Swanson is a brand specialized in vitamins, minerals, and adaptogens. Especially adaptogens are a great natural way to manage and reduce stress, which you should definitely consider.
Before we look at the best Swanson supplements to manage stress, let's answer a few general questions about stress.
Can stress be positive?
We deal with stress every day. It may be in school, at work, or in private life. Life brings frustrations, conflict, challenged, and circumstances that make us feel stressed out. This is referred to as distress, that is negative stress that harms our body and mind.
But there is also eustress (in modern Latin, eu means good), that is positive stress that stimulates our work, productivity, and positive action.
What are the symptoms of negative stress?
Stress manifests in different way. The symptoms may be physical of psychological. The physical symptoms affect our body, which in turn affects our health. Psychological symptoms may also influence our social life.
On a physical level, stress most commonly causes headache, fatigue, increased heartrate, and increased blood pressure. We can feel paralyzed and experience digestive issues.
On a psychological level, the most common symptoms are poor concentration, increased irritability, fatigue, depression, and insomnia. We may lose our appetite or have too much appetite.
Unhealthy body weight and poor nutrition can amplify these health issues. Hair loss, tooth loos, skin problems, and other external signs of stress are a common companion of stressful situations.
This leads to a lack of life energy. We become too emotional, life doesn't make sense anymore, and we start losing motivation. We become closed and irritable. This can lead to problems with other people and conflict.
How to manage stress?
Often stressful situations cannot be avoided. Especially if they occur within the family or at the workplace. But it is important to take time for ourselves.
Sometime this is easier said than done. But it is important that even during work we take a few minutes to focus on something we like: a painting we appreciate, relaxing music, going for a short walk, or simply take a deep breath.
In our home environment, we need to learn to relax, focus on ourselves, and learn to say no. We need to learn to put ourselves in the first place. We must take time for recreation and wellbeing, cook a good meal, go to the gym, spend time in nature, or simply rest.
We must also take care of our social circle, our hobbies, and our spiritual and personal growth. We must learn new things and strengthen our mind. Only a strong mind can successfully deal with stress.
And if you want some advice on how to manage stress from an experienced sports psychologist, read all about it here.
Swanson supplements to manage stress
Ashwagandha is a potent adaptogen that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to manage stress and reduce anxiety. This also makes it a great natural remedy to improve your sleep.
Plenty of modern research confirms that ashwagandha reduces stress and has a soothing effect. We could say that ashwagandha is even more efficient in managing stress than most pills out there, and it's definitely safer.
A 60-day study on 64 people with chronic stress who supplemented ashwagandha reported a 69% reduction of anxiety and insomnia compared to 11% in the placebo group.
In another 6-week study, 88% of the people who were taking ashwagandha reported a reduction in anxiety compared to 50% in the placebo group.
Astanxanthin is a powerful natural antioxidant. Research demonstrates a connection between oxidative stress, mental health, and general wellbeing.
The balance between free radicals (reactive oxygen species) and antioxidants is essential for your health. Breaking this balance leads to oxidative stress, which damages lipids, protein, and DNA.
By consuming high amounts of oxygen (approximately 20% of all the oxygen in the body) and with their limited antioxidative defenses, the brain is very susceptible to oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress can increase with numerous psychological issues, including anxiety and depression. In fact, the hippocampus and the frontal cortex, the regions of the brain involved in the symptoms of depression and anxiety, are greatly affected by oxidative stress.
Studies on people suffering from depression detected an increase on oxidative stress markers and reduction of antioxidative defense. In is interesting to note that antioxidant treatment has an antidepressant effect.
A 6-year study on 661 elderly people, performed by renowned researchers of the universities in Rome, Molise, and Catania, revealed that increased concentrations of carotenoids in the plasma is related to a reduced probability of depression. This study did not include astaxanthin but Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin E, Zinc, and Glutathione.
As one of the strongest antioxidants, astaxanthin is very efficient in managing stress and anxiety.
Astaxanthin is also essential for a strong immune system.
A strong immune system is your body's main protector. It is the first, and likely last, defense line against viruses, bacteria, and other miscreants. If your immune system is not able to respond in time, disease can easily enter your body and cause great damage to your health. This is why your immune response is of vital importance.
Unfortunately, there are many factors that influence our immune system and its ability to protect the body.
Oxidative stress caused by an increased amount of free radicals can weaken your immune system. As a potent antioxidant, Astaxanthin naturally reduces oxidative stress and makes sure that your immune system functions optimally.
In a research from 2010 a group of researchers from La Haye Labs, Inc., at Inha University in Corea and Washington University in USA, studied 42 healthy women, who were using astaxanthin for 8 weeks. They determined that the women who were using astaxanthin showed a reduction of DNA damage and an improvement of their immune system.
Schisandra has many beneficial effects, which make it an indispensable supplement to boos the immune system, especially in the cold months of the year.
Schisandra is also becoming an increasingly popular supplement to manage stress and reduce depression.
Schisandra is not some “new age” invention. In USSR , schisandra was classified as one of the adaptogens that manage stress and reduce fatigue caused by cold and night efforts.
Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) has a traditional role in fighting inflammations and fever and detoxing the body.
Reishi mushroom is a potent antioxidant, improves breathing process, has an anti-inflammatory effect, and may improve blood flow.
Reishi mushroom is used to detox the body and boost liver health.
Some people, quite dramatically, call it the mushroom of immortality.
Reishi mushroom helps with insomnia, especially when caused by an active mind. The same anxiousness that prevents you from sleeping may also cause anxiety during the day, which makes the reishi mushroom useful around the clock.
It seems the reishi mushroom also affects HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) by improving the function of the adrenal gland.