By Moly Apel, 13 April 2020
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The pressure of COVID-I9 is taking a toll on all of us, and waiting in safe isolation is taxing. That’s why you want to make time for self-care that helps you relax. Make sure you’re getting quality sleep, exercising and eating a balanced diet. But if you need something more, certain vitamins and supplements for stress can help you keep your cool and feel more resilient.
1. L-TYROSINE This supplement is a building block for major brain chemicals. L-tyrosine is a precursor to some of the most important neurotransmitters in your brain, including dopamine, norepinephrine and adrenaline. If you feel like you’ve hit a mental wall, you’ve likely run out of L-tyrosine. You’ll hit that wall sooner than usual when you’re already stressed. Take l-tyrosine to improve your focus with tasks that demand mental endurance.
If you drink green tea, you’ve felt the calming effects of l-theanine. This compound is a natural component of tea leaves that encourages relaxation and mental focus. When l-theanine combines with caffeine, it increases your mental recall and reduces mental fatigue.  Think of it as just another reason to enjoy a cup of green tea.
If you’re looking for something that gives you that same relaxed feeling as a glass of wine or a cocktail, try kava. A Cochrane review found that kavalactones, the active compounds in kava, significantly reduced anxiety levels without the side effects or risk of addiction that comes with medication. Kava is available as a tea, powder, capsule or tincture.
4. MAGNESIUM CITRATE Magnesium is a mineral that wins MVP status. It’s involved in everything from synthesizing proteins to regulating blood sugar and controlling neurons. A specific type of magnesium, magnesium citrate, has been found to promote mental and muscle relaxation. It also reduces the muscle cramping that can happen at night. Add a magnesium citrate supplement to your routine to feel more relaxed and sleep better at night, among other benefits. 5. RHODIOLA Rhodiola is an herb that grows at high altitudes or in the northern latitudes. It’s an adaptogen — a natural substance with properties that help the body adapt to stress. Multiple studies show that rhodiola reduced fatigue after a span of two weeks to 28 days.  Some participants also felt an improvement in their overall well-being. More research is needed to confirm the results. People who take rhodiola experience very few side effects, making this a low-risk addition to your anti-stress regimen.
6. ASHWAGANDHA Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb native to north Africa and India. It has reddish orange fruits and roots that have been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years. This adaptogen has been shown to help balance the relationship between your hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands, also called the HPA axis. It prevents stress-induced vitamin C depletion, which can lead to major health problems like hair loss. Learn more about the benefits of vitamin C.
7. HOLY BASIL Holy basil, also known as tulsi, is another Ayruvedic herb with thousands of years of use behind it — and science is starting to confirm its benefits. Studies have found that holy basil effectively reduced generalized anxiety disorder and correlated stress and depression. Another study found it provided a 39% improvement in general stress symptoms compared to placebo. Also, participants reported no adverse effects over the six-week study period, making this another low-risk supplement for stress to add to your regimen[https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21977056].
8. SAFFRON This ancient spice comes from the stamen of the crocus flower and has been added to dishes for thousands of years. Saffron extract has been clinically proven to support your mood. In a trial of 60 people with anxiety and depression, saffron was shown to have a significant effect on depression levels versus those given a placebo.
However these are not medical advice and we recommend that you consult with your healthcare providers regarding the diagnosis and treatment of any disease or condition or seek medical advice on taking any vitamins or supplements.
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