As this pandemic drags on and we are plagued with uncertainty, more and more of us are suffering from stress, anxiety, or depression. So what can you do to help calm your nerves and combat mood issues?
Exercise can help keep serotonin and endorphin levels elevated, but exercise alone can only do so much. Meditation is another way to help ease stress and anxiety — but what if that just isn’t cutting it anymore? Here are five supplements to explore if your mood is dragging you down.
B vitamins are essential for a healthy nervous system. There are eight different nutrients in this category that work together to help the body process and deal with stress. A 2018 study found that people who had a diet rich in B vitamins had a better stress and anxiety score than those with a diet lower in B vitamins. Taking a vitamin B complex can help supplement the B vitamins you might not be getting in your diet.
L-Theanine is an amino acid best know for its calming effects. Several studies have shown it can help reduce resting heart rate and even reduce blood pressure during stressful situations. Since it has a calming effect, it may be helpful for anxiety without making you tired, as other therapies may. It also has the added benefit of helping increase learning and focus.
Magnesium is a mineral with many benefits. When it comes to stress it helps naturally boost the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is known to help the body relax and regulate the stress response as well as promote sleep. Plus, it helps to relax tense muscles.
The human body naturally produces 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) — an amino acid our bodies use to produce serotonin. Decreased serotonin levels may lead to symptoms of depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and weight gain. In one double-blind study, 58% of the control group receiving 5-HTP reported a significantly greater reduction in baseline anxiety compared to the group that received a placebo.
Passionflower is a herb that is well known for its calming effects as well as its effects on anxiety and insomnia. One reason is that it may boost levels of GABA in the brain, which in turn relaxes the nervous system through the reduction of brain activity.
This post is not intended to substitute for medical advice or prescribed medication. Especially if you have special health needs or a special diet, consult a physician before undertaking any new diet or exercise plan.
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