• Hana Kovac

Supplements for Stress Reduction

When you go to a health practitioner, he may ask you for a level of stress you are experiencing on a daily basis. What would be your response? The fact is that the majority of people report extreme stress levels (8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale). This is very common if working for an international company or if you are a care-giver of sick relatives. The saddest thing nowadays is, that teenagers and kids experience high stress levels as well. Although our bodies are designed to handle a one time, occasional stress, chronic stress plays a major role in the health of our immune system, and can impact our blood pressure, cholesterol levels, brain chemistry, blood sugar levels, and hormonal balance. You probably know that exercise, sun exposure and spending time in nature can all help with stress management. But did you know that there are also supplements for stress reduction?

Supplements for Stress Reduction

Remember, any supplement is useless, if you continue to eat an inflammatory diet full of processed food and sugar. Gut health is very important for brain health and therefore, an anti inflammatory diet full of veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds and healthy fats without added sugar is the first step you can take to lower your stress levels. You don't need to get rid of meat, just choose a healthy, grass-fed, high quality meat without hormones and antibiotics. Alas, many vegetarians rely on processed meat substitutes with additives and sugar, which is not the best way to stay healthy.

Which Supplements to Take for Stress Reduction?

Omega 3 (fish oil or krill oil for vegetarians). Most people don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids (you should get 250–500 milligrams of EPA and DHA combined each day), which can manifest by fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.

Vitamin D: New reports say that low vitamin D levels are linked to a risk of cognitive decline in the elderly, weak bones and muscles. Although there are foods containing vitamin D such as wild-caught salmon, sardines, eggs or Shiitake mushrooms, it's difficult to achieve enough vitamin D from dietary sources alone. In addition, it's ideal to get your vitamin D from sunlight. [1]

Magnesium: Magnesium is a crucially important mineral for optimal health, performing an array of biological functions such as activating muscles and nerves, creating energy in body, helping digest proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, and is a precursor for neurotransmitters like serotonin. The majority of magnesium supplements are unfortunately not well absorbed. Therefore, take regular Epsom salt baths or foot baths (read more about Epsom salt here). Magnesium oil (from magnesium chloride) can also be used for topical application and absorption. Magnesium glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium that tends to provide the highest levels of absorption and bioavailability and is typically considered ideal for those who are trying to correct a deficiency.

Resveratrol: Yes, it is ok to drink red wine (1 glass for women, two glasses for men), and eat dark chocolate (organic and containing at least 70 percent cacao). They both contain resveratrol which is believed to be one of the most potent polyphenols and strongest protectors against symptoms associated with aging and free radical damage. Just be sure to choose an organic wine as grapes are one of the most pesticide treated fruits.

Probiotics: An ideal probiotic supplement should have as many different species of probiotic bacteria as possible and around 25 billion CFU (colony forming units). Taking probiotics is crucial after taking a dose of antibiotics.

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