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5 Natural Ingredients to Reduce Stress and Promote Relaxation

24 September, 2017

BCN Health Featured foods anxiety.jpgWe are all affected by stress. In fact, without some stress nothing would get done. Unfortunately, for many people stress levels can remain too high for too long. This negatively affects our health, our ability to complete everyday tasks, and even our relationships.

There are several ways to reduce the impact of stress on our life. These include learning relaxation, engaging in pleasurable and soothing activities, getting good sleep, exercise, eating a healthy diet, and talking to supportive people. There are also a number of natural ingredients that have been shown to help reduce stress levels in our body. Our top 5 natural substances are outlined below:

1. Theanine

This is an amino acid derived from green tea. Theanine has been shown in several studies to help promote relaxation and reduce stress hormones in our body. There are also studies showing that theanine can modify certain brain waves associated with relaxation. In particular, theanine increases alpha brain waves. Alpha brain waves are usually experienced during meditation and times of focus. While some theanine can be ingested from green tea, you would need to drink a lot to have a therapeutic effect. Taking theanine in supplement form is therefore the most effective option. 

2. Rhodiola

This herb is classified as an ‘adaptogenic herb.’ This means that it helps our body moderate its stress response during times of high pressure. Rhodiola has been used in European countries to help cope with physical and mental stress, and has even been used by athletes to promote athletic performance. Rhodiola can be taken in supplement form and it is best to use a high-quality supplement that contains a European rhodiola extract. Rhodiola is particularly helpful for people suffering from symptoms of burnout and low energy.

3. Magnesium

This important mineral has hundreds of roles in our body. It is particularly important for muscle relaxation. In fact, one sign of magnesium deficiency is muscle twitching. Taking magnesium before bed can also help with sleep. We recommend taking magnesium on a regular basis to help replenish magnesium levels in the body. Be careful though as not all forms of magnesium are the same. For example, magnesium oxide is poorly absorbed in the body and does little to promote relaxation. Magnesium glycinate is a highly-absorbable form of magnesium.

4. Ashwagandha

This is an herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It is used to promote wellbeing and can be quite effective as a natural anti-anxiety drug. There are several clinical studies demonstrating the benefits of Ashwagandha to help promote relaxation.

5. Kava

This plant has been used for centuries to help promote relaxation and a sense of wellbeing. Kava has been shown in several studies to help reduce anxiety levels in people with generalised anxiety disorder. Choosing a high-quality source of Kava is important as there have been reports of toxicity in certain Kava extracts.

Along with looking after yourself and developing effective coping skills, taking these natural herbs and ingredients can help promote relaxation and reduce anxiety levels.

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