There was a time when places were greener, problems were fewer and our lives had slower paces. Today, we simply do not have even the time to dream about the time when things were simpler. Each day is a new challenge for most of us. Deadlines, meetings, presentations, frustration etc. are close friends to many. Personal life has become even more demanding in nature. This life style of ours generates stress. When the body feels threatened or is urged to meet a requirement, a flood of hormones is released into the blood stream to help the body to cope. There are basically two types of stress. Small amount of stress is useful for us as it helps to boost up performance, but constant stress induces irritability, forgetfulness, fatigue and anxiety, which culminate in high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, insomnia, migraines etc. Some people are rather good at stress management and manage to subdue the effects of stress. But to those of us who are too busy for yoga or treadmills or have only a little time for them, have natural supplements that help us to combat stress in a completely natural way! The following are a few stress relief supplements.
1. Vitamin C
When the body is under stress, a hormone called cortisol (hydrocortisone) is released by the adrenal gland in our body. Vitamin C helps to regulate the amount of cortisol in the bloodstream. It also aids the proper functioning of the immune system and also helps in the regeneration of connective tissue. Its effect is clinically proven and the recommended dose is 1,000 to 3,000 mg per day.
2. Rhodiola Rosea
It is a plant native to arctic Siberia and is also called golden root. Rhodiola Rosea has been in use since the ancient times and is treated as an adaptogen, meaning it has an ability to stabilize the body without disrupting other functions. It helps to improve the ability of the brain to process serotonin which is a hormone that helps to fight stress and anxiety. Users report enhanced mental clarity, better decision making and reduced fatigue. The generally recommended dose is 200-600mg/day.
3. Omega 3 fatty acids
They are essential unsaturated fatty acids. They cannot be synthesized by the body but they are required for normal metabolism. The acids also aid cardiac health, depression, memory loss and bone health apart from combating stress. Omega 3 fatty acids are abundant in fishes and marine organisms, and mainly help to cope up with psychological stress. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are the two types of omega 3 fatty acids. Studies have proven that low levels of these two types of fatty acids commonly bring about anger, depression, general unhappiness etc. Recommended dose is about 1 to 4 gm per day.
It is the pigment that gives the bright red color to tomatoes, papayas, pink grapefruit, apricot, watermelons etc. Lycopene is found to effectively lower your risk for cancer and has high antioxidant properties which are responsible for lowering stress levels. It also helps to combat fertility problems in men, delays wrinkling of the skin, osteoporosis, diabetes etc. The optimum dose is about 4 to 8 mg daily.
It is rarely taken internally but the essential oil of lavender (in particular, of Lavandula augustifolia) is known to have a very calming effect. So, it’s often used for aroma therapy. It effectively reduces stress in intensive care patients. Besides that, lavender also has anti bacterial, anti fungal properties.
6. 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan)
It is also called as oxitriptan and is a naturally occurring amino acid. It is widely sold and helps to combat sleeplessness, anxiety and stress. It induces the body’s production of serotonin which, as mentioned earlier, is a hormone that helps to fight stress.
Commonly known as Ubiquinone, it proves itself as a very good anti oxidant. Free radicals which are developed in the body can have harmful effects including cancer risks. Ubiquinone helps to get rid of these free radicals and to combat fatigue that is often associated with stress, Parkinson’s disease, migraines, blood pressure etc. It can also help prolong the lifespan of an individual. Recommended dose is about 60 to 100 mg per day.
Natural supplements only enhance the functioning of the immune system in natural ways and many of them do not have harmful side effects. Good luck fighting stress!