In the United States, approximately 1 in 5 adults struggle with poor mental wellness. Are you one of these people? Are you dealing with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health challenges?
If you want to improve your mental health but don’t necessarily want to take medication, keep reading. Listed below are some supplements that you can use to improve your mental well being today.
EPA and DHA
EPA (short for eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (short for docosahexaenoic acid) are two types of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that play an important role in memory formation and proper brain function. They help to reduce inflammation throughout the body and brain, too.
Because they improve cognition and reduce inflammation, EPA and DHA can be beneficial when you’re looking to boost your mood naturally (depression is associated with elevated levels of inflammation). You can buy omega-3 supplements that contain EPA and DHA, or you can get them from foods like salmon and sardines.
What About ALA?
There is a third omega-3 fatty acid, Alpha-Linolenic Acid. This fatty acid is found in plant foods like walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds.
ALA gets converted to EPA and DHA in the body. It’s not the most ideal option if you’re looking to experience the benefits of omega-3s, though, since not everyone converts it efficiently.
Even if you’re technically consuming an adequate amount of ALA, your body might not be converting it into DHA and EPA. This could hold you back from seeing good results, no matter how diligent you are with your diet or supplementation.
N-acetylcysteine (or NAC) is another good option for those on the hunt for natural mood boosters. It is a precursor to two amino acids, L-cysteine and glutathione.
Glutathione is particularly important for those who are struggling with depression and mental health challenges because of its powerful antioxidant properties. Because it’s a strong antioxidant, glutathione can help to reduce inflammation, which is common in people who are depressed, anxious, or dealing with poor mental wellness.
NAC may also help to correct neurotransmitter dysregulation.
Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers. When some of them, such as dopamine and glutamate, are unbalanced, they can contribute to mood disorders and mental health conditions.
Vitamin D is sometimes referred to as the “Sunshine Vitamin.” This is because the body synthesizes it when it’s exposed to the sun’s UV rays.
Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to an increased risk of depression.
Supplementing with vitamin D (or boosting your intake through other methods, such as increased sun exposure) can help to improve symptoms of depression, too. This may have to do with the fact that vitamin D (like many of the other supplements included on this list) helps to reduce inflammation.
Zinc is a mineral that plays an important role in brain health. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and it also regulates neurotransmitter pathways.
People who are deficient in zinc are far more likely to struggle with depression than those who have adequate levels.
For those who are struggling with their mental health, supplementing with zinc can make a big difference. Simply increasing your intake of zinc-rich foods, such as red meat and oysters, can help as well.
S-adenosylmethionine (also known as SAM-e) is made from methionine (an amino acid) and adenosyl-triphosphate (or ATP for short), which is needed to synthesize neurotransmitters.
SAM-e is a relatively new supplement. However, it appears to be very effective when it comes to managing issues like depression and anxiety. It helps to support proper brain function and has been shown to produce improvements in mental health in as little as 2 weeks.
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is an herb that has long been used as a natural remedy for mild depression. It helps to increase the availability of serotonin (an important, mood-boosting neurotransmitter), which can help you to feel happier and enjoy a better overall sense of well-being.
Many people who are struggling with mild symptoms experience relief when they use St. John’s Wort on a regular basis. However, it’s important to note that it’s not safe to take with other antidepressant medications. It may cause serious (or even life-threatening) side effects.
Vitamin B12 is essential for a healthy nervous system. A deficiency in this important vitamin can cause many symptoms associated with depression and other mental health challenges, including fatigue and poor sleep.
By supplementing with vitamin B12 or consuming B12-rich foods like liver, red meat, and nutritional yeast, you can boost your levels and enjoy a better mood and more energy.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria found in the digestive tract (or gut). They help to support proper digestion and a healthy gut, which is crucial to good mental health.
The gut produces much of the body’s serotonin, so if you’re struggling with issues like depression or anxiety, poor gut health might be to blame. By supplementing with probiotics or eating foods like sauerkraut and kimchi regularly, you can support your gut, reduce inflammation, and improve your mental well-being.
Finally, we can’t talk about supplements for mental wellness without talking about kratom. The kratom tree is an evergreen tree native to Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Indonesia.
Kratom leaves offer a variety of benefits, including increased energy, improved mood, and reduced pain. For those who are struggling with symptoms of depression or anxiety, kratom can help them to feel better and enjoy a higher quality of life.
It’s important to read more now about choosing a safe kratom supplement before giving it a try, though. There are lots of kratom products on the market these days, and they’re not all created equal.
Boost Your Mental Well Being Today
If you’re looking to improve your mental well being, consider trying one of the natural mood supplements listed above. Combined with a healthy lifestyle, they can make a big difference when it comes to combating depression, anxiety, and more.
Do you want to learn more about improving your mental health and wellness? If so, check out some of the other health-related articles on our site today.