Ever woke up feeling down like you can’t get on with your day? It’s normal to have days like that even if you’re not diagnosed with depression. Instead of accepting defeat and going about the rest of your day in a low mood, it can be helpful to think about your diet instead. That’s where mood boosting supplements can come in.
While it isn’t a complete cure for depression, there are vitamins and herbs that are known to boost your mood by enhancing your body’s production of dopamine and serotonin. By adding these mood boosting supplements into your existing diet, you can cultivate a healthier and happier lifestyle that will help you get through your day with ease.
Below, we’re listing some of the vitamins and herbs you should look out for when selecting mood boosting supplements. If you have existing medical conditions or comorbidities, be sure to consult with a doctor before self-prescribing these supplements.
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Omega-3 fatty acids
Remember taking Scott’s Emulsion cod liver oil as a kid? Our parents knew what was up. The Omage-3 fatty acids that come from fish are important for brain health. A lack of it will cause fatigue, memory decline, depression, and mood swings.
It’s no surprise why we’ve been feeling a lot moodier since the pandemic started. With lockdown in place, we’re not going out as often under the sun, leading to a lack of Vitamin D. If you find that your lifestyle doesn’t involve heading out much, it helps to consume some Vitamin D, which helps regulate cell growth, maintains the immune system, and ward off the blues.
There are several variants of B Vitamins that you can incorporate into your supplementary diets, which are known mood boosters. They are:
- Vitamin B1; also known as thiamine, Vitamin B1 is important as it helps prevent complications in the nervous system in the brain, muscles, intestines, stomach, and heart. A lack of Vitamin B1 will cause the beriberi condition, which wastes away the peripheral nerves. This in turn may cause memory-loss, confusion, and depression.
- Vitamin B6; this helps the production of neurotransmitters, which are responsible for sending signals from the brain to the rest of the body. Having this vitamin helps regulate the brain’s function, consequently influencing our emotions.
- Vitamin B12; which helps in the creation of red blood cells and nerves — a shortage of this leads to fatigue and paranoia, inadvertently causing depression. Having enough Vitamin B12 will allow the body to synthesise nutrients that are essential for regular neurological functions.
Zinc helps support a healthy immune system and protects the gut from damage. Lack of zinc will cause a multitude of health issues including a weakened immune system, loss of appetite and hair, and depression. Studies have shown that zinc works well alongside antidepressants, improving response on the medicine’s intake while reducing its side effects.
Itching for a drop of serotonin? You might want to include magnesium in your list of supplements. Not only does this mineral help develop serotonin, but it also produces melatonin, which helps you sleep better. Studies have shown that in times of anxiety and stress, the levels of magnesium in your body deplete quicker than usual — so you should have it regularly in the form of a supplement.
Many women suffer from an iron deficiency, which leads to fatigue, low energy levels, and mood changes. Iron helps transport oxygen, supports energy levels, and aids muscle strength. Having a regular supply of iron will help regulate your mood and reduce risk of depression.
This ancient Ayurvedic herb has been around for a long time, but its stress-relieving properties are only recently gaining momentum in Western medicine. It reduces cortisol levels, also known as the stress hormone. The herb also helps to increase energy levels and improve concentration.