Anxiety is one of the biggest issues plaguing or society today. Approximately 40 million adults in the United States are reportedly suffering from anxiety or an anxiety related disorder. To give you a better picture, that’s over 18 percent of our population. That is quite a large number of people to experience one problem.
There are many reasons why our anxiety levels are so high. We have more things on our to do list then our day allows getting done. Social media has also created an environment in which are brains basically never turn off from the outside world. Thanks to the internet, our jobs and friends have 24 hour access to us, which is not always a good thing.
The truth is that people today are just busier then they were in the past. Our society has changed greatly in the last 100 years and our brains and nervous systems are slow to catch up. With the constant hustle and bustle of our society, we get overwhelmed. It’s totally normal to feel that way but unfortunately our body can only get overloaded for so long before it starts fighting back.
If you have ever experienced anxiety, then you know exactly what I am talking about. There is a million different symptoms of anxiety that people experience. I am not just talking about simply feeling overwhelmed or a little stressed out. Many think that anxiety is just the state of feeling overwhelmed which is certainly true to an extent however, people with anxiety disorders suffer very real physical symptoms. From shortness of breath to panic attacks and everything in between, anxiety can be downright terrifying.
While there can be many causes of anxiety, most causes can be directly related to issues that can be addressed through changes in our lifestyle. One of the best and easiest ways to make a lifestyle change is through our diet. You can often dramatically decrease your anxiety levels through simple dietary changes alone. One very easy way to make this change is to include daily supplements that have a proven track record of assisting to decrease anxiety levels and symptoms.
Luckily, there are some great supplements available that can help to lower or eliminate the physical anxiety symptoms you are experiencing and restore your body back to its natural state of calmness.
Here are the 5 best supplements for anxiety that I know of.
Magnesium is typically the first natural supplement recommended for anxiety. It is the king of all the anxiety supplements. Magnesium is known as the “master mineral” and plays a very important role in our health. It is involved in over 300 metabolic processes in our bodies. Recent research suggests that it is actually involved in far more metabolic processes but you get the picture.
The problem is that the vast majority of people are deficient in Magnesium. It’s estimated that roughly 80 percent of Americans are deficient in Magnesium due to the poor quality of our soil. Most of are not taking in the amount of Magnesium necessary through are diet.
Magnesium is a calming mineral and has been proven to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation in the body. Magnesium relaxes blood vessels and muscles. In fact, it is so important and effective that it is often the first thing given to someone suffering a heart attack.
Studies have found that people suffering from anxiety typically have lower levels of Magnesium within their body. One of the major symptoms of a Magnesium disorder is anxiety. The ironic thing about that is that chronic anxiety and stress deplete your bodies Magnesium levels. It’s a vicious cycle that is often difficult for those suffering from anxiety to resolve
I have taken Magnesium for years and it has been extremely effective with lowering my anxiety levels and helping with the physical symptoms of anxiety. It also helps me significantly with muscle spasm and tightness.
There are several forms of Magnesium supplements available. I would recommend Magnesium glycinate or Magnesium malate. Most Magnesium supplements contain a combination of several forms. Magnesium supplementation seems to be highly personal. Some people have good results with one type of Magnesium while some may have good results with another. I recommend experimenting with a couple different types and brands until you find one that works well.
Just as certain types of Magnesium will work for someone while others may not, the issue of daily dosage is similar. Some have found that they require very high levels of Magnesium while others notice negative side effects if they take too much. The recommended daily allowance is 400 milligrams for men and 300 milligrams for women, so make sure to find a Magnesium supplement that fits those requirements if you are getting very little from your diet.
My advice is to try different levels of Magnesium to find which will work best for you. I have personally found that I require a much higher amount then the recommended daily allowance however, a lot of that is due to my daily physical output through weightlifting and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
#2 Chamomile flower
Chamomile is a type of flower which has been used for centuries to assist with anxiety and stomach issues. Chamomile is also known to assist those with sleep issues.
The flower is typically dried and used to produce a tea. Chamomile is also produced in oil form.
A 2009 study found that chamomile assisted in reducing anxiety symptoms in those diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
If you peruse the tea aisles of your local grocery store, you are sure to find several teas containing chamomile. Chamomile is usually mixed with other herbs and flowers to make a tea however, it is also sold alone. One of my favorite chamomile teas growing up was the popular Sleepytime tea by Celestial Seasonings. Although I haven’t had it in years, I remember falling right asleep after drinking it.
I go back and forth in tea drinking phases however, when I drink chamomile tea or consume it as an extract I definitely feel calmer and sleep better.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid, typically referred to as the much simpler abbreviation of GABA, is a neurotransmitter naturally occurring in the brain. GABA helps send messages between the brain and the nervous system. GABA is extremely important for proper brain function. It also helps our bodies make endorphins which are also known as “feel good chemicals”.
Low GABA levels in the brain have been associated with anxiety, depression, insomnia and addiction amongst other issues. Although there is some dispute in the scientific community whether GABA is able to cross the blood brain barrier, many people report a large reduction in their anxiety symptoms after taking GABA.
The dosage recommendations vary for GABA however, most recommend consuming between 250 and 750 milligrams per day. Like most supplements, start with the lowest recommended amount and gradually increase it until you find a level that works best for you.
# 4-Fish oil
If you have been following this blog then you know that I am a huge fan of fish oil. In my recent article, I listed the 5 reasons that you should be taking fish oil. One of those reasons was anxiety. Researchers have found that fish oil lowers anxiety and inflammation levels.
One of the possible causes of anxiety is believed to be inflammation in the body. I think that there is a lot of support for this due to the simple fact that many experience a dramatic reduction in their anxiety levels when they stop eating garbage and switch to a healthy, well-balanced diet that reduces inflammation within their body. I know that I certainly noticed a huge difference in how I felt when I made a similar change in my early 20s.
I have experienced excellent results from fish oil and find that it makes me feel calmer and generally happier. Aim to find a fish oil supplement that provides at least 500 milligrams per serving.
# 5-Trace Minerals
Trace minerals are minerals that the body needs in very small amounts. Like magnesium, most of us are deficient in these minerals because our soil is so depleted of nutrients. We cannot get the minerals from eating fruits and vegetables like we used to due to this poor soil quality. There are a large amount of trace minerals however the most important ones include Calcium, Silicon, Selenium, Phosphorus, Iodine, Chromium, Manganese, Iron, Copper, Molybdenum, Zinc and Vanadium.
Research has found that a deficiency in these minerals, particularly zinc, can lead to worsening of anxiety and depression symptoms. Being deficient in any or all of these minerals can cause imbalances in the body and create a host of issues to include anxiety.
It is extremely important to be careful with trace mineral supplementation as they are all toxic in large amounts. Basically, be smart and follow the recommendations on the trace mineral supplement your purchase. There are several high quality trace mineral supplements available that have done all the calculations for you so you can ensure that you are getting the adequate amount of trace minerals when you follow their serving size recommendations.
Most trace minerals supplements come in liquid form and are basically salt water. The trace minerals in the supplements are typically derived from the ocean or a lake. If you have ever accidentally sucked in salt water, it tastes a lot like that. It’s not the most pleasant taste but once it’s mixed with water it’s not very difficult to drink and besides, it’s for your health! Many report that supplementing with trace minerals assists them with constipation, blood pressure, muscle stiffness, anxiety and low energy.
Experiment on yourself
The bottom line is that anxiety affects a large portion of the population and can be downright awful to deal with. As I have said before, anxiety is highly individual. It can be caused by external and internal issues. This article is obviously focused on anxiety caused by internal issues and deficiencies however, these supplements can assist with anxiety caused by all different things.
I have or do currently take every single supplement that I listed here. I have experienced tremendous benefits from all of them and wish for you to experience the same results. That being said, some will experience great benefits from some or all of these supplements while others might not notice a huge difference from them. The vast majority of those that try these supplements find them very helpful. If you do not notice a difference from one of these supplements after taking it regularly for a period of time, then move on and try one of the others. Just keep in mind that mineral deficiencies in particular can take a while to correct so it is important to be patient.
All in all, I have done my best to present you with my top five supplements for anxiety. This is something that I have a lot of personal knowledge about and have researched for a long time. If there is a supplement that you have had a great experience with that I did not list, I would love to hear it below.
P.S. always keep in mind…