We recently put our home on the market which had us meeting with our amazing Realtor. We were catching up and chatting about the changing season- the upcoming holidays, the fall colors, the cold, the mild depression, you get it.
As the days shorten and the weather turns cooler, you might find yourself a little more… melancholy. I get it. I’m Southern. I don’t tolerate the dark, chilly, indoors well (slash at all).
One of the best, and easiest, ways to combat the upcoming winter blues is to add a high quality vitamin B Complex to your morning routine. Sooner rather than later.
Let me explain to you how the human body works… -Joey Tribbiani
Your mini-lesson on neurotransmitters: (hang in there) Your body uses neurotransmitters in several important, regulatory functions. There are over one hundred identified neurotransmitters (because, Science), but those of interest to us today include:
- Acetylcholine (affecting muscles, hormones, and heartbeat)
- GABA (a mood regulator)
- Epinephrine (your flight or fight friend)
- Endorphins (wOOhOO)
- Dopamine (related to mood, memory, learning, and the like)
- and sweet, sweet Serotonin (your happy drug). Serotonin, our most popular neurotransmitter, is closely linked to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) this time of year, but is by no means a stand alone in the arsenal against SAD. Your brilliant body makes a concoction of these chemicals to work together and you need everyone getting along and working together to fight back against freezing temperatures and barely-any-daylight.
How neurotransmitters and B-vitamins are connected: Your body uses the protein in your diet to synthesize neurotransmitters needed for regulating energy levels, improving mood, leveling your stress response and more. Sounds important, right? IT IS! TAKE SOME! *sighs* Sorry for yelling.
What and when to supplement: For our conversation today, the most important B-vitamins to supplement are B6 (found in beans, vegetables, liver, meat, and eggs), B9 (found in green, leafy veggies), and B12 (found in meat, dairy, and eggs). The best time to take your B-Complex is the time of day you’re most likely to take it. Kind of like the best time to exercise – whenever you’ll do it! I take my B’s with my morning water, sans food. Unless I don’t and then I take them when I walk past them again.
Before we go, let me make a point about B9, commonly known as folate or folic acid. There’s plenty to google on one vs. the other, but in case you’ve read enough for the day and just want to be told what to do please so you can get on with your day folate (levomefolic acid or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate) is the naturally occurring form of B9. Great sources of naturally occurring folate include legumes, brussel sprouts, broccoli, green leafy veggies, and avocados. (there are more… give it a google) Folic acid (pteroylmonoglutamic acid) is synthetic. Notice the different, yet easily pronounceable names? Yep, not the same thing. If you’re still in doubt, are pregnant, or know someone who is or might become pregnant, be sure to read up on the difference between the two and make an informed decision about how to best get your B9.
Lastly, in case you’ve gotten all the way here, are totally convinced you need to add B’s to your regiment (you do!), but get overwhelmed by the 1.26 million options on the market… I use this brand for a several reasons. First, I trust the brand to use the quality ingredients to create a quality product. Keep in mind the supplement industry is more self-regulated than not, so find someone you trust and stick with them. Second, it checks the other non-negotiable boxes for me… it’s plant-based, it’s gluten free (take that, Celiac), and it’s made from whole foods. It’s really that last point that should seal your deal *wink, wink*. There is no debate that whole food sources of nutrition are far superior to chemistry experiments and “enriched” processed foods.
Until next time… Feel free to leave a bit about how you cope with the changing season (or how much you love it… to inspire me to be a better, more tolerant person 🙂 If you have a B Complex you love and trust, give it a shout out!
Coming soon on Who Made This Mess… Meditation – why it’s not the fad you should ignore and how you can add it to your day… today!