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Mood Enhancers

Natural ways to feel happy

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Mood Enhancers

More than 50 percent of those experiencing depression also have anxiety. The good news is that natural mood enhancers, including supplements, really do work.

More than 50 percent of those experiencing depression also have anxiety. The good news is that studies have shown that supplements, such as fish oil, vitamin D, and the antioxidant superoxide dismutase, are an effective way to naturally enhance mood.

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Fish oil

If you don’t like eating fish or are worried about contaminated fish, take a fish oil supplement, but be sure to choose one with 1,000 mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Results published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (2010), showed that after taking 1,050 mg of EPA (versus placebo) for eight weeks, subjects experienced a significant improvement in their depressive symptoms.

Solid scientific evidence indicates that omega-3 fatty acids also influence brain development and cognitive function, as well as daily mood and mental outlook.

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D3 levels are known to be low in people living at northern latitudes, especially during winter months. A survey conducted by Statistics Canada in 2010 showed that 10 percent or 3 million Canadians had inadequate levels of vitamin D. Of this number, 1.1 million Canadians were considered to be in the deficient range. Inadequate levels of vitamin D are strongly linked with anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.

Men are more likely than women to have inadequate vitamin D levels. After numerous studies showed the need for revised vitamin D supplementation guidelines, Health Canada updated their guidelines in December 2010.

Adults up to 70 years (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) should consume at least 600 IU of vitamin D daily. Adults over 70 years should take in a minimum of 800 IU daily.

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Superoxide dismutase

Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is a primary antioxidant clinically proven to improve stress and fatigue. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, French researchers found that this antioxidant supplement derived from melon juice concentrate decreased the signs and symptoms of perceived stress and fatigue in 70 healthy volunteers.

As well as turning to natural mood enhancers, don’t forget to take time to analyze how you handle the stress in your life. Our lives are so busy that we often get inadequate amounts of sleep while setting a hectic schedule of appointments and obligations. Take stock of how you schedule your day. Make time each day for relaxation and deep breathing. Be sure to get regular exercise, adequate sleep, and spend as much time as possible in nature to lift your spirits.

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