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Basic Concepts of Supplementation

Basic Concepts of Supplementation

supplements Jan 16, 2020


Basic Concepts of Supplementation

We believe folks need more skills and fewer pills when it comes to supporting a more resilient body, mind, and heart. We like to start with three basic skill-based concepts before recommending supplements to the individuals we work with.

Concept 1: What you feed your body today will become your brain of tomorrow. In other words, start with diet. Consider these facts: 

  • Brain cells, like every other cell in the body, need constant fuel (energy) from clean proteins and complex carbohydrates to properly carry out their functions.
  • Neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine depend upon receiving key nutrients (like magnesium, zinc, B-vitamins) from diet.
  • The speed at which brain cells can communicate depends upon an insulating covering around the nerve cells (the “myelin sheath”). It is also made from nutrients in your diet.
  • Building a healthy infrastructure for brain cells requires brain-friendly fats such as omega 3's and phosphatidylserine.
  • One of the best things you can do for your brain is to maintain a healthy gut. The brain and the GI tract are in constant communication and share many of the same neurotransmitters.

The Resilient Diet satisfies much of this first concept. We will have more articles later that address gut issues more specifically. 

Concept 2: Don’t forget about the power of exercise and sleep to enhance brain function and mood. In other words, move and rest smart for better mental health. Choose a Resilient Movement Plan if you haven't already, and check out our Natural Sleep articles for more strategies to improve sleep. 

Concept 3: If needed, supplement wisely. In other words, supplements can be effective, but should do just that--supplement healthy diet and movement practices. As noted, we recommend the Resilient Diet to help insure that you get essential nutrients to support mind-body health, but there are times when it makes sense to supplement your diet:

  • To support mood when it is low or anxious
  • During times of greater stress
  • When your diet is less than optimal

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Foundational Supplements

The table below outlines key brain-healthy nutritional supplements, along with food choices to add further support. All of these supplements are absorbed better if taken with meals. We consider them to be quite safe and well-tolerated, but be sure to check with your primary doctor before integrating any new supplements.



The Resilient Diet

Adjusting your eating habits is one of the simplest ways to naturally improve your mental health. Because you are already eating and drinking things every day to fuel your body and mind, you don't need to add anything new to your routine. Instead, focus on making changes and adjustments to your diet to ensure you are nourishing your system with foods that promote mental health. Learn more.


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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice and is not a replacement for advice and treatment from a medical professional. Consult your doctor or other qualified health professional before beginning any diet change, supplement, or lifestyle program. See our terms for more information.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call the NAMI HelpLine: 1-800-950-6264 available Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., ET. OR text "HelpLine" to 62640 or email NAMI at [email protected]. Visit NAMI for more. You can also call or text SAMHSA at 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.