THE MOOD SERIES- post 2 supplements to support your mood

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Supplement with an omega 3

Omega-3 and mood improvement go hand in hand. The most widely prescribed antidepressants in the world are known as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI). These function exactly as you would imagine, by limiting the reabsorption of serotonin allowing it to build up in your brain. Serotonin is our most prominent inhibitory neurotransmitter… Contrary to excitatory neurotransmitters, inhibitory neurotransmitters enable us to achieve a relaxed state of mind by calming the brain’s activity. By increasing the amount of “feel good” neurotransmitters in the brain, we can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, moodiness, loneliness and bipolar disorder. Quality matters here so make sure to buy an EPA-rich omega-3 supplement for best results. My favourite brand is bare biology.

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Top up your vitamin D

It is extremely common for many of us to suffer from a vitamin D deficiency, especially in the winter months when longer, darker days limit our exposure to sunshine. According to the Mayo Clinic, some studies suggest an association between low vitamin D levels in the blood and various mood issues, including depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). I like to take it in a liquid drop form. Make sure you get outside even in weak sunlight you can reap the benefits.

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Try L-tyrosine

It’s a type of dopamine supplement. It is an essential amino acid that is a precursor of neurotransmitters including dopamine. Tyrosine can be taken through your diet or synthesized in the body. It has been reported to improve mood, regulate sleep, and help ease emotional stress. It is found in lots of plant based foods such as lentils, chickpeas, black beans, spinach, beetroot, cauliflower, kale and avocados.

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Introduce magnesium

Nutritionally, magnesium is known as the anti-stress, mood-stabilizing mineral. Studies have shown magnesium to reduce anxiety and stress levels. And serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical, depends on magnesium for its production and function. Take a magnesium salt bath, supplement with it and eat magnesium rich foods like raw cacao, legumes, bananas, fatty fish, avocados, tofu, nuts and seeds.

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Power your smoothie with Mucuna

It is also known as the velvet bean plant. It naturally contains the amino acid L-dopa, which is synthesized in the body in the same way as tyrosine and used in the dopamine production process. Users report a decrease in depression and psychological stress and an increase in sense of well-being. It’s great in powder form and really easy to take. Add some to a morning smoothie, with spinach, avo, almond butter, banana and a tsp of mood boosting cacao powder.

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Drink L-theanine

It’s another amino acid that is only found in green tea and might help to boost brain dopamine levels. Users have reported stress-relieving effects and feeling relaxed yet alert, and it may help to improve focus. Drink 1-2 cups daily of good quality green tea, I like an organic jasmin version.

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A rhodiola plant: img © peganum https://flic.kr/p/nw7GsZ

Use Rhodiola

It’s a plant used in traditional medicine in Eastern Europe and Asia, and it has effects on the central nervous system by supporting the reuptake of dopamine, making it more readily available and accessible. It has been reported to reduce depression, anxiety, and stress-related fatigue, along with an increase in the ability to manage stress. You can in tablet form or liquid drops.