Best Supplements For Anxiety 2018
Everyone goes through periods of fear and anxiety. These are normal experiences and feelings. But when the conditions become overwhelming, its negative effects can seriously affect your health and well-being. Exercise and following a healthy diet will help you cope with anxieties. But in some cases, these protocols will not be enough. It’s a good thing there are supplements in the market that can mitigate the effects of anxieties, fear and other forms of stress.
But first let’s learn more about anxiety; its types and causes so you will know if you have the condition. This video gives a very clear overview of exactly what happens when you experience anxiety, read on for details on supplements that help:
- 1 What Is Anxiety?
- 2 Causes Of Anxiety
- 3 Symptoms of Anxiety
- 4 12 best natural & herbal supplements for anxiety
- 5 Conclusion
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a term used to describe or categorize a number of disorders that lead to nervousness, fear, apprehension and worrying.
In the United States alone, more than 40 million suffer from anxiety disorders. It is recognized as the most common form of mental illness in the U.S. Unfortunately only 36.9% of those diagnosed with anxiety undergo treatment.
In severe cases, anxiety can be a debilitating condition. It is often accompanied by a long-term decline in overall health. Untreated, anxieties can lead to many chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, type2 diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, depression and some types of cancers.
Anxiety knows no age limits. It can affect everyone. Studies show that 4.3% to 5.9% of all anxiety sufferers endure its effects for the duration of an entire lifetime.
Causes Of Anxiety
Doctors often refer to anxiety as the “fight or flight” response. If you’re confronted with a precarious situation, your options would be to move forward or retreat.
“Fight or flight” manifests itself in different conditions. It could be triggered by the days before a big exam or a championship game. You could be hours away from making the most important business presentation of your life; one that would change your fortunes forever.
How you deal with anxiety will have an influence on the outcome. You’ve seen superstar basketball players miss a foul shot with time expired and the game on the line. Or a kicker miss a field goal that would have won the city its first Superbowl.
The degree of anxiety one goes through could be related to its origin or root cause. Here is a summary of possible causes of anxiety:
• Traumatic life experiences
• Thyroid problems
• Dysfunctional serotonin
• Excessive Alcohol
• Excessive sugar intake
• Hormonal imbalance
• Family history of mental disorder
• Socio-economic status
Other notable causes of anxiety are gender-related; females are often subject to unfair treatment, disparaging remarks and sexist behaviour including harassment. Children who go through prolonged periods of bullying often exhibit behaviours consistent with anxiety.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Do you think you are undergoing severe anxiety? Depression is one of its tell-tale signs but this also makes it difficult for doctors to give an accurate diagnosis. To know for sure, here is a list of physical and psychological symptoms that usually accompany anxiety:
• Muscle tension
• Chest tightness
• Heart palpitations
• High blood pressure
• Digestive problems
• Panic attacks
• Difficulty focusing
• Social awkwardness
If you are experiencing one or a few of these symptoms, it might be possible that you are suffering from anxiety especially if the conditions have persisted for a long time.
As mentioned earlier, embarking on an exercise program and a clean, healthy diet are steps in the right direction. Exercise is widely recognized by doctors and health experts as the best remedy for stress. Eating healthy prevents your body from accumulating toxic substances associated with the consumption of processed foods.
But oftentimes, exercise and diet are not enough. You need additional reinforcement in the form of supplements.
12 best natural & herbal supplements for anxiety
Supplements refer to the vitamins, minerals and substances that are consumed to augment your intake of important nutrients.
Food processing has made production cheaper and has given it a longer shelf life. But it has robbed food of its most valuable components: vitamins and minerals. The use of supplements ensures that we meet our daily requirement of required nutrients consistently.
Doctors have discovered that some supplements have ingredients with the ability to minimize the effects of anxiety. Here are 12 of the best supplements for anxiety that you can find in the market:
This is a herb that is traditionally used to treat anxiety because it stabilizes the body’s response to stress. Numerous studies have shown that Ashwagandha significantly improved the condition of anxiety sufferers.
Research has also revealed that Ashwagandha has properties that protect the brain from degeneration. It can destroy free radicals that pose as potential threats to the brain and body. Ashwagandha has the additional benefits of improving focus and reducing fatigue.
2. Kava root
Kava root can improve mood, ease anxiety and encourage social behaviour by stimulating dopamine receptors. A study conducted in Australia found that kava root can be used as the primary treatment for generalized anxiety disorder.
Before taking a Kava Root supplement, have yourself cleared by your doctor as there are a few mild side effects like headache, drowsiness and diarrhea. This is a supplement which cannot be taken together with certain medications and alcohol.
3. 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan)
Tryptophan is an amino acid which is often prescribed for people who have trouble sleeping. 5-HTP is a synthesized version of Tryptophan that can alleviate anxiety, mild forms of insomnia, moodiness and headaches.
5-HTP works by increasing serotonin which is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and sleep patterns. Research has shown that 5-HTP can reduce anxiety by inducing calmness. However, if you are on anti-depressants, do not take 5-HTP.
4. GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid)
This amino acid helps decrease anxiety in the nervous system and is a known muscle relaxant. Doctors recommend GABA for those who suffer from PMS, insomnia, high blood pressure and ADHD.
It may also increase the rate of fat burning and alleviate chronic pain. GABA has inhibitory properties that result in a sedative effect. It may regulate nerve cells and calm down anxieties. Prescription drugs such as Xanax and Valium are used to increase the level of GABA in the brain.
Magnesium has long been studied to have a multitude of health benefits. But many adults are deficient in this mineral. This supplement is used to relax your muscles and calm the nervous system. It also enhances the benefits of GABA and has been found to have the ability to regulate hormones tasked with brain relaxation.
Magnesium is a great supplement to use to overcome anxiety, digestive problems, muscle pain and spasms and mild cases of insomnia. Start out with small amounts of magnesium because it can cause diarrhea in large doses.
6. Vitamin B Complex
B Vitamins have been popularly used to fight stress. But lesser known is its capacity to stabilize your mood. Vitamin B6 has been found to be effective in balancing blood sugar levels and maintaining a healthy nervous system.
People who have been found to be deficient in vitamin B exhibited anxiety, irritability, depression, changes in mood, muscle pain and fatigue. It can also help improve concentration and energy levels.
7. St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is a herb that was popularly used in the Medieval and Victorian period to “drive out evil spirits”; generally behaviours that were associated with stress and anxieties. Fast forward to modern day, the Munich Technical University reviewed 29 studies on the effectiveness of St. John’s Wort to treat anxiety.
While the results were not overwhelming in support of the herb, it may be worth the try considering side effects were hardly noted. This supplement has been used to treat sleep disorders.
8. Valerian Root
Similar to St. John’s Wort, Valerian Root has been used to treat symptoms of anxiety and stress for decades. Unfortunately there aren’t many studies done to prove its effectiveness.
It is recommended for insomnia sufferers and can be taken in pill, powder or tea form. Some people who have used this supplement warn against overusing it as extended bouts of drowsiness can be a side effect.
9. Vitamin D
You can get vitamin D from sun exposure. This is one reason why deficiency in this vitamin is greatest during the winter season and has resulted in a condition referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. One of the noted symptoms of SAD is anxiety. Researchers have discovered that the brain has vitamin D receptors that influence mood and overall mentality. Vitamin D has other benefits: heart health, improved endurance, enhanced energy, strong bones, enhanced immune system and regulation of blood sugar. So while more research is needed to firm up its effectiveness versus anxiety, you should take vitamin D for its other health benefits.
10. Fish Oil
Dr. Andrew Stoll, a neuroscientist from Harvard Medical School discovered that Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) such as omega 3’s can help balance out mood. They prevent neurotransmitters in the brain from “over-firing” which prevents leakage and regulates their flow.
Stoll found out that EFAs have the same effect as anti-convulsants which could treat bipolar disorders and manic depression. Fish oil may stabilize the walls of your brain to better receive messages.
11. Passion Flower
This is a favourite herb to treat generalized anxiety disorders. Passion Flower has been found to increase the levels of GABA in the brain and induces a state of non-sedating relaxation.
Passion Flower has been found to be milder than both Kava Root and Valerian. You may want to start out with Passion Flower before trying the other herbs.
12. Licorice Root
Another herbal supplement with a long history of use for treatment of conditions related to anxiety. It has been studied to have the ability to regulate blood sugar and hormonal imbalance both of which are factors that contribute to anxiety.
Licorice Root promotes mental relaxation and has been discovered to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-biotic and even anti-cancer benefits.
Anxiety is a condition that should not be treated lightly. If you believe you have the symptoms, you should take immediate steps to address the condition. The effects of anxiety are not limited to mental and emotional disorders. If conditions persist, it will compromise your overall health and well-being.
Eliminating anxiety will be function of a holistic health and fitness program that combines exercise, a smart diet and the strategic use of supplements. See your doctor so he/she can run a blood test to check for any allergic reaction to ingredients used in a supplement.
Always remember that supplements are not categorized as drugs. Therefore manufacturers are not required to prove the effectiveness of their products. Use them to augment your exercise and diet programs.
Lastly, follow the directions indicated on the label. If a dosage range is provided, start out with the smallest recommended amount to test your level of tolerance to the supplement.