3 Supplements to Support Your Mental Health
Feeling anxious is a normal part of life. Anticipating an upcoming exam or job interview, or worried about a loved one’s surgical outcome are all situational examples where short-term anxiety is expected.
However, sometimes there can be more to it. If you find your anxiety symptoms are negatively impacting your life, it’s important to seek out a qualified therapist or healthcare provider to get the support you need.
Luckily, there’s so many resources to support your mental health. You might consider cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), medication, or lifestyle changes. One of those lifestyle changes might be incorporating supplements that boost your mood, help you adapt to stress, and so much more.
These essential fatty acids are most known for their heart and skin benefits, but it doesn’t stop there. Omega-3’s are commonly found in fatty fish and seeds like flax and chia. They also come in supplement form.
Ashwagandha is a popular Ayervedic herb that has long been praised for its stress reducing properties. It has antioxidant activity and is excellent for lowering cortisol and nourishing our adrenal glands (where stress hormones are made).
While it’s still early in the research phase, ashwagandha may prove to be most helpful for those experiencing anxiety associated with stress. This supplement can be taken in the morning or night and should be dosed regularly for maximum benefit.
A naturally occurring molecule found in green tea, L-theanine has been touted as the calming and focusing nutrient for a healthy brain. It has a dual purpose: first, to help reduce the stress hormone cortisol, and second, to enhance calming neurotransmitters such as GABA. But unlike other calming supplements, l-theanine is non-sedating. This means you can safely take it during the day as needed to help manage feelings of anxiety.
The question I often get about this nutrient is whether to take it as a supplement, or simply drink more green tea. The average cup of green tea can contain on average about 6.5mg of l-theanine which is much lower than the starting recommended dose of 25-100mg from most research studies for anxiety. If you aren’t sensitive to caffeine, adding a cup or two of organic green tea can be an excellent way to boost your theanine levels, but for more of a therapeutic effect, a moderate dose supplement is the way to go.
Do you have a favourite calming supplement? Let us know in the comments below!
Dr. Laura Belus is a Naturopathic Doctor that focuses on detoxification and hormone balance for weight loss, stress management, and greater energy. She believes in making simple, yet powerful, changes to diet & lifestyle habits that create lasting results. She practices in Mississauga and Toronto.