By Tracy Shields
Omega-3s (EPA and DHA)
Nothing has proved more potent than the effects of EPA and DHA on brain health. And let’s be real, that’s one of the first things anyone who craves de-stressing needs to address first. Calming their mind! With hormones fluctuating and moods rapidly changing due to, a good omega-3 can do wonders to regulate mood and improve overall brain health.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
B vitamins are commonly utilized for depression, occasional stress, fatigue, irritability, healing and digestion, and a potent dose of Vitamin B1 is no exception. B1 may help mental function, thinking clearly and mood.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B2 has been used for fatigue, stress and migraines and plays an important role in the metabolism of amino acids and fats, which are beneficial for the brain.
Vitamin B3 (Niacinimide)
There are two types of B3, niacin, which is for cholesterol; and niacinimide, which is the form used for anxiety. Make sure to supplement with niacinimide for stress.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
This B5 Vitamin, the alleged anti-stress vitamin, aids the use of other B vitamins and helps produce neurotransmitters like acetylcholine, which can balance dopamine’s effect.
Serotonin, the “feel good” chemical, and an important key chemical for mood and sleep, is made from an amino acid that uses an enzyme generated from Vitamin B6. Enough said!
Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid
Any deficiency in B12 or folic acid could lead to a series of biochemical reactions, which could impair neurotransmitter production. Vitamin B-12 is one of the most important in the B group.
This is an amino acid derivative, much like tryptophan, and basically works to safely elevate mood (and levels of serotonin). "Serotonin promotes a sense of well-being, decreases depression, and makes the glass look half full--and 5-HTP helps the body synthesize more serotonin in a more natural way," says Russell Canfield, M.D., a clinical assistant professor at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque. Take 50 to 100 mg once or twice a day to start, and then you can increase dosage over time. If, however, you are taking an antidepressant, be sure to consult your doc on this first. Too much serotonin may cause confusion, increase in heart-rate and loss of coordination.
CoQ10 is manufactured by the body, but decreases with age or after ingestion of certain medications over time. It may also decrease with long term stress. So to supplement with it is imperative if you are trying to de-stress. It’s known to help relieve migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome and heart conditions.
Keep in mind there is no “happy pill.” Even anti-anxiety meds don’t cure stress or remove the underlying cause of stress. Nor can all stress be eliminated from your life. But it can be managed. Be sure to talk to your doc before taking any drug or all-natural product.
Tracy Shields is co-owner and Marketing Director of N3 Oceanic, Inc., maker of Res-Q products, and Nature's Shield, a subsidiary of N3. She is a writer, a triathlete, a nutrition junkie and a devoted mother of two boys. She is also a proud member and President Elect of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) South Jersey Chapter. She can be reached via Facebook.