Ask the Dietitian: What is the best calming supplement?

Ask the Dietitian: What is the best calming supplement?

Feb 01, 2022Paige Green, RD, LD

When the advice “Just take a breath” doesn’t seem to work and yoga isn’t your forte, a supplement that enhances calmness can be just the ticket. Enjoying the right foods can play a key role in feeling calm, yet there’s nothing wrong about a supplement to support a less stressed you. The next time you feel an overwhelming toll take over, hit the aisles for these dietitian-approved calming picks.  

  1. The All-Mighty Magnesium: It’s rare to hear about magnesium (calcium, vitamin D, and omega-3s tend to grab the spotlight). However, this mineral can help alleviate problems many of us encounter daily (daily magnesium recommendation: 320 mg for women, 400 mg for men).
    • If you toss and turn on a regular basis, you might consider magnesium to soothe you to sleep. Magnesium helps the GABA receptors function – this is a neurotransmitter that calms the body. Without these receptors working at their best, we stay anxious, awake and on edge the following day.
    • Supplement recommendation: Nature Made Magnesium Glycinate
    • Food recommendations: dark leafy greens, nuts, pumpkin seeds, fish, beans, bananas, avocados
  2. Ashwagandha Huh?: It’s a mouthful, yet this particular herb may help reduce the anxiety and stressors you deal with daily. Ashwagandha appears to help lower levels of cortisol – our body’s main stress hormone.
    • There are differencing recommendations out there; however, a daily dose between 125-600 mg can help bring some calmness to your crazy.
    • Supplement recommendation: Nature’s Way Ashwagandha Vegan Capsules
  3. Warm, Soothing Tea: For kicking stress to the curb, a product’s nutrient profile might be just as important as how it makes you feel. Exhibit A: a calming, warm cup of tea. The soothing effects that come from sipping a warm drink is a plus, but there are certain herbs that have been shown to have a relaxing effect, too.
    • Chamomile may reduce anxiety by helping the body’s stress response and increasing serotonin, our feel-good hormone.
    • Tea recommendation: Traditional Medicinals Herbal Organic Tea - Organic Chamomile with Lavender

For a more scrumptious look at fighting off stress, turn to fatty fish, like salmon. Salmon is rich in omega-3s, which help promote healthy brain function. Not only that, salmon is one of the few foods that contain vitamin D. Research suggests that a vitamin D deficiency can be linked to mood disorders, like depression and anxiety. Now’s the time to reel in the ocean of benefits salmon has to offer with this tasty recipe.

Miso Salmon

Serves 6

All you need:

  • ½ cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 cup Full Circle Organic light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup miso paste
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 6 (5 oz. each) salmon filets
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onion tops
  • 2 tbsp white and black sesame seeds, toasted
  • ½ cup fresh snipped cilantro, for garnish
  • Lime slices, for garnish
  • Hot cooked rice, for serving [try this Full Circle Brown Basmati Rice]
  • Hot sautéed spinach, for serving

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. For the glaze, in a blender combine hoisin, brown sugar, miso, orange juice, ginger and garlic. Cover and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Place salmon on prepared baking sheet. Generously brush miso sauce on each filet.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
  5. Sprinkle salmon with green onion and sesame seeds. If desired, garnish with cilantro and lime, and serve with rice and spinach.

*The blog articles, recipes and recommendations found on this site are not intended as medical advice and should not replace consulting with your medical provider. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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