In today’s world we are very much racing against the clock to get everything done as quick as possible. It’s easy to forget to pause, take a breath or just simply slow down and it’s especially easy to start to feel the accumulating pressure of that big to-do list you have written down.
It is really important to ensure we are in a healthy state of mind in order to perform our best and ultimately feel our best.
Here are my five top supplements that I recommend to support mental health and help keep you feeling on top of the world:
Did you know that 90% of serotonin is actually made in the gut? It is essential to maintain a healthy balance of good to bad bacteria in the intestinal tract because research confirms the link between intestinal bacteria and conditions such as anxiety and depression as well as cognitive performance. The gut has it’s own nervous system, known as the enteric nervous system and generates many of the same neurotransmitters as the brain, including serotonin. The bottom line – we need to keep a healthy gastrointestinal environment with ample good bacteria to ensure we feel our best.
- My Favorite: HMF Multi Strain – Genestra
GABA – a very important neurotransmitter produced in the brain that helps to calm down the central nervous system and excitability of neurons. What does that do? Well simply put, it places the body into a greater state of relaxation - helps you keep calm and reduce stress and anxiety. Another huge benefit of GABA is it’s ability to help get a more restful sleep, which can assist you in being more productive throughout the day and allow you to deal with stressors more effectively.
- My Favorite: GABA – AOR
Fish oils have incredible health benefits ranging from heart health to joint health and additionally brain health. Supplementation provides an incredible source of omega-3 fatty acids which play crucial roles in the function of our brains. What has been shown is that fish oils have very potent anti-inflammatory effects on the cells in our brains which result in antidepressant effects.
- My Favorite: Multi EFA - Genestra
Magnesium is one of the top supplements that we should be taking as it is responsible for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. Unfortunately, it is also extremely depleted within our soils and therefore is one of the top mineral deficiencies in all of us. In regards to mental health, magnesium has the ability to effect the release of stress hormone ACTH which tells your adrenal glands to release cortisol and adrenaline. It also has the ability to prevent those hormones from entering the brain. Ultimately, magnesium helps to relax the nervous system, helping us better adapt to stress and if that wasn’t good enough, it also helps promote restful sleep.
- My Favorite: Magnesium Bisglycinate - CanPrev
SAMe, which stands for S-adenosyl methionine, is a compound that plays a crucial role in the production of neurotransmitters. It helps to increase the levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine; these being fundamental with regards to normal brain function. Research has also shown that SAMe has anti-inflammatory effects in the brain similar mechanisms to that of omega-3 fatty acids.
- My Favorite: SAMe – Pure Encapsulations
There are many other very effective supplements that could be mentioned, but these happen to be my favorite. I do not recommend taking all of these at the same time, but I do think that if you feel that you are having difficulties and would like support – find a naturopath or nutritionist that you trust. Together you can come up with a plan to support your needs and find which supplement will work best for you.