The Best Supplements to Naturally Decrease Stress and Anxiety


Anxiety is one of the most common mood disorders (if not the most common) and definitely one of the top conditions I’ve seen in practice. I always ALWAYS advise lifestyle changes as first line treatment, which include exercise and eating healthy foods, but when that is not enough I will recommend certain supplements before jumping straight to medication.

I don’t love anxiety medication in general because some of them can lead to serious problems, such as addiction (ie. Xanax), and most can cause too much of a calming effect. Anti-anxiety medications also come along with a whole list of side effects (some more pronounced in certain individuals than others) and can end up causing more problems than what the individual started with. So for someone with mild to moderate anxiety, lifestyle changes and supplements are a great way to get your mood back in check.

Below lists tops supplements to help with anxiety and stress:

Chamomile

There is a reason you’ve been told to drink chamomile tea before bed – it’s relaxing. Chamomile as a supplement has been shown to be an effective treatment for decreasing anxiety and promoting feelings of calm.

Read more about this here and here.



Omega-3 fatty acids 

Omega-3 fatty acids have a ton of health benefits, one of them being that they help to decrease stress and anxiety in the body. Omega-3s are thought to do this by decreasing inflammation in the brain which may help to lessen anxiousness and perceived stress by the brain. Recommended dose is 2,000 mg daily combined DHA/EPA.

Read more about this here and here.

Vitamin B6

This vitamin assists with the production of the major neurotransmitters that regulate mood, which include serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. Vitamin B6 specifically assists with the production of serotonin’s direct precursor, 5-HTP – the more there is of 5-HTP, the more serotonin that can be made. Recommended dose is 2.5 mg daily.

Read more about Vitamin B6 here.



5-HTP

As mentioned above, 5-HTP helps to boost levels of serotonin (main neurotransmitter involved with regulating mood) because it is the direct precursor to serotonin. Recommended dose of 100 mg 1-3x daily.

Read more about 5-HTP here.



Methylcobalamin

AKA vitamin B12, this vitamin helps with the production of major neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine, which work to modulate mood and decrease anxiety. Recommended dose is 1,000 mcg daily sublingual.

Read more about this here.

L-theanine

This is an amino acid that works to activate GABA in the brain to induce calm without sedation. Recommended dose is 100 mg daily.

Read more about this here.




Lemon balm

This is an herb that may help to decrease stress and induce more feelings of calm. It is also an herb used for insomnia read more here. Recommended dose is 600 mg or 60 drops tincture daily.

L-tyrosine

This is an amino acid that helps to boost dopamine and norepinephrine, which are neurotransmitters that help to calm the mind and decrease anxiety. Recommended dose is 500 mg 1-4x daily.

Read more about L-tyrosine here.



Passionflower

This supplement helps to boost GABA in the brain, which is the neurotransmitter responsible for promoting calm and relaxation. The recommended dose is 200 mg nightly.

Read more about passionflower here and  here.

Main takeaways…

There are many natural over-the-counter supplements you can try to help with anxiety and stress. All of the above have been proven effective alone or in combination.



About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy League trained Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner licensed in California with an expertise in women’s health and preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab.

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