown rice with a squeeze of fresh lime juice in a sprouted whole-grain tortilla
  • Afternoon snack: 2 Tbsp. raw almond butter and an apple
  • Dinner Buddha bowl: top a large handful of baby spinach with ½ cup cooked quinoa and fresh veggies of your choice, ½ cup chickpeas or diced marinated tofu (and the rest of that avocado if desired/applicable),and drizzle with tahini sauce

Additionally, taking an Epsom salt bath once or twice a week can be very relaxing, especially as another way to get magnesium into your system! Try preparing your next bath with a little lavender oil as well!

How many of these foods do you eat per day? Which ones do you want to try but struggle with? Tell me about it!

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