There aren't many people who can feel upbeat and happy every day. We all have days -- or even weeks -- where we feel sad, sluggish or "down in the dumps" and find it hard to regain a positive attitude. When you're feeling blue, using a natural mood enhancement supplement can perk you up more than a cup of coffee or energy drink without empty calories or side effects.
Let's take a look at 11 things about natural mood enhancement supplements you may not have known.
1. Natural Mood Enhancement Supplements are Safe
Natural mood enhancement supplements are effective and safe because they contain time-tested ingredients that have been studied by researchers and, in many cases, used by holistic practitioners since ancient times. Green tea extract is one of the best known ingredients in mood enhancement supplements – and it's completely safe.
Green tea extract is often used as one of the ingredients in mood-enhancing supplements, and with good reason. It has a calming effect, reducing stress and enabling you to think more clearly. If you're feeling angry or anxious, drinking green tea or taking a proprietary blend containing green tea extract will improve your mood.
The L-Theanine in Green Tea Increases Neurotransmitter Activity to Put You in a Good Mood
L-theanine, an amino acid present in green tea, increases the amount of serotonin and two other neurotransmitters essential for good mood and resilience to stress - GABA and dopamine. Increased levels of these neurotransmitters makes you more receptive to learning, and boosts your ability to feel pleasure. L-theanine has been shown to enhance alpha brainwave activity, which improves your attention span and helps you relax. A study cited in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that "L-theanine, at realistic dietary levels, has a significant effect on the general state of mental alertness or arousal."
L-theanine may cause a relaxed but attentive brainwave state similar to one experienced during meditation. People suffering from ADHD induced insomnia can benefit from taking a mood supplement with L-theanine.
Green tea contains phytochemicals called polyphenols. These antioxidants may guard against cancer and heart disease, but they are beneficial to the brain as well as the body. Various research has indicated polyphenols boost mood and may protect against Parkinson's disease.
2 . Natural Mood Enhancement Supplements Don't Have the Side Effects of Prescription Drugs
With the introduction of Prozac in 1987, prescription drugs for depression became a mainstay of the psychiatric and pharmaceutical community. Although controversial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) continue to be prescribed for moderate to severe depression. Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and other SSRIs work by blocking the reabsorption of a mood-regulating brain neurotransmitter called serotonin. SSRI's have many side effects, including nausea, vomiting, reduced libido, dizziness and agitation.
Unlike Zoloft, Paxil and other prescription anti-depressants, natural mood enhancement supplements don't have serious, long-term side effects for most people. While users with high blood pressure, diabetes and other medical conditions should ask their doctor about safety issues before using certain supplements, most people can use mood-enhancing supplements without serious side effects.
3. Natural Mood Enhancement Supplements Encourage Serotonin Production
Serotonin, a chemical created by the human body, is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood. Some researchers believe serotonin deficiency causes depression. Isolated in 1948 and first classified as a chemical agent affecting vascular tone, serotonin researchers have since discovered many facts about serotonin level and its effect on mood and depression. Created in the brain and intestines by a biochemical conversion process involving the amino acid tryptophan, serotonin that's manufactured in the brain must be used in the brain. It plays a major role in normal functioning of the nervous system and GI tract.
Serotonin is found in most parts of the body, and it's believed that it plays an important role in many mental and physical functions.
4. Mood Enhancement Supplements Increase Sex Drive, Which Ultimately Leads to More Energy in all Life Areas
The use of some natural mood enhancement supplements can also lead to increased sexual energy and desire. According to a 2004 WebMD.com article, "Natural Sex Boosters Gaining Ground", more people are considering supplements, including ginseng and gingko biloba, as alternatives to Viagra and other prescription drugs. Even if you're only looking for a mood enhancement supplement you'll reap the libido-boosting side benefits when you use a supplement with the following ingredients:
- Ginkgo Baloba is one of the most popular herbal supplements in the world today - It's been used in holistic medicine to improve mental clarity, learning ability and mood by boosting blood flow. Because of its positive effect on the brain, some experts suggest it is helpful in treating dementia and Alzheimers. Ginkgo contains flavonoids, antioxidants that prevent disease-causing free radicals. Some studies have shown that it minimizes symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). A study cited in Advances in Therapy stated that female research participants who used Gingko Baloba experienced increased sexual desire and had intercourse more often than other study participants. Gingko has long been used to preserve men's sexual health. It increases blood flow and the nitric oxide necessary to relax artery walls, fighting erectile dysfunction.
- Ginseng is a stimulant that increases alertness - It may improve sexual desire in women going through menopause, and is often used in supplements to enhance male sexual performance. Ginseng reduces stress and controls blood sugar. It's also used as an appetite suppressant and anti-aging herb. You may find this versatile herb listed as an ingredient in proprietary blends for mood improvement, weight loss or increased libido. It works well for all three purposes.
- Damiana, has been used as an aphrodisiac for centuries by indigenous people - Like ginseng, Damiana increases blood flow in the body, which improves stamina and sexual desire. Damiana is often used to treat bladder and urinary infections, headaches and depression.
Ginseng, gingko balboa, the amino acid L-arginine and various vitamins and minerals are combined with damiana in proprietary blends geared to improving both mood and sex drive.
Any supplement with these ingredients will brighten your mood and increase your sexual function. The two results are intertwined. If you're in an upbeat, happy mood, your sexual desire will increase, and if you have increased sexual function, you'll be in a good mood!
5. Mood Enhancing Supplements Contain Vitamins and Minerals
Many mood enhancing formulas consist of more than one herb – they contain a proprietary blend of ingredients that may include wheatgrass, zinc, selenium, potassium, B complex vitamins and chromium picolinate.
Wheatgrass is among the most nutrient-heavy ingredients used in natural mood enhancing supplements. Its rich assortment of B-complex vitamins to help your body break down carbohydrates and produce energy. B-complex vitamins are necessary to keep your skin, hair and eyes healthy and prevent anemia by increasing the growth of red blood cells. It contains 20 amino acids, including L-arginine, which keeps the heart healthy and contributes to a strong immune system, wound healing and hormone function. Wheatgrass is powered by chlorophyll, a super-supplement that contributes to all types of healthy brain and body function.
The chlorophyll in wheatgrass helps you maintain a proper acid/alkaline balance. A balanced body pH improves every aspect of your mental and physical health, including your mood. A balanced pH level gives you a natural "high", more physical energy and contributes to restful sleep. Women experience fewer negative pre and post menstrual emotional changes when they have a balanced pH. You can achieve a healthy pH by including an even number of acidic and alkaline foods in your diet and taking a wheatgrass-based mood enhancement supplement.
- Healthy alkaline foods include: beets, cauliflower, tofu, almonds, grapes, berries, watermelon, ginger, curry and spinach.
- Acidic foods include: tuna, turkey, olive oil, beef, fish, oats, cranberries and rice.
Even if you take a wheatgrass-or chlorophyll based supplement, it's important to balance out the foods in your diet and avoid eating too many "bad" acidic foods. Examples of unhealthy acidic foods are coffee, soft drinks, canned fruits, sugary snacks, potato chips and alcoholic beverages.
6. Mood Enhancement Supplements are Non-Habit Forming
You can't become dependent or "addicted" to mood-enhancing supplements. Sure, you might miss the positive effects of wheatgrass, ginseng or other proprietary blend ingredients if you go a few days without taking a supplement, but you won't have withdrawal symptoms.
You can take a natural mood-enhancement supplement every once in awhile, once a week or every day, as you see fit, without worrying about becoming dependent on it. Unlike some prescription anti-depressants, natural over the counter mood supplements are non-habit forming.
7. Mood Enhancing Supplements Build Your Immune System
The vitamins, minerals and herbs in mood enhancing supplements offer protection against infection, inflammation and disease.
Vitamin C and Vitamin E (both contained in wheatgrass), are antioxidant rich vitamins that shield the body against free radicals, which damage cells and lead to cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. Zinc and selenium also offer antioxidant protection against free radicals.
The three "Gs" - Ginseng, ginger and gingko biloba help strengthen the immune system, in addition to their happiness boosting properties.
8. Mood Enhancing Supplements Have Overall Health Benefits
Any natural mood enhancement supplement boasts minerals, vitamins and herbs that provide a barrier against disease. All ingredients in a mood boosting herb and vitamin mix have more than one health benefit. Ginger is just one example of a proprietary blend ingredient with several properties that go beyond just mood enhancement.
Ginger is a member of the Zingiberaceae family. It's used as a spice in foods from salads and soups to desserts and hot beverages. When used as part of a mood-enhancing proprietary blend, ginger's cineole content may help contribute to stress relief. It can also be used to treat migraine headaches, exercise-induced muscle pain and high blood pressure. Its mucus-busting qualities reduce the congestion that contributes to asthma, and it may reduce menstrual pain.
9. Natural Mood Supplements Have a Longer Track Record than Prescription Drugs
Gingko Biloba, one of the oldest supplements known to man, has been used to heighten mood and treat a number of other conditions for centuries. Ginseng, white willow bark, Fo-ti root (used for energy in traditional Oriental medicine) and over a dozen other proprietary blend ingredients have been used throughout Europe and Asia for centuries. Some of these ancient home remedies work just as well for many people as prescription drugs.
10. Natural Mood Supplements Are a Great Choice for People with the "Blues" or Mild Depression
Feeling sad doesn't equal clinical depression. That's something quite different. When a friend moves away or a beloved pet passes away, you feel sad. That's a normal human emotion, and it passes with time. Clinical depression is ongoing and interferes with daily activity. It may even result in feelings of hopelessness and suicidal thoughts. Severe depression usually requires therapy and prescription medication, although some doctors may prescribe antidepressants for less serious cases of depression.
Natural mood enhancing supplements, when taken on a regular basis, keep your mood elevated in a safe, non-manic way. Instead of eating a candy bar and feeling happy and energetic til the inevitable ‘crash", a natural mood supplement works so quietly you won't notice a major "high", just a calm, happy feeling.
11. When Used with Mood-Altering Activities, Provide Even Greater Benefit
Mood enhancing supplements aren't the only natural way to fight depression and anxiety. Regular exercise, even if it's only a brisk walk each day, will stimulate brain neurotransmitters called endorphins. When the body secretes endorphins, it also releases sex hormones, decreases appetite and produces feelings of euphoria. Endorphins, like serotonin, help elevate mood and ward off mild depression. Moderate or intense exercise releases even more endorphins, inspiring the term "runner's high."
Spending more time at karaoke (or taking singing lessons) is another way to release endorphins. An article in the August 16, 2013 issue of Time Magazine, stated that singing, especially group singing, alleviates feelings of depression by releasing endorphins and another hormone called Oxytocin. Singing has even been shown to lower cortisol, a stress hormone.
Need a Safe and Natural Pick Me Up? Use HappyGirl Mood Enhancer from WheatgrassLove
Happy Girl Mood Enhancer is formulated for women. It's packed with potassium and magnesium-rich wheatgrass to fuel your bloodstream with minerals, keeping you energized and healthy. A healthy, energetic girl is a happy girl, and all the herbs in our proprietary blend will keep you in a good mood the safe, non-habit forming way, with cayenne pepper, green tea extract, ginger, gingko biloba, ginseng and muscle building Citrus Aurantium (bitter orange) which increases energy without raising your blood pressure. You can read testimonials from satisfied Happy Girl customers here.
When used in combination with a good diet and active lifestyle, HappyGirl will help you fight the blues without the side effects and expense of prescription drugs.