May means Mental Health Awareness Month, and here at Vitasave, we believe that mental health is an important conversation to have as we continue to work on breaking the stigma of mental health. 65
And in times of crisis and change, it's even more important that we break the silence and provide support for one another.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, mental illnesses are characterized by changes in thinking, mood, or behaviors associated with significant distress and impaired functioning. Mental illnesses include conditions such as major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders.
Mental health can influence all areas of life including relationships, physical health, career, fulfillment, etc.
This is why it is so important to take your mental health and the health of those around you seriously.
If you or anyone you know is needing help or assistance do not hesitate to reach out for support. In B.C you can call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) for free support at any time.
When it comes to managing mental health there are many things you can do, including supplementation. Certain supplements can help support mental health in various ways such as supporting the stress response, replenishing nutrients important for brain health, supporting the gut microbiome, balancing hormones, and supporting neurotransmitters.
Mental Health Supplements
5-HTP is a popular supplement used to improve mood and brain health as it is the direct precursor to the neurotransmitter, serotonin. Serotonin is known as your happy neurotransmitter, helping to maintain a sense of calm and mood balance.
Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression but also insomnia, anxiety, cravings, and overeating.
As the amino acid tryptophan is the precursor to 5-HTP, which then makes serotonin, it's important that we get a sufficient supply of this amino acid from protein in our diet.
Nutrients that can support neurotransmitter production include magnesium, B vitamins, and omega 3 fatty acids (1).
Sleep is highly underrated when it comes to mental health, however, the link between sleep deprivation and depression is quite significant (2).
In fact, those with sleep problems have been shown to have ten times the risk of developing depression compared to those without sleep issues (3). Sleep problems are becoming rampant in today's society as we are constantly being exposed to bright lights, technology, and lead busier lives than ever before.
Sleep Smart is a natural supplement that includes ingredients such as valerian, hops, GABA, passionflower, chamomile, and melatonin which can all help to promote a deeper sleep and reduce restlessness.
The B vitamins, which make up 8 essential vitamins, are necessary for a healthy mood and brain. These vitamins are essential for a healthy nervous system as they help the body respond properly to stress, regulate energy release from the brain, support signaling between nerve cells, metabolize macronutrients for energy, and improve cognitive function and mood (4).
They also play a role in the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine which help to regulate mood (5).
B Smart is a B complex supplement that provides all of the B vitamins in their absorbable and usable forms to be utilized by the body. It can help to address existing deficiencies, and promote a healthy mood and brain function, as well as natural energy production.
New Chapter Zyflamend
What does inflammation have to do with mental health?
Inflammation has actually been shown to contribute to depression and changes in the brain (6).
Mental illnesses such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, are all associated with increased inflammation in the body (7).
Zyflamend's formula of herbs, including turmeric, ginger, and green tea, is a natural anti-inflammatory blend that helps to lower inflammation at the cellular level. Zyflamend can help to promote a healthy mood, as well as pain relief and flexibility.
New Chapter Holy Basil Force
Stress is a huge contributor to imbalances in mood and brain function.
Long term stress can increase the risk of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression through various mechanisms such as increased inflammation, hormonal imbalances, heightened immune activity, and neurological changes in the brain (8).
Holy Basil Force is an herbal formula that uses this traditional ayurvedic herb to increase resistance to emotional and physical stressors, protect the body against oxidative stress, ease inflammation, and improve mood and cognitive function (9).
New Chapter Rhodiola Force 300
Rhodiola is a herbal adaptogen that can help to shift the stress response and lift mood. This formula can support stamina, enhance physical endurance, and improve well-being under conditions of exertion and sleep disruption.
It increases the body’s resistance to stress and has a protective effect upon the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.
New Chapter's Rhodiola force is harvested after a minimum four-year growth in the forest of the Altai regions of Siberia, then carefully low-temperature dried and meticulously extracted to preserve the herb's precious phytonutrients.
Laurence Annez is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner and Health Coach, specializing in PCOS and women's hormones. She also holds a degree in Creative Writing and has extensive experience writing on health and wellness topics. Laurence's mission is to inspire and motivate individuals to take control of their own health and reach their ultimate health goals.