You know you need magnesium for healthy bones. But this important mineral — the fourth most abundant in the human body — plays a key role in many other crucial physiological processes. The majority of your body’s magnesium is stored in your bones, while the rest is distributed in muscles, tissues and bodily fluids, where it takes part in hundreds of enzymatic reactions. In addition to bone health, magnesium is essential for energy production, nerve transmission, regulating muscle contraction and relaxation, blood pressure and more.

If you find yourself irritable, stressed or downright depressed, this critical mineral may help. Studies suggest adequate magnesium intake can calm stress, improve mood and enhance sleep. Some highlights:

  • STRESS AND ANXIETY. Magnesium plays an important role in regulating the body’s response to stress. Chronic physical or mental stress depletes your body of magnesium, and low magnesium levels intensify stress — creating a vicious cycle. Magnesium modulates activity of the body’s stress-response system, and studies suggest increasing magnesium intake may reduce anxiety, ease stress and minimize the response to fear.