The Nervous system
Are you finding yourself stressed and overwhelmed? If you feel increasingly irritable and have that feeling of being on edge, you may need to support your nervous system.
The stress response
Social and emotional functioning is highly dependent on our life experiences, the balance of certain brain chemicals or ‘neurotransmitters’, such as serotonin, dopamine, and GABA, and the quality of our nerve cells, all of which depend on good nutrition, especially B vitamins , magnesium, and essential fats. When working well, we can ‘engage’ appropriately with our environment - our mood is good, we’re motivated and sociable, we can respond to stress but also relax again, and we sleep well.
When faced with psychological or situational stressors, our body mounts a fight or flight response. Fight or flight is an activity mode which is stimulated by a rise in cortisol and adrenaline that makes the body alert in response to stressors, which is normal in short bursts and is still essential when we face threats today. Those stressors used to be sporadic and consisted of animal predators or approaching tribes, but these days we rarely face serious threats. Instead, our body is constantly stimulated by alerts on devices, work, relationships, and health issues. This often results in chronically high levels of cortisol. When life throws us a curveball, or when we get into certain ‘negative’ habits, we may start to feel overly stressed or tense, irritable, restless, have poor sleep, motivation or mood.
What you can do
So, how can we optimise our nervous function, to help us manage our mental health and wellbeing and be productive and creative? How can vitamins, plant extracts and other nutrients in supplements help? Check out the following supplement options and lifestyle tips to support your mind.
Here are some useful tips to help you support your nervous system.
- Practice daily mindfulness or meditation to help reduce stress, making you calmer, more focussed and resilient. Apps including Headspace and Calm have guided meditations.
- Reframe your mindset by learning to be more present and appreciate the simple things in life. Keep a daily gratitude journal, writing down the 3 things you are most grateful for that day.
- Ensure a good evening and sleep routine by reducing exposure to blue light in the evening (TV, phone, laptop etc.), and sleeping in a cool, dark room.
- Incorporate daily movement through walking, yoga, running, football etc. Exercise can benefit your mental state by releasing endorphins and relieving tension.
- Take time to breathe as the breath has a direct impact on our parasympathetic nervous system. Spend 5-10 minutes focusing on breathing deeply every day.
- Increase your intake of B vitamins through leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard, broccoli) and meat, or supplement with B12 if vegan. Also increase your intake of omega-3 through oily fish (salmon, sardines, kippers) or supplement with algal omega-3 to support healthy cell membranes.
- Balance blood sugar by reducing your intake of refined sugars found in cereals, biscuits, chocolate and cakes.
- Avoid or significantly reduce stimulants and depressants such as caffeine and alcohol. Instead, opt for herbal teas like chamomile, lemon balm and green tea and have coffee before lunch.
- Reduce inflammatory foods including processed foods, gluten containing grains, dairy, sugar and artificial sweeteners.
- Reduce the toxic load of foods and drinks by filtering water, buying organic where possible and using glass or stainless steel to store food.
NT Complex is a unique, high potency combination of L-theanine, lemon balm, chamomile, magnesium taurate and B-vitamins to support a balanced nervous system
- Advanced - Magnesium and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6 support energy production and nervous system balance
- Effective – Lemon balm and chamomile support relaxation and healthy sleep
- Vitamin B6 is provided in its P-5-P form for optimum bioavailability
- NT Complex is in a capsule for simple, convenient dosing and can be used every day
- Two per day dosage allows half dose or flexible dosing through the day
- Suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Prefer a powder?
NT Intensive is a high potency powder with magnesium taurate and lemon balm for nervous and sleep support, with theanine, lecithin, and tryptophan.
- Advanced - Contains magnesium which supports the nervous system and helps reduce tiredness and fatigue. Lecithin is a precursor to phosphatidyl serine while l-tryptophan is a precursor to the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin
- Effective - Lemon balm supports relaxation and healthy sleep
- Optimum Support - Also contains 1050mg of taurine, an amino acid that is abundant in the brain, eyes, heart and muscles
- Flexible – powder formulation allowing flexible dosing. Mix it into water, juice, or smoothie.
- Suitable for vegetarians and vegan
- 14 days’ supply at approx. 6g/2 teaspoons per day
Supporting your nervous system is key to overall health and wellbeing and implementing new habits can be challenging, but hopefully these few smart tips will help you to effectively reduce stress, feel more calm, and sleep better.