Our bodies natural sleep rhythms, energy and moods are so responsive to sunlight.
As times have progressed, this has become even more complicated by the invention of electricity, blue lights coming from technology and the significant increase of time spent indoors.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
For people like myself, a decrease in the amount and intensity of the sun’s rays can even manifest into a seasonal depression.
More than 3 million people in this country suffer from a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder; and it is expected to affect many more this year as we feel more hesitation to gather together in public.
Following are 5 of the best natural supplements for seasonal depression:
What it is
This is an amino acid that your body naturally produces, which in turn produces Serotonin, a mood-regulating hormone. Decreased exposure to sunlight seems to reduce the levels of Serotonin production in the body.
5HTP has also shown evidence of appetite suppression, ease of fibromyalgia symptoms, reduction of migraine frequency, and improved sleep.
Possible side effects
If you are currently on any prescription medications, please consult your doctor or pharmacist prior to taking. Minor side effects such as nausea, diarrhea or vomiting are possible;however, the chances are greatly reduced if you start with 100mg per day.
Personally, I have been taking this supplement for about a month now, and am very happy with the noticeable improvement in my mood as well as some weight loss.
Lack of sun
The best source of vitamin D is from the sun. That is, unless it is in the midst of the dark days of winter. In that case, you need a good quality supplement in addition to the bit of the sun’s rays you still may be able to absorb. Also be aware that living in an area of high pollution, wearing sunscreen and having darker skin can all decrease your ability to obtain vitamin D from the sun.
You can also boost your food intake of sources high in this vitamin. Options include things like salmon, sardines, eggs, and fortified milk products. An added benefit of upping your vitamin D intake, is the added protection it provides your body during cold & flu season.
The Omega 3s found in fish oil are an excellent source of healthy brain functioning. The right source is important; however, since some fish are high in mercury.
The best sources
Healthiest sources of omega-3 fish oils include salmon, flax seed, and walnuts. I highly recommend fish oil supplements from Nordic Naturals, due to their high-quality sourcing.
B vitamins such as B12 and folate/folic acid have been linked to adjustments in mood. Some of the best sources of these vitamins are lean beef, shellfish, eggs, salmon, milk products, fortified cereals, leafy greens, oatmeal, legumes and seeds.
Curcumin, an active compound in turmeric, has excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Recent studies have made a connection between inflammation and depression. You can take a supplement, add it to meals or make a turmeric tea. It’s recommended to add black pepper along with the turmeric in order to enhance absorption.
It’s so critical to purchase the best quality brands when choosing supplements. So many companies add artificial ingredients to act as binders, fillers, colorings, and/or preservatives. Here are my top choices for high-quality vitamin brands:
Garden of Life
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