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  • Feeling Down? What Boosts You Should Be Taking

  • In 1988, Phil Collins released a song entitled “A Groovy Kind of Love”. The chorus led out with the phrase “When I’m feeling blue, all I have to do is take a look at you, then I’m not so blue….” Oh, but if only it were that easy! Most days, we can look at a picture of a child that can put a smile on our face, come home from a long, hard day and snuggle with our pup and know that everything will be okay, or see a meme that makes us chuckle. One way to help manage the blues is to ensure our bodies are getting the vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that we need but with all the different kinds out there, where do we begin? Keep reading to discover a few and then check out to customize your very own formula to ensure your body is getting what it needs to run at its optimal performance each day.

    Warning: Many herbs and supplements sold in the United States are not reviewed or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That means these products have not been tested by the FDA for their safety and effectiveness.

    Magnesium is a mineral found in the earth, sea, plants, animals and humans. According to Healthline, about 60% of the magnesium in your body is found in bone, while the rest is in muscles, soft tissues and fluids, including blood. It supports hundreds of chemical reactions in your body. Magnesium plays a critical role in brain function and mood, and low levels are linked to an increased risk of depression.  Unfortunately, studies suggest that about 50% of people in the US and Europe get less than the recommended daily amount of magnesium.

    Omega-3 fatty acids are one of our favorite nutrients when we’re feeling down here at Buddy Nutrition. The heart health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are widely reported. These essential fats may be good for relieving symptoms of depression, too. Omega-3s are also called essential fatty acids because the body needs them for normal functions. These fats are important for neurological development and growth. However, the human body can’t make omega-3s on its own. Omega-3s are found in supplements and foods, including fish, some nut oils, and some plants. While some studies suggest omega-3 fatty acids may help relieve the signs and symptoms of depression, the overall evidence is unclear. Omega-3 supplements are made from two sources: fish or plants. It’s important you have a balance of both types in your diet.

    B vitamins are so important to your brain health. Vitamins B-12 and B-6 are particularly significant. They help produce and control the chemicals that influence mood and other brain functions. In fact, low levels of these vitamins are linked to depression. To diagnose a vitamin B deficiency, your doctor may draw a blood sample for testing. If your levels are low, you can increase your vitamin B through your diet. B-rich foods include meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. If your vitamin B levels are really low or your doctor wants to increase them quickly, they may suggest a daily vitamin B supplement. In cases of severe deficiency, your doctor may recommend a B-12 shot. Boosting vitamin B levels may help end depression symptoms. Our Buddy Shots can include extra boosts of B!

    Vitamin D has many health benefits. Adequate levels of the “sunshine vitamin” help your body absorb calcium, which keeps your bones strong. Vitamin D may also protect against cancer, high blood pressure, and other diseases. It may even help ease symptoms of depression. People with depression tend to have low vitamin D levels, but most people in the United States are deficient in vitamin D. Increasing your levels of the vitamin might ease depression symptoms. Your body makes vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight. You can also get vitamin D from certain foods, including cod liver oil, milk, sardines, and eggs. For many people, supplements are the safer choice.

    CoQ10 is a great antioxidant that helps with the blues because of its many benefits one of which helps with stress and sleep. We all know how important sleep is to be maintaining a healthy emotional outlook on life. Even though our body produces this naturally, as we age our CoQ10 levels can decrease.  And as our Buddy will tell you “we need this antioxidant to do a very important job: generate energy in every cell of our body.” This energy boost can prevent us from getting exhausted and becoming vulnerable to the blues.

    Adaptogens are amazing and intriguing in nature. Adaptogens work at a molecular level by regulating a stable balance in the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands. These are involved in the stress response. They work by “hacking” the stress response in the body. Typically, when our bodies are stressed, we go through three stages of stress – the alarm phase, phase of resistance, and phase of exhaustion.

    We like how Healthline uses the following analogy to explain this process “as we encounter a stressor — say we start lifting weights — our body responds by kicking out hormones like adrenaline that improve muscle performance and increase our ability to concentrate and pay attention to the task at hand in the phase of resistance. Our body is literally resisting the stressor, so we feel energized and clearer, thanks to our body giving us a boost to fight the stressor. And then, as we fatigue, we enter in the exhaustion phase. Adaptogens basically stretch out that “sweet spot” in the middle — the phase of resistance — allowing us to hang out in the powerful part longer”.

    Adaptogens have been studied in both animals and isolated neuronal cells. Researchers have found they have several effects on the body including neuroprotective elements, prevent stress and fatigue, anti-depressive effects, mental work capacity, enhance attention, and stimulant for the central nervous system.

    We have just touched on a six of our favorite vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants here at Buddy Nutrition. As with all vitamins, nutrients and supplements, talk with your doctor before starting any new treatments to determine if they are a good fit for you.

    And, remember, when you’re feeling blue, all you have to do is choose one of the above-mentioned herbs or vitamins, or talk with a Buddy today to see which ones today you can add to your customized Buddy Shot to help ensure you’re not so blue everyday.