The purpose of probiotics, whether in food or in supplement form, is to help improve the amount of beneficial bacteria in your gut. The nerve cells in our gut manufacture 80 to 90 percent of our body’s serotonin. If you know about serotonin then you know it’s the neurotransmitter we need to not lose our shit. When you’re prescribed anti-depressant the doctor usually tells you it’s because you have a chemical imbalance and need more serotonin. So the fact that the nerve cells in our gut manufacturer up to 90 percent of our body’s serotonin then it’s very important to keep our gut in tip-top shape. The gut is in constant communication with the brain, sending it information that most definitely affects your mood. So let’s create a happy gut that then leads to create a happy mood. Doing your own research on probiotics is important as some strains are better for certain health issues. But make sure you choose one thats both acid-resistant and bile-resistant, which means it can better withstand your stomach’s acidic environment and your intestine’s bile salts. I’m linking the one I mostly take but I do like to rotate my probiotics with fermented foods! I take one probiotic at night right before bed. ( http://amzn.to/2jiWXX7 )
This is a calming amino acid found in… you guessed it, MATCHA! Not only does my matcha lattes taste so delicious but its also a way to reduce anxiety and support a relaxed mind. L-Theanine is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and affect the brain directly. In the brain, it targets brain chemicals that regulate arousal, anxiety, pleasure, and attention. L-Theanine increases brain serotonin and dopamine levels, with possible improvement in memory and learning. It also increases the levels as well as the effectiveness of GABA, the body’s main inhibitory neurotransmitter. L-Theanine increases glutathione levels, the body’s most important antioxidant molecule. L-Theanine and caffeine in combination are beneficial for improving performance on cognitively demanding tasks. Which is why I like using my matcha as my pre-workout drink. Since I do drink a lot of matcha, I get my daily intake through tea but it doesn’t hurt to add this supplement to your routine. This is my favorite matcha ( http://amzn.to/2zAvlTo )
Folate, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12 the mighty methylators for mental health! The amount of positive research and information linking B vitamins and depression is overwhelming. If you have time you can see for yourself how much information is out there. But for now I will just go over which forms of the B vitamins are working for me as well as why.
Before I had done my research on B vitamin forms I started taking a high stress b-complex supplement but it didn’t work well with me, come to find out it had the worst forms of B vitamins. Now I supplement separately so I ensure I’m getting the best absorbed form for me. Something important is to get blood work done first unless your doctor tells you otherwise. I got my blood work done to see which B vitamins, and the results showed I was defiancent in B-12, B-6, and Folate. Depression, dementia, and mental impairment are often associated with vitamin B-12 and folate deficiency. I’m attaching a link that is a great read on B-12 and how it can make a huge difference when you take it properly. http://kellybroganmd.com/b12-deficiency-brain-health/
Now onto which forms of B vitamins. I take B-6 Pyridoxine hydrochloride (PNHCl) which is the most common form of B6 available in supplements. ( http://amzn.to/2jlEitD ) One in morning after a meal. I take B-12 Methylcobalamin, which is the form produced by our gut bacteria. Best absorbed. ( http://amzn.to/2ACSNNV ) One lozenge first thing in the morning. I also take Folate 5-Methyltetrahyrdofolic ( http://amzn.to/2ysr01k ) also once in the morning after a meal.
Awesome side note: There is studies on depressed idvivduals who didn’t need medication after high dose B vitamin IV treatments. Which is why I talked to my holistic doctor about doing IV treatments to get B vitamins in me the best way possible. It’s going to require blood work again and I’ll be doing that real soon! Of course I will do a blog post all about it to keep you informed on the pros and cons.
Last, but not least
This is something I didn’t discover until recently through my holistic doctor. She started me on an adaptogen complex supplement and let me tell you… LIFE-CHANGER! At first I didn’t feel too much of a difference but about a couple weeks I realized I wasn’t getting my normal anxious thoughts and I felt a lot happier. I wasn’t sure which supplement it was as I started a couple at the same time. So when I ran out of my Withania Complex I realized I started to feel anxious again. Then it hit me that those herbs were really making a difference in my mood! I got a refill from my doctor and now I make sure when I’m running low I pick up some more so I don’t go a day without it.
This supplement contains Ashwaganda, Licorice, Skullcap, and Korean Ginseng. I love that in my complex supplement you can take one and get all the goods. I buy mine directly from my doctor since they don’t sell this one at stores or online. For reference its the brand Mediherb. However, they do sell Ashwaganda, Licorice, Skullcap, and Korean Ginseng separately at most health stores.
My favorite has to be the Ashwaganda! It regulates the immune system and eases anxiety. Ashwaganda has been used in Eastern medicine for over 2,500 years and has immune-modulating effects that boost your immune system and aid the body in lowering cortisol levels. ( http://amzn.to/2hsOpfx )
Licorice root can increase energy and endurance, boost the immune system, and protect the thymus from being damaged by cortisol. Side note: its use requires professional supervision because of how it may affect blood pressure. ( http://amzn.to/2yu401E )
Skullcap has been used as an alternative medicine to help heal inflammation, provide relief from spasms, stimulate blood flow in the pelvic region, encourage menstruation, help eliminate headaches, and work a sedative for relaxation. Additionally, it’s been thought to treat conditions such as epilepsy, insomnia, hysteria and anxiety.
Ginseng is considered the most potent. According to Wallace, research has validated Asian ginseng’s use for improving mental performance and your ability to withstand stress. This red ginseng also has antioxidant effects, antidepressant effects, and can help naturally lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels. ( http://amzn.to/2i5EppB ) Now you see why the combination of this supplement is great addition to help ease anxiety. I mean the all the benefits are amazing. Personally, this complex supplement was a MAJOR reason I don’t need xanax in my house.
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**All of the links are through Amazon.com since that’s where I purchase most of mine. If you purchase them through my link it helps me get credit but it doesn’t change anything for you. So if you do make purchases through amazon please do it through my links to help this MAMA out! If not you can always find most of these at your local health store.