& : Omega 3s And Vitamin D: The Mood
I’ve tackled these together because omega-3 fish oils and vitamin D work hand in hand to optimise serotonin levels in the brain. You don’t need to know the science but if you’re interested…
Serotonin needs an amino acid, called tryptophan to convert it to a usable form in the brain. That conversion is activated by vitamin D.
Once serotonin is made, EPA helps brain cells release it into their communication gaps to stimulate surrounding brain cells. Once serotonin arrives at a new brain cell, the presence of another long-chain omega-3 fish oil, DHA, helps the serotonin message to be received by increasing the fluidity of the cell membrane fluidity. Good levels of vitamin D and both omega-3s are therefore needed for optimum brain function.
Researchers have suggested that lack of vitamin D, EPA or DHA contributes to a number of psychiatric disorders and depression. Clinical trials suggest that omega-3 fish oils can improve depression, prolong periods of remission from depressive episodes and improve the short-term course of the illness in those affected.
How much omega 3 do you need to take to get a beneficial anti-depressive effect? Look for 650mg total DHA and EPA per day. Adding fish oils to usual drug treatment for depression has also been shown to significantly improve symptoms within two weeks, compared with placebo.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Vitamins
Vitamins help make your brain and your body are healthier, so you experience fewer anxiety symptoms, but it’s still up to you to do what’s necessary to prevent anxiety from taking over your life. In order to get the most out of your vitamins, you have to set yourself up for success by having coping mechanisms on hand and preparing for your anxiety. Here are some useful tips to keep your anxiety in check.
Avoid Certain Foods
Although we recommend certain foods on this list, there are also foods and drinks you need to avoid to better manage your anxiety. Anything that contains caffeine or alcohol, for example, can cause your anxiety levels to rise and put you at risk for panic attacks and other symptoms. Make sure to avoid these products as much as possible, so that you don’t counteract the helpful benefits of a healthy diet and supplementation.
Have Relaxation Techniques on Hand
What’s the opposite of anxiety? Relaxation! When you feel anxious on a regular basis, you’ll want to make sure that you have plenty of relaxation techniques to rely on. Whether you use stress balls, meditation recordings, or deep-breathing exercises, having a host of ways to relax when you feel stressed and anxious will make it easier to get through your days.
Other Natural Vitamins For Depression
Along with the vitamins and supplements listed above, other natural vitamins for depression may include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the function and health of the brain. Natural sources of Omega-3s include certain fatty fish such as salmon, as well as seeds and nuts.
- Magnesium. According to the Nutrition Reviews journal, nearly half of all adults in the U.S. experience some level of magnesium deficiency. This deficiency can cause sleep problems like insomnia, constipation and muscle tension. It can also cause symptoms of depression and other mood disorders because magnesium is important for the production of feel-good hormones in the brain.
- Vitamin C. Supplementing with vitamin C can help improve both mood and cognitive function. Studies have also indicated vitamin C may help reduce symptoms of anxiety as well as depression.
While depression is a serious medical condition, it is fortunately treatable. Vitamins for depression shouldnt be used as a replacement for medical treatment, but they can be used in conjunction with professional treatment to improve its effectiveness. Nutrition often plays a critical role not only in physical but also mental health.
Sinrich, Jenn. 10 Vitamins for Depression That Could Boost Your Mood. Readers Digest. Accessed January 3, 2019.
What Vitamins Help With Mood
This time of the year brings many changes. You have all the kids going back to school. Young adults are leaving home, running off to college. Parents may be left with an empty nest, or extra free time. These can be major life changes that can take some getting used to.
At the same time, the weather is dampening, getting chilly. FYI, I am writing this from the South of Ireland – my window viewpoint may be less relevant for those of you in other sunnier parts. You will have noticed the shorter days and darker evenings. The falling leaves and that distinctive autumn smell. All of us, I’m sure, are bracing ourselves for the possibility of a Winter Lockdown. Trying to muster up a bit of mental and physical stamina.
My strategy is going to involve eating. I feel that it’s an achievable goal, providing both comfort and pleasure. We can all manage it. By eating well, we can help boost the immune system and stay in good health. It will ensure that we have enough energy and, very importantly, it will keep the spirits up.
There are a few vitamins worth paying particular attention to this winter, such as:
Lifestyle Changes For Enhancing Your Mood
If you look at the research on exercise for depression, its equal to or better than medication for depression — probably the best outright alternative treatment for depression, says Emmons, who often recommends mild, rhythmic activities such as walking, biking, or jogging. It may not be enough for a lot of people, but its a good place to start.
Reporting in a February 2008 issue of Cerebral Cortex, German researchers described PET scans and recently available chemicals they used to prove that running does, in fact, release mood-enhancing endorphins. The more released, the greater the effect.
How much exercise is enough to enhance mood? Three hours of moderate activity per week may do the trick, according to a study published in the January 2005 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Emmons also strongly recommends a variety of stress management techniques, such as learning meditation to self-regulate thoughts, called mindfulness.
People with recurring depression tend to get triggered very quickly — almost like a track is laid down, a slippery slope, he says. It pays to put some real effort into learning to recognize this immediately and to learn ways to steady yourself.
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Overcoming Depression And Anxiety The Natural Way
The foods that you put into your body make a huge difference when it comes to your mood and anxiety. Nutrition is a highly underrated lifestyle factor which can In fact, nutritional psychiatry is a growing field finding success in treating mental health issues with diet. Water, vitamins, and minerals all play a key role in determining how severe your depression and anxiety symptoms are. Research suggests that altering your diet may be one of the best ways to help some mental health conditions naturally.
Choosing to incorporate healthier foods into your diet can be a simple solution for these and many common ailments. Alternatively, you may want to consider taking a supplement purchased at a local health store to give you a more immediate response. Dont underestimate the huge impact that vitamins and minerals can have on your mental health!
Holistic Mental Health Care At Sage Neuroscience Center
At Sage Neuroscience Center, we understand that mental health is different for everyone. Each individual is unique and deserves custom treatment. Having knowledge and access to a variety of treatment options is crucial, and so is educating yourself about the various lifestyle changes that might positively affect your mental health. To learn more about how vitamins and other natural supplements help improve mental health, contact the team here at Sage Neuroscience Center.
*Editors Note: This post was originally published Published on: Feb 4, 2014 and has been updated Mar 11, 2021
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The Impact Of Sunlight On Vitamin D Status
Assessment of vitamin D status will need consideration of other factors, such as light therapy and sun exposure. Exposure to sunlight accounts for over 90% of the vitamin D requirement for most individuals . Amount of exposure to ultraviolet B radiation is affected by latitude, season, and time of the day. It has been reported that sun exposure is greatest in spring to early fall and during sunlight hours . Although places closer to the equator have greater sun exposure , recently it has been reported that in even in these areas vitamin D insufficiency persists . Since it is possible that persons who are outdoors may be more physically active, it is important to consider whether sunshine alone or in combination with physical activity is related to improved mood.
Mind, a charity group in the United Kingdom, has recommend Ecotherapy as a treatment to depression. Ecotherapy involves exercising outdoors instead of inside a facility. A research study was done with 20 people each walked outside and at an indoor shopping center . Participants then rated their feelings of self-esteem, depression, and tension after both walks. Improvements were greater when walking outdoors as compared to walking indoors . Lack of information regarding specific measurements and methods used for data collection are significant limitations of this report.
Best Supplement Types For Better Mood
The world of health-boosting supplements is not an easy one to navigate. Here, you will find everything from old herbal formulations to mixes of minerals, vitamins, and plant extracts bearing marketing information that make outrageously bold promises.
The market for mood enhancers is no different. You will find both FDA-approved and unapproved products that promise to improve your mood drastically and help fix dopamine issues.
So, are any functional mood-enhancing supplements, or is this one massive snake-oil market?
For some products, the scientific consensus is positive. For others, the studies show mixed results, while researchers have shown some formulations to be potentially harmful. Furthermore, research into many of the top mood-boosting supplements is still relatively minimal.
Based on our review of the available scientific literature, here are some of the most influential mood-enhancing supplement groups you can try.
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Gaia Herbs Ashwagandha Root
Ashwagandha has been a staple of Ayurvedic medicine for more than a thousand years. It is well-known and appreciated for its ability to reduce stress, improve mood, and promote restful sleep. Gaia Herbs Ashwagandha is certified organic and vegan.
What we like: The adaptogenic herb ashwagandha has been used for centuries to restore emotional balance and calm frayed nerves. Gaia Ashwagandha is certified organic, free of allergens, and certified vegan.
Flaws: Ashwagandha may interact with medications intended to regulate immune system response.
Best Vitamins For Anxiety Stress And Mental Health
Anxiety rates are at an all-time high. Support your braincare with nutrition to ease stress and reduce anxiety.
If youre feeling anxious today, youre not alone. Mental Health First Aid England reports that anxiety and other mental health concerns are at an all-time high, and one of the main drivers for this sharp increase has been our collective health and safety worries during a global pandemic.
Youve likely heard the stereotypical de-stressing advice recommended by wellness experts ad nauseam . But many people are missing one essential step: providing the right vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to reduce anxiety levels and support a healthy mind and a balanced nervous system. These essential vitamins include:
With a smart nutritional approach to braincare, you can face your days challenges and opportunities with less anxiety, less stress, and more confidence.
If youre feeling anxious or stressed, or want to take proactive steps today to prevent problems down the road, start with these five natural vitamins that can help with anxiety, depression and panic attacks. We’ve also included all of these nutrients in the Smart Supplement to help relieve anxiety and soothe stress:
Get the nutrients you need to help feel less anxious with the Heights Smart Supplement.
Daily nutrient reference values for vitamin B12:
Adults: 2.4 g/day
Top food sources for vitamin B12:
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Understanding The Symptoms Of Depression
Depression is far more than just having a bad day or feeling sad about a particular event. Understanding the symptoms of depression can help you to determine whether you need to be contacting a therapist or other mental health professional, or if you just need to get help with your mood. As with many other conditions, there can be many different symptoms of depression. The following are among the most common:
Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
Changes in appetite
If you regularly experience some or all of these symptoms, you will likely want to talk to your doctor. They can help you to evaluate your situation and recommend that you see a mental health professional if appropriate.
Vitamin C For Natural Stress Relief
Vitamin C has earned its place as the single most popular vitamin supplement.
This versatile vitamin has shown proven benefits for a wide range of diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimers.
Its taken mostly to reduce the symptoms and duration of the common cold .
But few people realize the positive effect that vitamin C can have on their mood and brain function.
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Ways To Ease Anxiety & Get More Vitamin D In Your Life
1. Alternate Light Source
Daily exposure to appropriate levels of direct sunlight can boost vitamin D3 levels which can help improve your mood and ease anxiety. If you have a hard time getting enough natural light during the winter, consider buying a therapy lamp for your home or work desk. Though many artificial light boxes claim to do the job, make sure to purchase one thats as close as possible to the natural sunlight spectrum and proven to increase vitamin D levels.
2. Go Somewhere Sunny
If getting sufficient levels of UVA rays from the sun proves difficult during the winter months, especially if you live anywhere near the Great White North, consider saving up some money during the summer for a vacation to a sunny destination during the winter. This will make enduring the cold, dark months more bearable.
3. Get Quality Sleep
Insufficient and inconsistent sleep can increase irritability, moodiness and poor judgment. To remain at the top of your game, its recommended that you get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Getting appropriate levels of sunlight during the day, or adequate amounts of vitamin D from foods or supplements can also help maintain your bodys natural production of serotonin. In the evening, the brain naturally converts serotonin into melatonin, our main sleep hormone that improves our chance of getting a good nights sleep.
4. D-Rich Diet
5. Take Sunshine Supplements
American Standard Valerian Root
In contrast to its pungently aromatic origin, Valerian is a graceful flower with a sweet fragrance. Although the roots have a strong odour, they have been used in traditional Western herbalism for centuries for their health-promoting properties. The dried roots are widely used in herbal preparations and are infused as valerian tea or blended into herbal formulations and herbal tea blends. Valerian root is also available in tincture or capsule form. Valerian capsules are a simple to use preparation that may be beneficial to those with a more refined palate.
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Megafood Vitamin D3 5000 Iu
Many people are deficient in or have suboptimal levels of vitamin D, a fat-soluble nutrient thatâs essential for brain function and mood regulation .
Studies show that vitamin D inadequacy or deficiency is particularly common in people with mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders .
Furthermore, research suggests that taking high doses of vitamin D may be effective in reducing the severity of anxiety symptoms in people with anxiety disorders, including those with GAD .
A 2020 study in 106 people with depression found that treatment with 1,600 IU of vitamin D per day for 6 months led to significant improvements in anxiety symptoms, compared with a control group .
MegaFood Vitamin D3 is one of the best vitamin D supplements for anxiety, as it combines vitamin D with vitamin K.
These nutrients work synergistically in the body to help maintain healthy levels of vitamin K and to promote heart and bone health .
This supplement delivers 5,000 IU of vitamin D and 100% of the Daily Value for vitamin K in just 1 capsule. As a result, itâs a good choice for people with low vitamin D levels.
Keep in mind that while higher dose vitamin D supplements may be necessary to treat deficiency, for people who simply want to maintain healthy vitamin D levels, a supplement that provides 1,000â2,000 IU per day may be more appropriate.
Your healthcare professional can test your vitamin D levels and recommend a dose of vitamin D for your specific needs.
Best Supplements For Better Mood
Mood issues like depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders are severe problems in todays society. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, around 18% of the adult population, or about 40 million people aged 18 and older, suffer from one of these mental conditions each year.
Elsewhere in the world, the situation isnt that much different. According to statistics from the World Health Organization, as many as 264 million people worldwide suffer from depression.
Plus, these figures only account for people with more severe, medically noteworthy mood issues. It does not consider the occasional blues that almost everyone has to go through at some point.
Depression and anxiety disorders may stem from any combination of a complex set of risk factors.
Some underlying issues that may cause these mood disorders include genetic problems, hormonal imbalances, brain chemistry, extreme life events, and the persons life situation and personality.
Hence, if you consider yourself suffering from a severe case of any form of mood disorder, your best bet is to visit a qualified healthcare practitioner for proper diagnosis and treatment.
With these alarming statistics on mood issues like depression and anxiety, it is no surprise that the cost of mental healthcare in America is continuously rising. According to one 2016 report, In 2013, the cost of handling mental disorders was the highest of all medical conditions, totaling an estimated $201 billion.
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