Calming Stress & Anxiousness with Diet, Supplements, & Herbs (Part 1)Jun 18, 2019
by Henry Emmons, MD
[adapted from The Chemistry of Calm]
Optimizing your brain to support mental health isn't as complex as some experts want you to believe. When you understand the basic functions of your brain, then you can more confidently, effectively, and lovingly care for it.
Brain Science 101
Neurotransmitters & Your Brain: In order to work properly, your brain must have the right balance of chemicals called neurotransmitters.
How You Balance Neurotransmitters: The only way your brain can produce neurotransmitters is for you to bring the necessary nutrients into your body.
How You Feed Your Brain: The best way to feed your brain for neurotransmitter production is through a good diet (e.g., our NMH Resilient Diet).
What About Supplements? When used properly, however, nutritional supplements and herbal therapies may help restore brain balance, soften the damaging effects of the stress response, and prevent the recurrence of illness.
Further, many herbal remedies have been used safely for centuries to treat anxiety and stress-related problems. I use them most often for sleep, though they can have anti-anxiety effects as well when taken during the day.
However, nutritional supplements and herbs are not intended to replace the work of food. They are “supplements” to a healthy overall diet.
You heard that right. We LOVE the products offered at our partner store, Fullscript, but pills should not take center stage. We believe that folks generally need less pills and more healthy food and skills.
As you dive into all these nutritional supports, remember that they are just one strategy of a synergistic self-care and community-care routine.
Balancing the Chemicals of Fear, Stress, and Anxiety
The summary table below lays out the brain chemical, the role it has in your stress/fear/anxiousness response, and nutritional supports that may play a role in bringing it back to balance. Over the next few weeks, I'll be covering more details about each chemical in additional blogs. I've broken them up so that you can move between sections more easily.
Balance Excess Glutamate and GABA Deficiencies
In Part 2, you will learn how to calm yourself by balancing excess glutamate & GABA deficiencies with supplements and herbs. Read more.
Sources for this series of articles:
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