Posted at 11:00 - June 20th, 2019 - Education Guides
Whether due to distressing circumstances, gut imbalances, genetic predisposition, long-term sleep issues, or chronic stress, there are many ways to naturally support positive mood. The following five supplements have pushed to the front row in importance for mood management:
Probiotics: We now know that imbalances in the gut can impact your mental health and lead to issues like anxiety and depression. The bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms that comprise your microbiome out number your cells 10 to 1 and taken together they weigh as much as six pounds. Many are referring to this microbiome as an “organ”, and one that is more vitally important to health than previously thought.
Vitamin D is vital for maintaining mental health. Supplementation of a minimum of 5,000IU’s, daily, of vitamin D is especially crucial in the winter.
Vitamin B Complex is known as the “stress vitamin”. Being water soluble, B complex needs to be taken daily. Most of the B vitamins derived from food sources are destroyed by heat when cooking.
Omega 3 supplements may allow the “feel good” neurotransmitter serotonin to pass through cell membranes more easily and function more effectively. Dosages typically start at 3 grams daily for mood support.
Magnesium deficiency is common. Sugar, caffeine, certain medications, and stress cause this important “stress mineral” to be excreted. A daily intake in the range of 300mg to 600mg, on average, will enable your body to carry out numerous processes and support positive mood.
Theanine is an amino acid derived from green tea that shows good results for reducing anxiety conditions.
GABA is a substance made in the brain that manages neurotransmissions. It is typically taken in the evening for relaxation and reducing “brain chatter”.
L-Methionine is an amino acid that may offer consistent support for chronic low-grade depression.
5-HTP is a more effective form of the amino acid L-tryptophan. It works in the brain and central nervous system as a precursor to serotonin, the “feel good” neurotransmitter. It can be used for both anxiety and depressive conditions, but it best suited to lift the sinking feeling of depression. These two herbal adaptogens can be helpful for both anxiety and depressive conditions. They work to bring the body back to homeostasis and help one adapt to life’s changing conditions.
Holy Basil has long been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine to calm, uplift and balance. Also called by its Hindu name Tulsi, it is an excellent herb for those with stressful lifestyles.
Rhodiola supports stamina, endurance and well-being.
Additional herbal options to supplement for mood issues: Happy Camper by Natural Balance, Eureka Market brand Relax and Anxiet-Ease.
Situational vs. Clinical Depression
Mild to moderate depression is often situational –due to events or circumstances in one’s life that cause the mood to sink temporarily. Natural supplements may offer relief for this type of depression. Clinical depression that is severe, ongoing, and debilitating is best managed by mental health professionals.
The same thing goes for anxiety –if constant, severe and overwhelming –it may constitute an anxiety disorder that requires professional treatment.
Healthy Lifestyle = Healthy Mood
Supplements can help improve anxiety conditions, depressive episodes and overwhelmed adrenals, but adjusting one’s lifestyle to reduce stress and committing yourself to self-care will reap the best long-term results for mood management.
- Make a good night sleep a priority. If you don’t sleep well, it’s important to find out why.
- Make time to relax and do more of what you enjoy.
- Get regular exercise and spend time outside.
- Eat a whole-food diet with adequate protein with every meal. Minimize sugar consumption, in all forms.
- Don’t over-schedule yourself yourself with commitments. Make yourself a commitment.
- Use supplements to bridge your nutritional gaps.
- Make plans with people. Participate. Or, recognize that time alone is what you need. Enjoy yourself.
- If you struggle with mood issues or emotional health, consider talk-therapy. Seek help for addictions that erode the mind and body.
- Be pro-active about all aspects of your health. Taking control of your wellness will make you feel
Consider Adrenal Support
Are you constantly juggling tasks and obligations? Rushing from one thing to another? Do a lot of people count on you for a lot of things? Are you often stressed out and overwhelmed? If so, your adrenal glands are likely working overtime and unpleasant symptoms are the result.
The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and are the main manufacturers of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline (as well as many other hormones) that regulate the body’s response to stress. They are your body’s primary “shock absorbers” that help you to respond to the demands of life in healthy and flexible ways.
If excessive demands are temporary or occasional, the adrenal glands will provide the resources to cope with pressing issues. But if demands are ongoing, these same hormones can wreak havoc in the body and lead to adrenal exhaustion.
Christine Northrup, M.D. describes these surges of extra adrenaline like withdrawals from a bank that helps you get through challenging times. If you draw from your account too often due to excessive and ongoing demands, you will be overdrawn and your adrenals will be overwhelmed. The hallmark symptoms of adrenal fatigue, irritability, brain fog, disrupted sleep, menopausal symptoms, weight gain, and memory problems.
The lifestyle recommendations on page 3 are the most important factors in recovering from adrenal fatigue. Be aware that recovery will depend on how long the adrenals have been pushed too far. Herbals such as Ashwaganda, Schisandra, Eleuthero, and Rhodiola can be tremendously supportive to the adrenal glands. Natural Factors AdrenaSense and Now Energy are formulations targeting adrenal health.
Just pick one and start there. Be sure to applaud every step, no matter how small. If you read this list and think, “I’m fine, I do a lot of these things” –challenge yourself to do one more. Our bodies will do their jobs for us if we take good care of them.
All Eureka Market Education Guides are intended for educational purposes only. They are not intended to substitute for professional medical consultation and as such, do not diagnose, prescribe or offer personal medical advice. Always consult with your health care professional before taking supplements with prescription medications.