5 Best Supplements for Mental Health
If you’re struggling with your mental health, you’re not alone. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 1 in 8 people suffer from mental illness. In the United States, the two most common mental health concerns are anxiety and depression, which affect almost 60 million adults each year combined.
As rates of mental illness rise, many are turning to therapy and traditional medicine for assistance. However, according to a recent article from the American Psychological Association, growing evidence now indicates that diet–specifically micronutrients present in whole foods–plays a central role in the brain’s ability to regulate mood. As a result, more mental health experts support the inclusion of supplements in a holistic mental wellness routine.
Here are our 5 Best Supplements for Mental Health:
#5 Supplement for Mental Health: Green Power
Did you know that your gut health is linked to your mental health? A healthy microbiome not only aids in the digestion of crucial nutrients that support mood regulation, but many healthy bacteria strains help produce neurotransmitters like serotonin, GABA, and dopamine, which boost mental health.
In addition to probiotics and a whole-foods based diet, one of the best ways to help good gut bacteria flourish is the consumption of fermented foods. Dr. Eric Snow’s Green Power offers a one-two punch of depression-fighting superfoods, with seven different types of air-dried fermented greens and a potent strain of probiotic L. reuteri bacteria.
#4 Supplement for Mental Health: Omega 3 Power (Fish Oil)
Omega-3 Fatty acids, commonly found in fish and seafood, are one of several healthy fats that form a cornerstone of a mood-boosting diet. The type of healthy fat found in fish oil helps maintain the health of brain cells and facilitates communication along the nervous system’s synapses, supporting increased cognition, focus, and mood. Fish oil also has anti-inflammatory properties which can protect against depression, anxiety, and even age-related memory issues such as Alzheimer's.
We recommend Dr. Eric Snow’s Omega Power, which is formulated from whole food sources of Omega 3. Our fish oil is cold purified and clay filtered at cold temperature to protect the fragile omega-3 fats. As doctors who routinely use supplements as first-line therapy for very sick patients, we have very high standards for purity, effectiveness, and potency. This is why we never use any solvents. Every batch is tested by a third party lab to ensure that it’s free of harmful contaminants and heavy metals. We also use a bottle that protects the fish oil from UV damage.
#3 Supplement for Mental Health: Ashwagandha
When it comes to stress and anxiety, ashwagandha is triply effective: several studies have identified the herb as a potent calming agent that can help reduce cortisol levels (a hormone related to stress), improve sleep quality, and lower anxiety.
The herb is derived from the ashwagandha plant (Withania somnifera), also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry. Ashwagandha contains a high concentration of withanolides, a group of naturally-occurring phytochemicals with powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-stress properties.
However, it’s important to note that ashwagandha can interfere with thyroid medications and is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.
As with any herbal supplement, quality is essential. We recommend Standard Process Ashwagandha Forte, which contains 10mg of active, high-quality withanolides.
#2 Supplement for Mental Health: Vitamin D
Vitamin D isn’t just good for your bones–it can also help with depression. A study conducted at Loyola University in Chicago found that women with Type 2 diabetes and depression who added a Vitamin D supplement to their diets saw a significant reduction in both anxiety and depression.
A good Vitamin D supplement can also help combat seasonal depression, in which Vitamin D deficiency is known to play a role. For a high-quality, multi-use Vitamin D supplement, we recommend Standard Process Cataplex D.
#1 Vitamin for Mental Health: Vitamin B
The B Vitamins are a collection of compounds that act as catalysts for important metabolic processes. Most meat and dairy products are rich in B Vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, folate, and riboflavin; however, for vegans and vegetarians, Vitamin B deficiency can be a serious problem. Because B Vitamins form such an essential component of cellular pathways, deficiencies can have serious repercussions on multiple body systems, including the brain.
According to the Mayo Clinic, low levels of Vitamins B12, B6, and folate may be linked to depression. In extreme cases, thiamin deficiency can even cause psychosis and present similarly to schizophrenia.While a diet rich in lean organic proteins and whole grains is the best way to prevent Vitamin B deficiencies, a good supplement can help fill the gaps and support mental wellness. Standard Process Cataplex B2 is a great source of B Vitamins including riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), Vitamin B6, and choline.