Every time I post on Instagram about a vitamin and/or supplement I take, I get a good amount of questions … So, I’m super excited to expand upon that topic here!
As I’ve mentioned previously, I work in the Natural Products Industry for a nutritional supplement brand. I have access to organic vitamins, probiotics, protein powders, and so much more, and access to resources + education on them (shout out to the GOL education team!).
What I’m saying is that I’m very fortunate (read: spoiled) when it comes to this piece of the wellness puzzle. Before working in the industry, I knew next to nothing about what vitamins to take, had never heard of a probiotic, and only took a daily multivitamin that I wasn’t sure was doing anything, honestly.
Fast forward 4 years, and I’ve tried almost every supplement out there to help balance my stress and anxiety levels. After doing my own research, asking key questions from experts, and plenty of personal trial-and-error with vitamins and supplements, I’ve finally found the mix that works for me. Before I dig any deeper on this, please note that I am in no way a professional or expert in this field, and that I am solely speaking from personal experience. I still take prescribed medication for my anxiety, and I strongly believe in the power of combining that with holistic practices, like taking natural supplements.
Here are the 3 supplements I take regularly to help with my anxiety, with a little background into the why:
First thing’s first, I am pro-probiotics.
Have you ever felt your appetite vanish when you’re nervous about something? Or, possibly complained of a stomach ache when you’re super stressed? First of all, same here! Secondly, that is your brain communicating with your gut’s microbiota, or the gut-brain axis. This connection goes both ways – your gut’s microbiota can also talk to your brain.
In a nutshell, taking care of your gut = taking care of your brain. The main purpose of taking a probiotic is to support your digestive system, but research shows that this supplement is a 2-for-1 special with the positive effects it has on your mood. One more science-y note on this one: depression has been linked to inflammation, and probiotics have been linked to decreasing inflammation in the body.
Probiotics are an everyday staple in our household (my entire family takes them now!). This is the supplement that I recommend the most.
Want to get probiotics through food? Try yogurt, kombucha, or sauerkraut!
Introducing ashwagandha, the adaptogenic herb.
Ashwa-WHAT? My thoughts exactly when I first read (and then tried to spell correctly) the word. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen; adaptogens are herbal remedies that have been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic healing traditions, such as ginseng and rhodiola (to name a few!).
In short, adaptogens are said to help your body handle stress. I’ve tried a couple of these herbs, including both ashwagandha and rhodiola, but simply put, prefer ashwagandha. If I take it regularly, I just feel more balanced overall. Thanks to my job, this one is my go-to.
Magnesium is responsible for over 300 reactions in the body (!!!), including support of the immune system, bone strength, and muscle and nerve function. More importantly – for this post, at least! – research shows that magnesium may help with brain functions that reduce stress and anxiety. WINNING.
I mix a scoop of whole-food magnesium powder in water before bed a few nights a week, especially on days when I really need a good night’s sleep. It always helps me to sleep harder + wake up feeling restored! If you’re new to the blog, check out this one on how important sleep is for anxiety levels (spoiler alert: VERY important!).
Want to get magnesium through food? Try adding more leafy greens, avocado, nuts and seeds (all organic, when possible!) to your diet.
While I went in-depth on the supplements I take on the reg, here are some that have also been linked to helping to support anxiety and/or depression: fish oil, B-complex, and rhodiola.
I did my best to source every claim in this blog post, and I encourage you all to read the pages linked and learn even more on the topic of supplements + anxiety!
With that, none of these supplements are an immediate fix if you are feeling anxious or depressed. There are so many steps I’ve taken to find peace of mind, and this is just one.
Have questions? Please feel free to comment below, or send me a DM on Instagram! 🙂
Please note that I am not a mental health professional. Always seek the advice of your mental health professional or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your condition.