A Look At Natural Mood Enhancers
The word "depression" has become an everyday term, where originally it used to be a clinical term. For the purpose of this post, we shall not be addressing clinical depression, something better left to licensed professionals. We shall look at supplements and other ways to boost your mood naturally, shortly.
Unless your case is clinical, you should steer clear of mood-enhancing drugs as they can bring about some unpleasant and even dangerous side effects. But for the day-to-day occasional (or not so occasional) "blues", sadness, and unhappiness, and the like, alternatives can help.
Certain life events can cause depression, and this is quite natural. These include loss of a loved one, loss of a job, and marital or family problems, modern-day stress, among other things. These can only be dealt with on an individual level. But back to supplements that can help boost your mood.
As in bodybuilding and other sports, one should be aware that health supplements are just that. They are supposed to supplement your diet, not replace it. Therefore, a sensible diet and hydration should be first, then supplements. An article posted at Poststar.com explains really well. Here are some excerpts:
Natural Ways to Boost Your Mood
"Diet is definitely very important. I recommend avoiding refined and processed foods like white rice, sugar, and some bread. These actually zap you of your energy because the nutrients have been taken out of the food. Instead of these, incorporate complex carbohydrates, whole grains and wheat, fresh vegetables, and fruit," Black said.
The George Mateljan Foundation, a not-for-profit dedicated to dietary change for a healthier world, reports that some of the many additives included in processed foods are thought to have the ability to compromise the body's structure and function and are suggested to be related to the development of skin, pulmonary and psycho-behavioral conditions. Artificial sweetener, coloring agents, and preservatives are at the top of a long list of behavior modifying agents in many processed foods.
Black suggests eating as many whole foods as possible, admitting that fresh local fruit has its limitations in the present season.
According to an article published in Psychology Today, appropriate levels of the B vitamins are integral to mental health.
"Fatigue, irritability, poor concentration, anxiety and depression--all can be signs of a B vitamin deficiency. That's because compounds in the B complex are needed for everything from the healthy maintenance of brain cells to the metabolism of carbohydrates, the brain's source of fuel. Bs are also necessary for production of neurotransmitters, which regulate mood and conduct messages through the brain," reported the article. See original post
Another important vitamin is what's known as the "sunshine vitamin", that is vitamin D. The above quoted article does mention this, and recommends exercising outdoors. This can have two positive effects, as exercise can help boost your mood and the good old sunshine can help deliver vitamin D to your body. You can also get this vitamin as a supplement, in the form of vitamin D3.
You can see the importance of taking a good quality, natural multivitamin. You see, a good "multi" as it is known will give most of the vitamins and minerals you need in one easy pill. It is very unlikely to go wrong with a good old multivitamin as far as safety goes, as long as you choose a good quality one.
More About Supplements To Boost Your Mood
Including Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet can also have positive effect on your mood. Particularly important is DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
The more DHA a person consumed, the more gray matter there was in three areas of the brain linked to mood: the amygdala, the hippocampus and the cingulate, Conklin says. Seriously depressed people tend to have less gray matter in these areas, she says.
"That doesn't mean omega-3 is a panacea for depression," she says. "Many other things influence risk, such as genetics, environment, drug use and alcohol."
The research seems to support rapidly growing evidence that DHA improves mood and memory, says Penny Kris-Etherton, a registered dietician and nutrition professor at Pennsylvania State University: "There are effects on the brain from what we eat."
A follow-up to a previous study, the landmark Framingham study, found that people with high blood levels of DHA cut their risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer's, by half. See USA Today
Some due diligence is called for when purchasing Omega-3 supplements, however. You should go for a fish oil supplement with a high DHA content. Purity and freshness are other aspects you should consider.
There are many more supplements out there with natural mood enhancing effects. These include tyrosine, kava kava, choline, xc, and St John's wort, to name but a few. We shall be looking at these in deeper detail in future posts. Keep watching this blog.