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Stress & Mood

Stress & Mood

Do you often feel stressed or downhearted? Would you like to know the most effective natural products for reducing stress and lifting your spirits? SuperSmart presents the bestdietary supplements for fighting stress.

Mostly inspired by traditional medicine, the majority of these anti-stress supplements have been developed using the latest scientific advances in order to ensure maximum efficacy. Their high nutritional and synergistic value guarantees benefits for your health: restoring normal glucocorticoid receptor function, promoting the feeling of well-being, supporting the production of certain neurotransmitters involved in mood, regulating the genes that control how the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functions …

To eradicate stress, start by discovering the calming benefits of ashwagandha with the Ayurvedic extract Super Ashwagandha. GABA, a key inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system, is also highly prized by those seeking calm and serenity. Other popular supplements include SAM-e (levels of which are abnormally low in people suffering from depression or irritability) and 5-HTP (a precursor of serotonin, the happiness hormone).

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What are the best supplements for mood?

St John’s Wort, an effective plant for mental health support

St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is well-known to naturopaths. This small-leafed perennial native to Europe and North Africa has long been considered a magical plant with the ability to chase away evil spirits. Also known as the ‘fairy herb’ and ‘herb with a thousand virtues’, it has been used for 2500 years for its anxiolytic properties.

An effective solution for combatting low mood, St John’s Wort supports mental health stability, a positive outlook and reinvigoration of the body.

It features in many dietary supplements such as St John’s Wort Extract, a high quality product effective at delivering the benefits of this WHO-, Commission E- and ESCOP-approved plant.

Aphanizonemon flos-aquae, a blue-green micro-algae excellent for lifting mood

If your spirits are low, try Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). This blue-green algae, wild-harvested from the depths of Lake Klamath, is an important source of vitamin B12, an excellent vitamin for mood and for combatting stress and anxiety. Also rich in PEA (a neuroamine precursor of dopamine), AFA offers exceptional benefits for mood.

The mood-lifting virtues of this blue-green algae can be found in our targeted supplement AFA Extract.

Are probiotics good for mental health?

Generally speaking, we know that having a balanced gut microbiota is good for our digestion and immunity … but it’s also important for our mental health. And the beneficial microorganisms known as probiotics can help restore or maintain a healthy gut microbiota.

Certain probiotic strains have been particularly studied for their potential effects on mood: Bifidobacterius longum, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus salivarius (these can all be found in the multi-strain probiotic formulation Lactoxira).

Which supplements are best for stress and anxiety?

Tulsi and chronic stress resistance

Holy basil, queen of plants, incomparable herb … tulsi (Ocimum sanctum in Latin) has attracted many different names. Such are the antioxidant properties of this small shrub that it has featured in the Indian pharmacopoeia for 3000 years.

Tulsi helps maintain good physical and mental health. It provides real support to the body, protecting cells against damage caused by chronic anxiety and the problems of stress.

If you want to start taking an anti-stress supplement, choosing a formulation rich in tulsi will ensure both good resistance to stress and lower levels of fatigue. Tulsi is often combined with other plants such as maca, rhodiola and eleutherococcus. Adrenal Support brings together all the best such botanicals in a single anti-anxiety supplement.

What are the benefits of magnesium for fighting stress and anxiety?

A trace-mineral with anti-stress properties, magnesium is recognised by the EU for supporting “normal nervous system function” and “normal psychological function”.

Individuals prone to stress may be deficient in magnesium. Stress is a potential factor in promoting excessive renal excretion, or malabsorption, of magnesium, which can lead to raised levels of stress, tension and anxiety. A trulyvicious circle!

In terms of supplementation, you could opt for Magnesium Orotate, an excellent form offering optimal bioavailability.

Which supplements promote relaxation?

Ashwagandha: calming effects on anxiety and stress

Native to India, the plant ashwagandha (Withamnia somnifera) has been used for more than 3000 years in Ayurvedic medicine for its strong adaptogen properties. Referred to as ‘Indian ginseng’, this white-flowered plant is recognised for its calming effects on anxiety.

It helps you relax and fall asleep, and promotes good quality sleep. With a mood-stabilising action, ashwagandha also increases mental resistance to stressful situations, be they physical, psychological or medical in origin.

Ashwagandha is thus often taken as a calming dietary supplement.

Other plants good for relaxation and mood

Various other medicinal plants good for relaxing, fighting stress and/or lifting the spirits include schisandra and passiflora, known to induce a state of calm, improve resistance to stress and promote restorative sleep.

Our natural supplement Stress Relief Formula thus combines 6 such plant extracts (including schisandra and passiflora). It also contains magnesium and vitamin B1, which supports normal nervous system function.

Essential oils for promoting relaxation

Essential oils are also valuable aids for fighting stress and promoting relaxation. Essential oil of lavender, derived from the plant’s flowerheads, helps ease psychological stress, calms palpitations and combats sleep problems.

You can find the benefits of various essential oils combined in certain relaxation supplements formulated to tackle stress and promote calm. One such oral formulation is Organic Relaxing Blend, which brings together different essential oils and is ideal for supporting relaxation.

FAQ: what exactly is stress?

Stress is a collective term for various physical and psychological reactions produced naturally and instinctively by the body in response to situations perceived as threatening.

Why take stress relief supplements?

By their nature, anti-stress supplements should include ingredients known for combatting states of stress and anxiety.

Many naturopaths value the soothing benefits found, for example, in certain plants such as hawthorn, St John’s Wort, passiflora and ginseng. Sometimes used in ancient systems of medicine, these plants can now be consumed in the form of studied and approved dietary supplements, which are effective at delivering their benefits for fighting chronic stress, anxiety and low mood.

What are the different types of stress?

There are two types of stress :

  • acute stress: this occurs in response to an unexpected and stressful event. A spike in adrenaline results in an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Temporary in nature, acute stress produces heightened alertness but dissipates once the source of the perceived threat disappears;
  • chronic stress: this arises in the case of prolonged or repeated exposure to anxiety-inducing situations. As in all stressful circumstances, the body secretes cortisol, the stress hormone. This sustained rise in cortisol levels can lead to constant fatigue, headaches, muscle pain, sleep problems …

Are there techniques for relieving stress?

Whether it’s an exam, an interview or a work crisis, it’s vital to know how to manage stressful situations to avoid being overwhelmed by your emotions.

Deep breathing exercises can be very effective. Simply sit comfortably, relax your muscles, breathe in for 3 seconds, and out for 6, releasing the stomach. Repeat 10-15 times.

To ‘remove yourself’ from a stressful situation, it’s also a good idea to go out and clear your mind. A short walk, a stroll in the countryside or a bike ride are all good ways of leaving stress behind.

Meditation and relaxation are also recognised stress-busters. Try to establish a routine where you set aside 10 minutes each morning to meditate, listening to soft, soothing music.

What are the best foods for fighting stress?

Food is part of everyday life so why not introduce some ‘anti-stress foods’? By improving your diet, you’ll be boosting your body’s ability to withstand stress and anxiety.

The following are all good anti-stress foods :

  • spinach: particularly rich in vitamin B9, it supports normal psychological function;
  • avocados: these are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and potassium, an excellent mineral for the nervous system;
  • dried fruits: these have high concentrations of magnesium (good for psychological balance and the nervous system), as well as potassium, iron and calcium... ;
  • whole grains: oats, rice, quinoa… as well as providing slow-release carbohydrates, they have a high content of vitamin B1 which supports stable mood;
  • salmon: rich in omega 3, it is described by some as being ‘anti-stress’ and ‘anti-cholesterol’;
  • eggs and dairy products: rich in protein, they also contain B group vitamins, known for their anti-stress benefits;
  • honey: a source of vitamins (B and C) and minerals (magnesium, potassium, iron, copper...), this is popular with many people for enhancing mood and encouraging relaxation;
  • black tea: a source de theanine, tea is traditionally used for its relaxing and anti-anxiety properties;
  • chocolate: chocolate contains high levels of magnesium and triggers the release of endorphins (feel-good hormones). But don’t overdo it – it also contains a lot of calories and sugar.

Discover also our dietary supplements for memory and brain and our supplements for sleep.

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