7 Essential Supplements That Fight Anxiety
Ever wish you had a magic pill to make all your stress and anxiety go away? There definitely are pills out there to “manage” anxiety and depression. But after hearing the side effects of these pills on TV ads, I decided to research natural supplements as an alternative. I’ve come up with a list of 7 essential supplements that fight anxiety. This list is for those of us whose depression or anxiety symptoms are not severe.
**This is for informational purposes only. Although I researched several reliable sources, it’s best to consult with your physician before starting a supplement regimen.
Essential Vitamins and Minerals That Fight Anxiety
One of the most effective supplements that fight anxiety is Vitamin B-Complex. Vitamin B-Complex is made up of 8 water-soluble vitamins:
- B1 (Thiamine)
- B2 (Riboflavin)
- B3 (Niacin)
- B5 (pantothenic acid)
- B6 (pyridoxine)
- B7 (biotin)
- B9 (folic acid)
- B12 (cobalamin)
Theses vitamins, often referred to as the “feel good” supplements are vital to brain and nervous system health. They can help reduce memory loss, depression, anxiety, and overall cognitive decline. These vitamins also give you a natural energy boost and help you manage stress better.
That’s why B-Complex is number 1 on my list of 7 essential supplements that fight anxiety.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps regulate muscle function, cholesterol production, and blood glucose levels. It also helps control your body’s stress-response hormones.
Unfortunately, may adults are deficient in this vital mineral. Signs of deficiency can include high stress and anxiety, heart rhythm problems, bone loss, and low GABA levels. GABA is a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep and relaxation.
Low levels of magnesium are also associated with inflammation. It’s also increases insulin resistance, which is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Deficiency can also lead to frequent headaches or migraines.
The other benefits of magnesium are too numerous to list. However, just about any age-related or mood-related issue can be improved by increasing your magnesium intake.
Don’t overdo it though! Magnesium can be damaging and even deadly if you take too much. You can find the recommended amounts for adults here.
Fish oil contains Omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential for many functions in the body. For those of us who don’t eat fish regularly, fish oil is a great way to ensure you can still get this important nutrient. There are three types of omega-3 fatty aethingcids: ALA, EPA and DHA. EPA appears to be the most effective at fighting anxiety and depression.
Fish oil also has many other benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and stroke. It can even help reduce the symptoms of ADHD and slow age-related decline.
If you are a regular fish eater, you probably don’t need extra supplementation. If you don’t eat fish at least twice per week, you can take a quality supplement. The recommended amount of fish oil is about 1100 mg for women according to the National Institutes of Health.
Aside from it’s well-known immune boosting benefits, vitamin C may also help ease anxiety and depression. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which reduces in the body. When these free radicals are reduced, there is less oxidative stress that can lead to anxiety. So load up on that vitamin C.
Studies have shown that diets rich in vitamin C can play an important role in reducing anxiety.
Also known as the “sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D has been shown in many studies to improve depression and anxiety symptoms in people who were deficient. People that are most at risk of being deficient are those with dark skin and those who get very little sun exposure.
According to health experts, there has been an increasing trend of Vitamin D deficiencies in recent years. This may be that we spend more time indoors than previous generations.
Increased use of sunscreen has the unwanted side effect of blocking our skin from manufacturing Vitamin D. As a result, over 35% of the adults in the US are vitamin D deficient. The percentage is much higher for those with darker skin or keep most of their bodies covered.
I recently told my doctor about some of the symptoms I’d been suffering with. To my surprise, she ordered a full blood panel to test for vitamin and hormone levels instead of just pushing me towards pills. I found out my vitamin D and B12 levels were almost non-existent! She prescribed a high daily dose of vitamin D and B12, along with a low dose of testosterone.
I’m happy to report I’ve been depression free most days for the past 8 months! The only time I notice a problem is when I’ve missed my vitamins for a couple of days. So if you suffer from anxiety or depression, it might be worth looking into before you opt for pills.
This amino acid may have a mild sedative effect. You can find it in green and black teas. It may surprise you to learn that L-theanine has many “superpowers”. L-Theanine has been credited with boosting the levels of calming brain chemicals, increasing attention and focus, and enhances wakeful relaxation.
Herbal Supplements That Fight Anxiety
ST. JOHN’S WORT
St. John’s Wort has been shown to relieve mild depression symptoms. In fact, The American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine guidelines show that St. John’s wort can be an option a for short-term treatment of mild depression. It works by increasing the levels of seratonin and noradrenalinein the brain. These chemicals are thought to play an important role in regulating mood.
However, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any possible drug interactions. Do your research! I actually had to inform MY doctor about the interaction with birth control pills. (it actually makes them less effective).
I know there are several other natural remedies out there for anxiety and depression. However, I have not tried them myself. As I was researching a few for this post, I noticed some of them have possibly dangerous side effects. For that reason, I chose not to mention them here. But you can do the research and decide for yourself.
I’d love to hear about anything you’ve had success with! Please email me or comment below.