We don’t always get all the nutrients we need from diet. This is where supplements come in. Certain nutrients have properties with great potential to support mental health and well-being. As beneficial as supplements may be, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen. That being said, here are the best supplements to support mental health.
1. Omega-3 fatty acids
These are found in fish oil and have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects that may help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Taking a daily dose of omega-3 in the form of supplements may help alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.
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2. Vitamin D
Studies have found that people with low levels of vitamin D are at a higher risk for depression and that supplementing with vitamin D may help improve mood. Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because it can be synthesized in the skin when exposed to sunlight, but it’s also found in certain foods such as fatty fish, egg yolks and mushrooms. Most people don’t get enough vitamin D from diet and the sun, so supplements are a great choice to support mental health.
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Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a role in maintaining healthy nerve and muscle function and has been found to be positively associated with mood. Magnesium is found in many foods, including dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, fish, and whole grains, but many people don’t get enough from their diet. Magnesium supplements come in various forms such as tablets, capsules, powders, and liquids. There are different types of magnesium each of which supports a different function. For mental health, consider Magnesium Oxide or Glycinate or L Threonate.
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4. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is a vitamin that is involved in the production of red blood cells, DNA synthesis, and the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system. Low levels of vitamin B12 have been linked to depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment, and some studies suggest that supplementing with vitamin B12 may help improve mood and cognitive function in people who are deficient. Vitamin B12 is found in animal-based foods such as meat, fish, and dairy products, so some people, such as vegetarians or vegans, or people who have difficulty absorbing the nutrient may not get sufficient B12 from their diet.
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5. S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe)
This is a naturally-occurring compound that may help improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression. SAMe works by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which are known to be involved in regulating mood. This is why SAMe is a great supplement to support mental health.
These are beneficial bacteria that live in the gut and have been shown to have a positive effect on mental health, including reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. The gut microbiome is considered to be the “second brain” and it has been demonstrated that the communication between the gut and brain affects mood, anxiety and behaviour which makes them a great supplement for mental health.
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Zinc is vital for the functioning of so many bodily systems. Insufficient zinc levels have been linked to stress and inflammation leading to less serotonin production which has a negative impact on well-being. Zinc supplements work well with antidepressants to combat depression. Zinc is found in meat, fish and seafood. Eggs and dairy products also contain zinc.
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This is an amino acid found in green tea which has been shown to reduce anxiety and promote feelings of relaxation. L-theanine increases levels of the neurotransmitters GABA and serotonin which are known to have a calming effect on the brain.
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This hormone, which is naturally found in the body, is used as a sleep aid and may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression caused by poor sleep.
Make sure you confirm that the particular type of supplement you’re buying supports mental health. Magnesium, for example, has different strains each of which serves a different purpose.
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