Are you experiencing your fair share of major stressors? Life ebbs and flows with pressure, stress, and anxiety. When those feelings creep into my life, I find myself needing and wanting to practice more yoga and upping my dosage of de-stressing, calming herbs -- and it all really helps!
Here’s a closer look at five effective options for boosting your mood.
Researchers first determined these vitamins had stress and anxiety supporting benefits back in 1943. Since then, they’ve discovered the brain uses B vitamins to make neurotransmitters, the chemicals that influence mood. Taking high-potency B-complex supplements helps manage normal stress and promotes relaxation, according to a study of stressed-out office workers. A high-potency multivitamin, which contains the B’s, will have a similar effect.
When choosing your B-complex, look for the active form of the vitamin, such as riboflavin 5’ phosphate (B2) and pyridoxal 5’ phosphate (B6). I like Seeking Health B-complex Plus.
Phosphatidylserine is a major phospholipid (aka: fat) found in the membranes of brain cells. PS is synthesized from phosphatidylcholine (PC) and protects against the damaging effects of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone. PS is required for healthy nerve cell membranes and support cognitive function, including memories The PS in the, attention, concentration and problem-solving skills. Phosphatidylserine in the brain has a high DHA content (80%), so get your DHA too!
A study by German researchers found high doses support normal cortisol and stress levels in men. College students who took phosphatidylserine had better moods and experienced lower stress levels. In seniors, phosphatidylserine can support memory recall.
We need the omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA, for normal brain development as infants and children and to maintain healthy moods as adults. Studies have shown omega-3s have a powerful calming effect and support stress, especially DHA. Other studies have found omega-3 fats have broad mood-enhancing effects. This is my top liquid omega-3 oil.
For vegetarians and vegans, try an algae-based formula.
This often overlooked herb has impressive anxiety-reducing benefits in healthy people and those about to undergo surgery. It also promotes sleep without causing drug-like sedation or grogginess.
Scientists believe passionflower works by increasing levels of a chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA lowers the activity of some brain cells, making you feel more relaxed.
The majority of Americans don’t get enough of this crucial mineral. Are you deficient? Magnesium is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in our body. Magnesium relaxes muscles, including the heart. Topical application of nutrients are known to be very beneficial because the nutrients absorb very well and enter straight into the bloodstream. People swear by magnesium oil for relaxation and sleep support, and suggest putting it on before bedtime. It’s also linked to improved mood, increased energy levels, improved relaxation, better stress management, reduced muscle aches, pains, and cramps, and healthier skin.
Support your busy days with those unwanted, stressful feelings!
In Health and Happiness,
Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods