Natural Anxiety Supplements Part 2 - Best Nutritional Supplements For Anxiety
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As well as herbs, there are certain nutrients that are particularly beneficial for those suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. These nutrients are usually found in our food, but sometimes we need an extra boost of nutrients in the form of supplements. In this second part to our series on natural anxiety supplements, we will take a look at the best nutritional supplements for anxiety.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil have been used to treat a variety of emotional disorders including anxiety. It has been shown that people who do not have enough omega 3 fatty acids or who have an abnormal ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids experience symptoms of depression and anxiety that can be relieved when the omega 3 levels are brought back to normal. Omega 3 fatty acids are beneficial to nerve health and help nerve cells to communicate more efficiently which helps to maintain good mental health. Omega 3 fish oil is one of the most important nutritional supplements for anxiety you can take.
Amino Acid Anxiety Supplements
There are certain types of amino acids that help regulate feelings of anxiety by either inhibiting or enhancing the production of neurotransmitters in the brain. These amino acids are listed below and can be taken as nutritional supplements for anxiety.
GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid) has a powerful effect on our brain and helps to produce a feeling of calm and tranquillity. It works by inhibiting activity in the areas of the brain that are related to anxiety. Many anti-anxiety drugs such as Valium and Ativan stimulate the GABA receptors in our brain. Gradually replacing these drugs with GABA anxiety supplements has been successful in treating people with anxiety and panic disorders.
L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea. It helps to activate alpha brain waves, producing a feeling of deep relaxation and alertness. This is a similar state to that achieved during deep meditation.
L-glutamine reduces feelings of stress and helps regulate blood sugar levels (a dip in blood sugar levels can cause anxiety). It also creates a feeling of alertness by reducing the build up of ammonia in the brain.
L-tryptophan works by increasing the production of serotonin, one of the “feel good” neurotransmitters in the brain. It has a calming effect on anxiety sufferers and helps with insomnia. It also helps reduce feelings of depression. L-tryptophan is a precursor to 5-HTP.
5-HTP (5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan) increases levels of serotonin in the brain. It is a known mood booster and is helpful for both anxiety and depression.
L-glycine helps to calm the nervous system and has been used to treat manic depression
L-taurine has a similar effect to GABA, producing a calm and tranquil feeling. It works by inhibiting the release of adrenaline in the brain, switching off the fight-or-flight response.
Mineral Anxiety Supplements
Certain minerals are also important nutritional supplements for anxiety. The minerals listed below help control feelings of anxiety, stress and panic.
Magnesium - a deficiency of magnesium has been found in people suffering from anxiety and panic disorders. Taking a magnesium supplement for anxiety can decrease anxiety symptoms such as restlessness, insomnia and being easily startled. It also helps with muscle relaxation.
Calcium is also an important anti-anxiety mineral and can reduce symptoms such as agitation, insomnia and heart palpitations. It has a natural, calming effect.
General Nutritional Advice For Anxiety
If you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks it is best to avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugar and refined carbohydrates such as white flour, white pasta and white rice. Use whole grain alternatives and cut down on processed foods and sugary drinks. You might like to be tested for food allergies that may contribute to anxiety. If you are not able to include plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit in your diet you may benefit from taking nutritional supplements for anxiety
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In the next part of our series on natural anxiety supplements we will continue with our discussion of anti-anxiety nutrients by looking at vitamins for stress and anxiety.