We’ll say it again and again. These are strange times we are living in. The coronavirus has gripped the entire world and caused widespread fear and anxiety. However, there are ways to help beat these feelings and bring calm to an anxious mind. Taking the right supplements is one such way.
Here’s what supplements experts recommend…
1. CBD oil
CBD in all its various forms has taken the wellness industry by storm. But CBD – a chemical compound from the cannabis sativa plant – can be the key to easing anxiety symptoms, enhancing sleep and getting stress under control.
Psychiatrist, Dr Balu Pitchiah says several studies have shown just how useful CBD is, in dealing with not just anxiety, but sleeplessness and overall pain management. “CBD works with the many receptors in your brain to give an overall sense of calmness,” he adds.
Try Cibdol CBD Oil Strong 10%, R1 250. It’s pricey, but proven to work fast.
2. B vitamins
Nutritionist Rob Hobson explains that B group vitamins have many functions, but when you’re suffering from stress and anxiety, these vitamins are more rapidly depleted, as many vital nutrients are released to fight inflammation and reduce free radical damage – which arise more with stress. Therefore, a lack of B vitamins can lead to even more feelings of anxiety and irritability.
He says, “B vitamins support the nervous system, boost mental performance and aid psychological health. They are also essential for energy production within the cells, including brain cells. They specifically help to make the brain’s communication chemicals (neurotransmitters), which is essential for nerve conduction so that messages are passed on. As a result, they help to reduce tiredness and fatigue, aid memory and clarity of thought (cognition).”
Added to this, researchers have found that women with low levels of vitamin B1 (Thiamin) are less likely to feel composed and confident and more likely to be depressed than those with higher levels.
Try Neurobian, R149 for 30, which combines vitamins B 1,6, and 12 for the ultimate B vitamin boost.
Magnesium is a supplement essential for energy metabolism as well as reducing tiredness and fatigue. It’s also vital for normal functioning of the nervous system and mental health. But, much like the B vitamins, during times of stress and anxiety, your levels of magnesium can be rapidly depleted.
Did you know that magnesium is also a natural sleep enhancer? Rob explains, “Magnesium is involved in the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep cycle. A good night’s sleep goes a long way to promoting good mental health and mood during the day!”
If you’re experiencing extreme mood swings, you could also be suffering from pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). Rob explains that magnesium levels appear to be significantly lower in women who have symptoms of PMS, however a study involving 38 women found that taking magnesium supplements every day for two months significantly helped.
4. Essential oils
It seems that using your nose is one of the best paths to a calmer mind… “Scent is incredibly potent as smell is the only sense which is linked directly to the part of the brain that activates our most fundamental behavioural and emotional responses,” explains GP, Dr Gill Jenkins.
She recommends lavender for it’s calming effects. In fact, recent trials have demonstrated that it could be useful in challenging scenarios like before wisdom tooth extraction, before surgery and during menopause.
Try Soil Lavender Essential Oil, R105 for 10ml, which has also been proven to reduce tension headaches and reduce insomnia.
Person of faith. Features writer. Lover of baked goods (Mary Berry is one of her heroes). A curator of really great Pinterest boards. She also loves to stay up to date with the latest health trends. If she was lost you’d probably find her perusing the cookbook aisles of Exclusive Books, sipping on a cortado.