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Are There Supplements for Improving Your Mood
Mental health is such an important topic, and that's true now more than ever thanks to the current state of the world and our lives being turned upside down by the pandemic. It is essential to look after yourself in these difficult times, but that relates to your mental health as well as your physical health. Getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, maintaining exercise and activity, and getting a balanced diet are all necessities for your body and mind. Much like your body, your mind can also benefit from boosts and pick-me-ups in the form of supplements as long as you take them sensibly, responsibly and in accordance with instructions. There are various supplements out there that can have a positive effect on your mood, so let’s take a look at a few.
Dopamine is a highly important neurotransmitter in the body that affects the way we feel and think, stimulating the pleasure center of the human brain alongside various other kinds of chemicals, such as endorphins and serotonin. Dopamine is created in the body and managed by the nervous system, and it can be lowered significantly by factors such as medical disorders and lifestyle. Dysfunctional dopamine has been connected to depressive symptoms and disorders, affecting the pleasure reward centre and leading to a lack of enjoyment and motivation. With this in mind, there are various supplements that incorporate dopamine that could help with a low mood.
A medicine that has been used in China for generations, ginseng is a short plant (there are 11 different kinds of this plant) with flesh-like roots that grow slowly. Studies on ginseng - both in test tube and animal studies - suggest that the plant can improve many elements of the brain and body, such as memory and behavior but also mood, mental health and cognitive function. Ginseng can be eaten steamed or raw, and it can also be consumed as a supplement tablet, capsule or even as a tea.
A well-known antioxidant, green tea is often promoted for its health benefits and nutritional value. One component of green tea is L-theanine. L-theanine is an amino acid that has a direct connection to the brain and its neurotransmitters, including the neurotransmitter that is dopamine. Drinking green tea is a great way to boost that dopamine while maintaining a natural and healthy diet.
Caffeine is something that most of us rely upon on a daily basis to give us the energy we need. Although it can be a detriment to health if consumed in high volumes, it can also significantly boost our neurotransmitters - and therefore our dopamine - by increasing their release rate. The body can also develop a resistance to the effects of caffeine, which is another reason you should only consume it in moderation.
Vitamins are also a crucial element to consider when thinking about mood as deficiencies in certain vitamins can be directly linked to poor mental health. Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent vitamins that can help improve your mood.
Magnesium can be a great way to increase the wellbeing of the mind and is known for having an almost antidepressant like effect. Certain studies have shown that magnesium is linked to an increase in dopamine, but this is limited to animal studies at the moment. Magnesium can be found in foods such as seeds, nuts, whole grains and greenery, but magnesium supplements, such as Essential Magnesium, are also an option.
A lack of B12 can cause all sorts of issues, such as fatigue, lack of energy, anxiety and depression. It is essential to maintain steady levels of this vitamin, and many of us can do so with food such as in leafy greens, fish and eggs in our diets. However, vitamin B12 supplements can help give your mood a lift if you find you are not getting enough from your diet.
This fat-soluble nutrient helps with countless problems related to the bones and skin in addition to depression, with studies suggesting there is a greater risk of low mental health with a lack of Vitamin D. Vitamin D supplements such as Plan D can help, but it is also essential to get some sunlight to keep your levels high!
Low energy and changes in mood are big indicators of iron deficiency. Protein, fortified cereals and greens are dietary musts to maintain iron, but supplements, such as Multitasker with Iron, can also give you a boost.