Supplements With Mental Health Benefits
Approximately 1 in 5 adults in Canada experience a mental health issue, and approximately 1 in 5 youth between the ages of 13 and 18 experience a severe mental disorder at some point in their lives.
Several factors determine a person’s mental health status. These factors include, genetics, environment, physical health, personality type, etc. The prevalence of mental health disorders is higher in millennials because they have grown up more isolated from human interaction due to technology. In addition, many technological platforms work on their subconscious mind and have them comparing themselves to others. The other reason for the higher prevalence is the simple fact that they are more willing to discuss these issues because they grew up with the knowledge of these disorders and with many outlets that encourage seeking help and talking about issues, rather than pushing them to the wayside. Older generations have demonstrated more difficulty dealing with mental illness because there was not enough knowledge about its prevalence, and also because of the stigmas surrounding mental health that were perpetuated for so many years.
January is the start of a new year and is National Mental Wellness month! A month that shines light on the issue of mental health and seeks to clear up the stigmas that surround it. Many people have absolutely no idea what it means to have a mental disorder and how they can get help.
To get past the stigma associated with mental health, people need to talk to someone that they trust, about what you are experiencing, and how they are feeling. In fact, it is very difficult to tell if someone else is going through the same issue or has gone through it before in the past.
In addition, people have to get educated on mental health issues so as to find the best coping mechanisms to deal with the, “Hard times”. There are different kinds of mental disorders, therefore, talking to a professional to assist with a diagnosis and treatment is essential.
Mental health is just as important as physical health. In fact, both work together to form integral components of overall wellness.
Mental health disorders do not define any personality, and luckily Canadians are increasingly becoming more educated about the prevalence of mental illness
With this being said, there are many NATURAL supplements that can help with maintaining and normalizing mental health conditions.
In fact, approximately 2 out of 5 Canadians seek relief from herbal supplements and other kinds of alternative medicine in a given year, as opposed to pharmaceutical drugs that often bring with them a host of unwanted side-effects.
Let’s take a closer look at just a few here…
It is a synthetic form of folate. Folate is a B vitamin present in citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, fortified cereals, breads, and beans. Folic acid is available as a prescription medication or as a vitamin supplement. It is helpful for depression as it decreases symptoms and can provide relief even when combined with antidepressants.
Its full name is S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe). It is produced naturally in the body and enhances the production of neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation. S-adenosyl-L-methionine treats depression and has been demonstrated to be as effective as older tricyclic antidepressants when used on its own. It can also boost the effectiveness of pharmaceutical antidepressants, such as, venlafaxine or a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs). Of course, people should always discuss this course of action with their doctor first, but these findings demonstrate the power of natural supplementation.
Gingko biloba is an herbal supplement derived from leaves of the gingko tree. It helps with Alzheimer’s disease and sexual problems related to mental disorders. When taken on its own, gingko biloba slows down cognitive decline in Alzheimer patients. Its impact is similar to taking donepezil or any cholinesterase inhibitor, only that it is better tolerated – mainly, because it is all-natural. Gingko biloba can also increase the efficacy of cholinesterase inhibitors when taken as an add-on therapy.
Valerian is an herb native to Europe and some parts of Asia. It is mostly used for the treatment of sleep disorders. When used orally, valerian treats stress and anxiety. It may be an option for the elderly as it has no negative effects on memory. It also helps children who suffer insomnia. Valerian improves sleep in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids occur naturally in cold-water fish like anchovies, sardines, and salmon. For those that are not fond of eating fish , Omega-3 fatty acids can be obtained from Omeha-3 supplements like fish oil capsules and/or oils. Be sure to supplement with Omega-3 supplements that contain both DHA and EPA – which are similar in nature but each come with their own set of unique benefits.
Omega-3 fatty acids are helpful for treatment of depression in bipolar patients, but also in the maintenance of general mental health wellness. As a bonus, they have a multitude of aesthetic benefits like contributing to softer skin, whiter teeth, healthier hair, and even healthier nails!
St John’s wort
It is an herbal supplement that comes from the Hypericum perforatum plant. St. John’s wort has been used to treat depression and other mood disorders. When used alone, it improves symptoms of depression. The active component of St John’s wort is hypericin, and it is believed to give the herb its efficacy. Flavonoids, hyperforin and other ingredients play important roles in its effectiveness.
Note that St. John’s Wort can interfere with certain prescription medications so one must be careful when taking it. As a matter of fact, it is important that you first discuss with your doctor before taking this supplement.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Is a member of the nightshade family. It has demonstrated beneficial effects when taken to combat stress and anxiety. In addition, Ashwagandha has been noted in studies to have a moderating effect on cortisol. As such, the actual stress response in the body is normalized right at the root of where stress and anxiety in the physical sense, begin.
If you have benefitted from natural brain-health supplements, or if you’re considering whether or not to add some into your supplement regime, tell us about it on Instagram and Facebook. Be sure to tag @reflexsupplements and use the hashtag #ReflexNation.