Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mood Swings Got You Down?

Disclaimer- this is an article I wrote for one of the Health & Fitness websites I do content writing for- but they rejected it because they wanted less "natural" ways to prevent more mood swings and more supplements- so their loss = your gain :) Enjoy! 

A common problem for dieters is dealing with mood swings. A change in diet affects more than just your weight, it impacts your entire body including your mental health. Whether you've started a new diet, or simply feel like your emotional ups and downs have become a challenge for you to manage, natural supplements can be a great fix. Below are 5 natural supplements that can help prevent mood swings to keep you happy and healthy.
Before considering supplements, take an evaluation of your current lifestyle.  Are you getting enough sleep? No supplement in the world can fix a mood swing problem if it’s caused by a deficiency of your bodies physical needs.  Sleep is one of them. The average adult needs between 7-9 hours per night.  Mood Swing Fix: Pay attention to how many hours of sleep you are getting and make sleep a priority on your to-do list.
Exercise is a great natural mood booster!  The happy floating feeling of accomplishment you have after a tough workout, you’re not imagining it.  Exercise boosts the body’s natural endorphins which elevate the mood and leave you with a positive feeling that can last for hours. Mood Swing Fix: When you feel a bad mood coming on, lace up your running shoes and hit the gym.  Changes are you’ll feel better and at least more accomplished when you return.
What are you eating? Often times mood swings are actually our brains reaction to a blood sugar crash caused by eating processed, high sugar foods. Whole grain natural foods are less likely to have this effect.  Another dietary suggestion is get your leafy greens! Veggies are good for your body, but your mental state as well due to their folate content which is essential in the production of serotonin, a “feel good” chemical in the brain. Mood Swing Fix: Try cutting sugars and processed foods out of your diet for a week and see if your mood stabilizes.
Ok- so you’re sleeping 8 hours, working out, have your diet in check and are still moody? The following two natural supplements have been shown to have an impact on mood stabilization. 
5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is an amino acid with the main purpose of increasing serotonin productivity in the brain. The recommended dosing is 50-300 milligrams per day with effectiveness seen after two to three weeks.  A second herbal alternative is St. Johns Wart, a mood supporting supplement that has been around for decades and has shown great effectiveness in improving general mood and relieving the symptoms of depression.  Both 5-HTP and St Johns Wart are prescribed as prescription drugs in Europe, unlike the US where they are sold as herbal remedies commonly found at a health food store and are not subject to FDA regulation. Be cautious and make sure you are purchasing a high quality product and that if you plan to take either with existing prescription drugs; you run it by your doctor first. Mood Swing Fix: Talk to your doc if you are considering either of these and be sure to give them a few weeks to take full effect.

1 comment:

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