Crystal Concepts is a hub written and managed by a certified yoga and Pilates teacher with a Diploma in Exercises and Sports Science.
Beat stress with good chemistry!
Don't be surprised! Since the nutrients that we take in becomes a part of our body, it only makes sense that they aid in the production of brain chemicals which can calm our mind. Serotonin and GABA are examples of these chemicals. In order to keep us calm, the body must keep on producing these chemicals by combining certain substances that are already present in our body with the nutrients that we take in.
Unfortunately, because of our fast-paced lifestyle, we tend to be stuck with food with low nutritional value. We also tend to crave for high-fat and high-sugar foods that make us feel worse when we have a bad day. It's time to start making changes in our mood by filling up our cupboard and fridge with the best nutrients for our emotional well-being or including the right amount of supplements into our diet.
1.) Vitamin C
This is a vitamin we are all familiar with. Found in your daily morning OJ, the berries that you add to your cereals or smoothies, and even the red or green pepper that you add into your salad, Vitamin C is an important nutrient that boosts our immune response and helps us prevent colds, flus, and other diseases. Can you imagine that it can also help in chasing our blues away?
Combined with Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B3, Vitamin C converts trytophan, an amino acid that is found in your body, into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for regulating your mood. Produced mainly in our intestines and stomachs, it also promotes good digestion. Ever had this feeling of contentment after a good meal? That is serotonin doing its work.
GABA, otherwise known as gamma aminobutyric acid, is an important neurotransmitter which regulates feelings of anxiety and irritation. During times of great pressure, such as examinations or projects with tight deadlines, the production of GABA aids in soothing the brain and clearing the mind. Taking 500 mg of this supplement between meals can definitely improve our focus
Composed of 8 B vitamins, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid), and B12 (cobalamin), vitamin B-complex is an essential supplement for maintaining good cell health, boosting energy levels, and increasing the growth of red blood cells.
Paired with Vitamin C, 25 to 50 mg of B-complex, it leads to the production of serotonin which gives us this wonderful feeling of contentment. In addition, when the vitamins B3, B6, and B12 are combined with taurine, theanine and magnesium, it increases the formation of GABA in your body.
As these are nutrients found in green leafy vegetables and fish, make sure that these are present in your diet, especially on high-stress days, so that you can keep calm and focused at work.
In Britain, a nice cuppa is the answer to every worry, problem, and catastrophe. They may have a point here as tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that aids in easing anxiety and stress by boosting the levels of serotonin, GABA, and dopamine levels in the body.
200mg of theanine between meals can help in keeping a person relaxed. As black tea and green tea have high amounts of theanine, replacing your extra cups of coffee with tea can lead to a decrease in anxiety levels and increase in focus during stressful moments, giving you the clarity to solve problems.
The omega-3s found in fish oil, eicasapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and from plant sources, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), are essential nutrients that support heart health, reduce inflammation, and give your skin a healthy glow. These nutrients also play an important role in optimizing brain function and reducing symptoms of depression. It has also been proven that the Omega-3's found in this substance can decrease impulsive behavior.
Usually found in oily fish like herring, salmon, mackerel, tuna, and anchovies, you can easily meet your omega-3 requirement by eating 1 to 2 servings of fish per week.
ALA can be found in plant sources like flaxseeds, walnuts, and oils made from canola, soybean, and mustard. To get your daily requirement, add a tablespoon of flaxseeds to any of your meals or snack on a handful of walnuts.
A compound that is naturally produced in the body from the amino acid, tryptophan, 5-HTP is known to have affect the levels of serotonin levels in the body. Also available in the form of a supplement that is manufactured from the seeds of an African plant known as griffonia simplicifolia, some clinical trials have shown that taking this supplement 3 times a day can lead to a decrease symptoms of depression.
7.) Chromium Picolinate
Chromium picolinate is a supplement that is well-known for improving the metabolism of sugar in the body, lowering insulin levels and decreasing the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. It can also enhance the function of dopamine and serotonin, reducing the occurrence of mood swings.
We are what we eat.
An objective way of looking at this is probably being more conscious of how we feel after eating something.
Yes. Stress can lead to cravings for foods that are high in fat and sugar. There is nothing like drowning one's sorrows in a tub of ice cream or a happy meal, but we need to take a pause and reconsider how we feel after we have satisfied that craving. Going through a sugar low and feeling bloated can make us more irritable than usual.
Perhaps a change in diet is what we need to improve our emotional well-being. Add regular exercise, which leads to the production of the happy hormone called endorphine, and we are all set for a life of bliss.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2007 Shandy Roque
Chuck Bluestein from Morristown, AZ, USA on March 17, 2012:
Did you know that tea is the only source of theanine? It does not exist in other foods. I guess that makes it a unique phytochemical like the curcumin in turmeric. They also know now that if you do not have enough vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin that is a steroid hormone, it can cause you to get depressed.
simone on April 30, 2011:
Yeah, 1500mg in one dose of 5HTP is a lot. I take 50-100mg at a time. I agree that 1500mg is likely referring to a dose of tryptophan.
ceholmes from Chicago on April 01, 2010:
need to up my fish oil intake again! not liking the impulses and sporatic thinking lol.