In the lead up to the crazy season, many of us begin to feel a little more stressed than usual, a little more short-tempered and affected by the small things.
For others, mood issues such as depression and anxiety, are something we deal with every day. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, with Australian statistics estimating around 45% of people will experience a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime.
In any one year, approximately 1 million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety.
And these numbers don’t include the average worrywart or person who suffers an occasional bout of the blues.
With these statistics, it’s no wonder that many people are searching for mood supplements or other mood-supporting alternatives to prescription medication.
The need for mood boosters
Many people find antidepressant medication either stops working or the side effects are not tolerable.
It is also well known, that the drug support is only about 20% of the road to recovery, with nutrients (via food or supplements) and lifestyle modifications including psychotherapy, exercise and relaxation making up the other 80%.
So what vitamins, herbs, supplements, and lifestyle changes are the best mood enhancers?
Of course, if you suffer from severe mood problems see a doctor – before you reach for mood enhancers or supplements.
Some natural ways to support your mood
|B vitamins: essential for cell metabolism and central nervous system maintenance. A key component in supporting neurotransmitters*||St Johns’ Wort: the active ingredients have been shown to modulate neurotransmitter levels*|
|Omega-3 fatty acids: found in cold-water fish and certain vegetable oils, and available as a supplement, omega-3 fatty acids are used to help depression and other psychological problems.||Valarian: a herbal remedy created from dried roots, often taken as a sleep aid and sometimes used for anxiety|
|Magnesium: used in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, and gets very depleted in times of stress||Lavender: aromatherapy, essential oils, and teas use lavender to enhance relaxation and possibly help relieve anxiety and depression|
|Vitamin D: good to keep stress, fatigue and depression at bay.||Withania: an adaptogenic herb that has been used to assist vitality, endurance and stamina, particularly during debility, without being too stimulating to the body and the nervous system|
|Taurine: supports the body, specifically the adrenals, in times of stress||Rehmannia: another adaptogenic herb. Often used in energy tonic formulas to used to combat chronic fatigue and stress-related tiredness|
|Potassium citrate: one of the most abundant minerals in your body. In fact, without potassium, many bodily functions could not take place, and your body’s supply of potassium is quickly depleted during times of stress||Kava: to be used under the care of a healthcare practitioner. In small doses, the effects of kava include muscle relaxation, sleepiness and feelings of wellbeing. However, long-term use of kava can lead to a range of health problems, including malnutrition, weight loss and apathy.|
|Vit C: large doses have been shown to reduce physical and mental responses to stress||Passionflower: used to assist with anxiety, nervousness, agitation, and in higher doses as a mild sedative for insomnia|
*dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, GABA.
Always consult with a healthcare practitioner before taking any supplements for mood, especially if you are already taking a prescription product for your condition.