During the winter it’s normal to feel a bit frazzled. After all, this time of year is incredibly busy as we struggle to meet everyone’s expectations around the holidays and get all our work done by end-of-year deadlines. If you start forgetting things along the way, it can be frustrating but totally expected! At the same time it’s understandable if your mood takes a dip during the winter, with shorter days, longer to-do lists, and less time outside. Fortunately, there are natural remedies that promise to give your brain a boost this winter. These four supplements can help to improve your mood and your brain function, making you happier and more efficient this holiday season. Here’s how they work:
Magnesium is essential to keeping your body and brain functioning well. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), magnesium helps with everything from nerve functioning to developing DNA. That’s pretty important stuff! Unfortunately, the NIH also say that most Americans don’t get enough magnesium through their diets. Magnesium is found in legumes, beans, and leafy green vegetables. But to get the recommended 320 milligrams a day that adult women should have, you might want to rely on a supplement. The health benefits will be well worth the effort of taking an extra vitamin: Magnesium has been shown to help in treating depression and can even alleviate PMS symptoms.
Zinc is another often-overlooked but important nutrient. It helps the body repair wounds and build DNA. It has also been shown to have powerful effects for fighting depression, especially in young women. In addition, zinc has been shown to be important for maternal mental health. Women need about 8 milligrams of zinc per day, which they can get most readily from red meat, shellfish, and poultry. A zinc supplement is a great way to boost your intake. In fact, many supplements combine zinc and magnesium, giving you a double brain boost.
Fish oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. These good fats provide fuel for your body and help you absorb other vitamins. Despite their importance, only 2 percent of Americans are getting enough omega-3s. Taking fish oil supplements is a great way to boost your intake, which can help your brain function better. Taking fish oil has been found to improve brain function and is thought to contribute to alleviating depression. When you’re choosing a fish oil supplement, be sure to select one that is high quality.
Vitamin D helps your nerves carry signals from your brain to every part of your body. Since vitamin D is absorbed from the sun, you’re likely to get less of it during the winter, which can leave you feeling sluggish or down. Getting enough vitamin D (even through a supplement) has been shown to prevent depression and lower the likelihood of cognitive issues as your age. Sometimes we can all use a little boost. Consider adding these supplements to your routine to help yourself feel your best!