Stress and anxiety are the silent assassins in our modern-day society. Between the beeping and buzzing of our everyday life, it’s hard to turn off -- both in a literal and physical sense -- the world around us. Consequently, we are often causing our bodies more harm than good and creating triggers for stress and feelings of anxiety to consume us.
So how can we deal with it?
We have tried and tested 7 supplements to help manage stress and anxiety naturally:
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen - a class of herb that helps the body adapt to stress. The proven plant powers increase the body’s ability to cope with internal and external stresses by normalizing the functions of the body that are put out of balance by stress. With prolonged use, taking adaptogens can lead to increased working capacity and mental performance. Ashwagandha has a strong taste so it’s generally taken in capsule form with something such as an herbal tea or smoothie.
Reishi is a calming adaptogenic mushroom that can help to elevate mood and improve concentration and support the immune system. It has been used to support a range of health conditions including stress, chronic fatigue, insomnia and more. The best way to take it is in powder form and add it to your warm tea, coffee or broth.
Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogen that has been found to decrease cortisol response in stressed patients and improve mental, physical and emotional fatigue. Patients who participated in a trial with regular doses of Rhodiola reported a noticeable change in their anxiety, stress, anger, confusion, and depression after just 14 days.
4. St John's Wort
A jack of all trades, this yellow flower can help in treating anxiety, depression and memory loss - crowning it one of the top-selling supplements in the United States. Randomized controlled trials found St John’s Wort to work just as effectively as medicinal antidepressants. Supplement manufacturers make St. John’s wort in many forms, including capsules, tea, or liquid extract.
5. Vitamin B Complex
Packing a punch, this vitamin complex is used to treat all manner of deficiencies from poor diets to pregnancies, certain illnesses and of course, stress. B-complex vitamins are often used to reduce fatigue and boost mood with a study recently indicating young adults who supplemented with B-complex vitamins for 90 days showed reduced stress and mental fatigue. This is certainly food (or vitamins) for thought!
Magnesium has long been associated with supporting stress, and anxiety. As one of the most abundant minerals in the body, magnesium plays an important role in a number of bodily functions and treatment for anxiety. In a recent report, with findings across 18 independent studies, magnesium was found to reduce generalized anxiety, postpartum anxiety, mild anxiety and anxiety during premenstrual syndrome. Available in tablet, powder and oil form, there are many ways to add magnesium to your daily routine.
Maca is an adaptogen root vegetable and popular superfood grown in the Andes Mountains. Rich in many vitamins and minerals, Maca has been used medicinally for centuries to improve mood and symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Unlike many herbal supplements that you try to hide the taste of, this one actually tastes nice! It has a nutty, butterscotch-like flavor and goes great in a banana smoothie or in baked goods.
Of course, a great way to tackle stress and anxiety is while a whole mind and body approach with diet, sleep, meditation and movement all important aspects. Read more about that here in our article How To De-Stress Naturally And Get Better Sleep.
Do you find yourself confused when shopping for supplements? Learn how to navigate the supplement shelves in the Food Matters Supplement Buying Guide.