SUP­PLE­MENTS TO CON­SIDER

Some nu­tri­ents are dif­fi­cult to ob­tain in suf­fi­cient quan­ti­ties from diet alone, so sup­ple­ment­ing with these may help you get what you need. Check with your health-care prac­ti­tioner be­fore start­ing any sup­ple­ment.

Clean Eating - - RECIPES -

1 PRO­BI­OTICS AND PREBIOTICS

Pro­bi­otics are healthy bac­te­ria that im­prove the health of your brain and gut, sys­tems that are re­spon­si­ble for mak­ing more than 30 neu­ro­trans­mit­ters, in­clud­ing sero­tonin. Pro­bi­otics can be ob­tained through some foods, such as ke­fir, miso and fer­mented veg­eta­bles, as well as pro­bi­otic sup­ple­ments. The tril­lions of bac­te­ria that live in­side your body are fed by prebiotics, which you can get from foods with in­di­gestible fibers, such as Jerusalem ar­ti­chokes, as­para­gus, oat­meal, chicory, bar­ley, gar­lic, un­der-ripe ba­nanas, ji­cama and legumes.

2 VI­TA­MIN D

Low lev­els of vi­ta­min D have been associated with mood dis­or­ders and PMS symp­toms. A study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Pe­di­atric and Ado­les­cent Gy­ne­col­ogy that in­volved fe­males with se­vere PMS symp­toms found that the group that sup­ple­mented with vi­ta­min D ex­pe­ri­enced de­creased anx­i­ety and ir­ri­tabil­ity, re­duced in­ci­dences of cry­ing and sad­ness, and bet­ter re­la­tion­ships.

3 OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

Your brain is at least 60% fat, which is why it’s im­por­tant to con­sume enough healthy fats, such as the omega-3s eicos­apen­taenoic acid (EPA) and do­cosa­hex­aenoic acid (DHA). These fats im­prove

neu­ro­trans­mit­ter ac­tiv­ity by help­ing brain cells com­mu­ni­cate. They are also known to re­duce in­flam­ma­tion that can dam­age brain cells. The best food source of EPA and DHA is fish, specif­i­cally wild salmon, wild hal­ibut, sar­dines, mack­erel, her­ring and tuna. Some plant sources, such as flax, chia and wal­nuts, con­tain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a dif­fer­ent type of omega-3 that is poorly con­verted to the ac­tive forms of EPA and DHA. If you don’t eat many of the fish listed above, con­sider an omega-3 sup­ple­ment, but find a high-qual­ity brand, re­frig­er­ate it to pre­vent ran­cid­ity and take it with a meal con­tain­ing fat for bet­ter ab­sorp­tion. The rec­om­mended dose is 1 to 3 grams of omega-3s (con­tain­ing both EPA and DHA) daily.

4 MAGNESIUM

It’s re­ferred to as the “king” of min­er­als since it plays a role in most re­ac­tions in your body. A low level of magnesium is associated with de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety. Magnesium can also pre­vent stress hor­mones like cor­ti­sol from en­ter­ing your brain. Con­sum­ing a diet rich in magnesium (from leafy green veg­eta­bles, nuts, seeds and whole grains) as well as a magnesium sup­ple­ment can re­store lev­els back to nor­mal and help re­verse de­pres­sion

symp­toms. De­pend­ing on your age, the rec­om­mended di­etary al­lowance (RDA) for magnesium is 310 to 320 mil­ligrams a day for women and 400 to 420 mil­ligrams a day for men. How­ever, most peo­ple are magnesium de­fi­cient due to a high amount of pro­cessed food in the diet and would ben­e­fit from in­takes higher than what is rec­om­mended in or­der to re­plen­ish the body’s magnesium stores.

5 GABA & 5-HTP

GABA is a calm­ing neu­ro­trans­mit­ter that can pro­mote re­lax­ation and sleep. Lack of GABA can cause rest­less­ness and in­som­nia. Foods that in­crease GABA lev­els are al­monds, ba­nanas, brown rice and lentils. 5-HTP is a pre­cur­sor to tryp­to­phan, which pro­duces sero­tonin. Both GABA and 5-HTP sup­ple­ments have been used to treat in­som­nia. If you cur­rently take an SSRI for de­pres­sion, ask your doc­tor if sup­ple­ment­ing would be ben­e­fi­cial.

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