Can supplements really help relieve stress?
Summer can be stressful for some, but as at any time of year, the degree to which supplementing to support your dietary nutrition might improve your situation depends on the type of symptoms you are experiencing.
Some conditions have fairly specific causes, so it's easy to advise which supplements are likely to help.
For example; joint pain is almost always caused by inflammation, hence there is a good chance taking Turmeric Curcumin and Omega 3 will help to relieve it, because high-levels of these nutrients are known to reduce inflammation.
However stress, anxiety and depression symptoms are linked to a variety of body processes and are associated with hormone changes, hence there are a wide selection of different supplements that might help.
Who would benefit from additional nutrition?
Please note: We are not doctors, and health supplements are not medicines. If you're intensely or chronically experiencing any negative symptoms then you should seek advice from a medical professional as soon as possible.
However, if you are already suffering from a known condition, are not good at absorbing nutrients due to having a low-acid stomach, are over 50, are following an atypical diet-plan such a keto or veganism, or if you simply struggle to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet; then there's a reasonable chance that your body might be missing certain nutrients it needs to operate normally.
Nutrient short-falls and deficiencies can worsen a variety of negative symptoms and chronic conditions such as loss of mobility, pain, fatigue, panic attacks, lack-of-sleep, anxiousness... the list goes on.
Hence, there are a variety of supplements that might help lower an individuals stress levels, depending on your own unique situation.
Top Stress-Relief & Anxiety Supplements
In recent studies1, strong connections have been made between chronic inflammation and depression symptoms. By fighting any inflammation that may be present, it is thought potent antioxidants such as curcumin can help to relieve symptoms of depression.
GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) is established as an effective treatment for conditions associated with low levels of estrogen, such as PMS & menopause symptoms. Starflower oil is a superior source of GLA, providing a higher concentration than alternatives such as evening primrose & flaxseed oil.
Omega 3 fatty-acids are required for your brain to function properly & low-levels have been observed in depression patients. Recent clinical studies2 have shown that taking in additional DHA & EPA over time can improve depression symptoms in most participants.
Stress increases magnesium loss, and magnesium is hugely important to energy levels, brain function and stress response. A robust 2017 study3 provides evidence that taking magnesium can lead to a decrease in depression & anxiety symptoms. It is also crucial for sleep, hence can treat insomnia.
Low Vitamin D levels are widely associated with SAD4 (Seasonal Affective Disorder), but it’s not proven that one causes the other. However, it is proven5 that sufficient vitamin D levels are required to maintain bone, muscle and immune health; so worth keeping topped-up!
Peruvian Ginseng is an ancient medicinal root that has long been popular for boosting energy, fertility and sexual performance. However it is also strongly associated with helping to reduce anxiety and symptoms of depression, particularly in menopausal women and when related to PMS6.
Known as the energy vitamin, B12 is crucial to energy metabolism, a healthy brain and immune system. More research is needed, but lower levels correlate with increased depression7. B12 deficiency is more common in the elderly and those on a mostly plant-based diet.
Vitamins C, B1, B3, B6 & B9 are also linked to depression8, and being water soluble need to be topped-up daily. A good-quality daily multivitamin is a convenient way to support a healthy diet and keep levels of these vitamins sufficient, as well as many other nutrients.
5-HTP increases production of Serotonin, the 'happy hormone', which is in turn converted into Melatonin, the 'sleep hormone'. Clinical trials9 have provided evidence that supplementing with Griffonia Seed extract can help to treat anxiety, improve sleep and reduce depression symptoms.
The ‘King’ of Ayurvedic herbs, Ashwagandha is thought to have several significant health benefits, however it is probably best known for reducing stress, anxiety & insomnia; particularly when related to the menopause. There are several large-scale clinical studies that support these claims10,11,12.
A genuine superfood delivering omega 3,6,9 fatty-acids, various essential minerals, GLA fats, vitamin E and boasting powerful antioxidant/anti-inflammatory properties; The nutrients founds in Hemp Seed Oil might help improve mood and reduce PMS and menopause symptoms13.
Before You Go
Listen To Your Body
Hopefully this guide has been useful in helping to decide which supplement/s might be best for you to try. And trying a new supplement for between 4-6 weeks is the only way to really find out if it will work for you.
However, before you go buying everything on the shelf, give your lifestyle and diet an honest appraisal. Judge your nutritional intake by what you actually eat on a day to day basis, rather than what you only really eat on the 'healthy' days.
Take regular moments to really concentrate on how you feel in the moment, look for signs of recurring problems, maybe even keep a journal to try and identify how you feel and when, but don't over-scrutinise. Nobody feels perfect all of the time and nutrition is one of many factors.
For example: You could run through every 'Sleep & Relaxation' supplement going that might help you deal with insomnia, but none will be a suitable cure if late-night Netflix binges or getting up at 4:00am to feed the baby is what's really messing with your sleeping patterns.
Ultimately, only you know how you really feel; So you're the first expert you should consult. Anybody else is just interpreting the information you provide.
Do Your Research
Many of us do not absorb nutrients particularly efficiently, this can be down to a range of factors such as age, medical status or even gut microbiomes.
Finding out which foods are high in which nutrients is only ever a google search away, but the world of nutrition is vast and nobody wants to check the nutritional content of every single thing they eat.
An easier way, particularly if you are on a specific type of diet, is to look at the foods you are NOT eating, which nutrients they are high in, and whether there are any good alternatives you might be able to include in your diet.
Failing a dietary solution, health supplements are a safe, convenient and effective way to increase your intake of particular nutrients without offending your bank manager or your taste buds!
Always check the label & buy UK manufactured
VitaBright supplements are produced in state-of-the-art, BRC accredited grade AA, UK manufacturing facilities operating to GMP standards.
Expertly formulated by professional nutritionists using only the finest ingredients; We adhere to strict quality-control standards, double-seal all bottles, and test for heavy metals to ensure there is no compromise on quality or safety.
Please Note: Not all supplement brands are created equal...