9 Mood Enhancing Supplements Everyone Should Try
It’s perfectly normal to feel the blues from time to time. As a matter of fact, it has been estimated that over 20 million Americans have been affected by some sort of mood disorder at some point in their lives. While life circumstances may often be the reason for this, our own decisions, especially when it comes to nutrition, can have much more of an impact than many may think. But by supplementing your diet with the right nutrients, you could start seeing improvements and slowly get back on the right track.
Here are nine essential mood enhancing supplements you should try today.
Probiotics help promote good gut health and the production of good bacteria that lines our digestive system. These bacteria do not only play an essential role in the regulation of our immune system, but could also have a direct influence on our mood. It has been shown in several rat studies that probiotic supplements could boost dopamine and reduce signs of anxiety.
Another study that was performed on people diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome showed that they had significantly less depression symptoms after being administered probiotic supplements compared to a group that were given a placebo.
Mucuna Pruriens is a tropical bean that is naturally found in Southern China, India, and certain regions in Africa. You will usually find it in dried powder form. What makes Mucuna pruriens so powerful is that it is rich in levodopa, or L-dopa for short. Levodopa is an important amino acid that assists in the production of dopamine, the feel-good hormone.
Dopamine can help maintain and improve cognitive functions and L-dopa has been shown to be beneficial for people suffering from Parkinson’s. In one study, L-dopa was shown to increase dopamine in a group of infertile men who were administered Mucuna pruriens for three months.
Omega 3s are well-known for their brain boosting and heart health benefits. But research has shown that supplements that contain DHA and EPA omega 3s could have antidepressant effects and could improve overall mental health as well.
Omega 3s have also been shown to have a direct effect on dopamine regulation, especially in the frontal cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for critical thought and problem solving. In one study, it was shown that omega 3s were able to boost the production of dopamine in the frontal cortex of rats.
One of the best sources of DHA and EPA you can find in nature is wax ester. Wax ester can be found in supplements like Arctic Ruby® Oil from Immunocorp which boost energy and stamina. This also contains calanus oil, which is one of the most precious marine oils found off the coast of Norway, and astaxanthin which has great antioxidant properties.
If you suffer from seasonal depression, also known as the ‘winter blues’, then it could be because you’re deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D is very rare in food, and unless you eat foods fortified with vitamin D, you’ll probably have to add supplements to your diet. Vitamin D is normally produced by your body through exposure to sunlight, but those living in areas that get very little sunlight in the winter will not be able to get it that way. Low vitamin D has not only been linked with anxiety and depression, but poor immune health as well.
Ginkgo biloba has been used in ancient Chinese medicine for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of symptoms. While there is still lots of research that needs to be done on its properties, it has been shown to improve mental performance, mood, and cognitive function in certain people. Several rat studies also showed that Ginkgo biloba was able to elevate dopamine levels, and improve memory, motivation and cognitive function.
More and more studies are showing the many benefits of curcumin, the active ingredient that gives turmeric it’s bright color, on mental health. In one study that was performed on people suffering from major depressive disorder, it was shown that only 1g of curcumin had the same mood elevating effect as a dose of Prozac. Researchers are still trying to find the reason behind curcumin’s dopaminergic properties, but the results have been promising so far.
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for the human body, and it is one many Americans are deficient in without even knowing. While the effects of magnesium on mood are still misunderstood, it has been shown that there is a clear correlation between magnesium deficiency and low dopamine levels. A study on mice also found that supplementing them with magnesium was able to boost their dopamine levels.
What makes oat bran so powerful is its low glycemic index. Sugar crashes can have a disastrous effect on mood and going for sugars that are slowly released in the system will provide you with steady energy throughout the day. Oat bran can be added to your diet or be taken in capsule form as well.
Another reason why oat bran has such great mood enhancing properties is because it is rich in selenium, which is a mineral that has been shown to help balance the levels of serotonin in the brain, which is another hormone that is essential in maintaining good mental health. In addition to elevating mood, oat bran can help relieve stress, anxiety and hyperactivity as well.
Oregano oil has been shown to have various antibacterial and antioxidant properties. This can be mainly attributed to its high concentration in carvacrol. One study found that carvacrol had dopaminergic effects on mice, which in turn had anti-depressant effects. In another study conducted on mice, it was shown that oregano oil supplements could prevent dopamine deterioration and have positive effects on mood.
All of these supplements will help you feel better, more energized, and even improve your brain function. Make sure that you consider adding some of these to your daily diet if you want to start reaping their benefits.