Apr 19 2011

Natural Mood Boosters

Women are particularly vulnerable to depression, but we can greatly improve our moods by dietary changes and supplements.

Fish oil is widely recommended to help alleviate depression due to its abundant stores of omega-3s, which help your body make use of its serotonin. Omega-3s are even more important for pregnant women. Because vegans do not eat fish, or take fish oil supplements, people are often worried about our omega levels.

The good news is that vegans, especially vegan women, are actually shown to have higher levels than our fish and meat-eating counterparts, in part because we are more efficient at converting it. Walnuts and flaxseeds are a great source, but if you feel like you need more, there are great vegan supplements, like Ascenta’s NutraVege. You can find it at my Store.


Vitamin D3 is also top on the list, and often a concern for non-dairy consuming vegans. The reality is,  vitamin D consumption has more to do with your lifestyle than the food you eat. Vegan milks are supplemented with Vitamin D, just like cows milk, so that’s not the main concern. If however you live in a cold climate, or wear a lot of sunscreen, your levels maybe low because sun is the best way for our bodies to get vitamin D3. Low levels are linked to depression, lower immunities and fatigue. Taking 2,000 to 5,000 IUs will help raise your vitamin D3 levels and your health. I take mine at night with my magnesium and calcium supplement. And by the way, I took this regimen of supplements before I became vegan and continue to do so. I just want to stress that these supplements are not a result of a vegan diet.

B vitamins encourage the production of neurotransmitters, like serotonin. You will notice feeling more relaxed shrotly after taking them. I recommend taking them an hour or so before bed. I started taking a B supplement in high school after reading an interview with Cindy Crawford saying it helps eleviate bloating. I’ll pretty much do whatever she says in the beauty tips department, but turns out it’s good advice for my mind as well!

Magnesium helps our bodies actually create serotonin and helps it work more efficiently. It also helps keep us “regular” and is a good one to take on vacation when your system is a little off.

Along with supplements, meditation, yoga, running, hot baths, or whatever makes you happy, is also advised!

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