Read Dr. Beth's Latest Article:

BREAD: Give Us Each Day Our Daily Bread!
Dr. Beth Recommends these products:
Ashwagandha
Jarrow Formulas
Ashwagandha
GABA
Source Naturals
Gaba
Rhodiola
Jarrow Formulas
Rhodiola
5-HTP
Dr's Best
5-HTP
BioActive Complete B-Complex
Life Extension
B-Complex
Magnesium
Dr's Best
Magnesium
Maca
Maca
MACA
Potassium Citrate
Jarrow Formulas
Potassium Citrate
Magnesium
Dr's Best
High Absorption Magnesium
enhancedstressrelief
LifeExtension
Enhanced Stress Relief
Stress Epidemic
Dr Beth's
Stress Epidemic Book
Maca: Adaptogen and Hormonal Regulator
Dr Beth's
Maca Book
Nutrition Counseling
Nutrition Counseling with Dr. Beth -
click here
Subscribe to Dr. Beth
Subscribe to
Dr. Beth's Health Tips, Recipes & More - click here
Anxiety? My Top Picks to Help
Beth Ley Knotts, Ph.D.



Anxiety is an abnormal feeling of worry, fear, apprehension or nervousness. Stress and anxiety are the silent assassins in our modern-day society. Between the beeping and buzzing of our everyday life, it’s hard to turn off -- both in a literal and physical sense -- the world around us. Consequently, we are often causing our bodies more harm than good and creating triggers for stress and feelings of anxiety to consume us.
So how can we deal with it?

Here are my top supplements to help manage stress and anxiety naturally:

1. Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is an herbal adaptogen that helps the body adapt to stress. The proven plant powers increase the body’s ability to cope with internal and external stresses by normalizing the functions of the body that are put out of balance by stress. With prolonged use, taking adaptogens can lead to increased working capacity and mental performance. Ashwagandha has a strong taste so it’s generally taken in capsule form with something such as an herbal tea or smoothie.


2. GABA
GABA is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the body, meaning, it is calming, anti-anxiety and helps you to relax. GABA helps you to sit or lay down and enjoy the day, helps reduce racing thoughts, and even increases creativity. It is suggested for high blood pressure, depression, sleep problems, racing thoughts, anxiety, hyperactivity, nervousness and panic attacks.


3. Rhodiola
Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogen that has been found to decrease cortisol response in stressed patients and improve mental, physical and emotional fatigue. Patients who participated in a trial with regular doses of Rhodiola reported a noticeable change in their anxiety, stress, anger, confusion, and depression after just 14 days.
Along with Rhodiola, some other top adaptogens include Ashwagandha, Ginseng, Holy Basil, Valerian root, Lemon Balm (also known as Melissa) and Maca. Enhanced Stress Relief contains Lemon Balm and L-Theanine.

4. 5-HTP
5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is needed by the body to manufacture serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a central role in the regulation of mood and anxiety. 5-HTP is commonly used for depression, anxiety, sleep problems and to aid with addictions. There is some evidence that 5-HTP may also inhibit panic attacks induced by carbon dioxide. 5-HTP should not be combined with medications to raise serotonin. They, in fact, can be used instead of them. Contact your natural healthcare provider to assist you in making the switch if this is the direction you want to make.


5. Vitamin B Complex
B vitamins are used to treat all manner of deficiencies from poor diets to pregnancies, certain illnesses and of course, stress. B-complex vitamins are often used to reduce fatigue and boost mood with a study recently indicating young adults who supplemented with B-complex vitamins for 90 days showed reduced stress and mental fatigue. B vitamins are rapidly depleted during times of stress. Certain B's are needed to produce serotonin in the body.


6. Magnesium
Magnesium has long been associated with supporting stress and anxiety. It is well known as the relaxing mineral. One of the most abundant minerals in the body, magnesium plays an important role in a number of bodily functions and treatment for anxiety. In a recent report, with findings across 18 independent studies, magnesium was found to reduce generalized anxiety, postpartum anxiety, mild anxiety and anxiety during premenstrual syndrome. If you are prone to migraines, muscle cramps or restless leg syndrome, you will want to be sure to add magnesium.


7. Maca
Maca is an adaptogen root vegetable and popular superfood grown in the Andes Mountains. Rich in many vitamins and minerals, Maca has been used medicinally for centuries to improve mood and symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Unlike many herbal supplements that you try to hide the taste of, this one actually tastes good! It has a mild, nutty, butterscotch-like flavor and goes great in a banana smoothie or in baked goods. Capsules are also available. I prefer the 10:1 concentrates so you don't have to take so many pills daily.
I especially recommend maca for menopause-related anxiety. The drop in estrogen and progesterone at this time can cause anxiety in someone who has never experienced anxiety before or can worsen a pre-existing condition.


8. Potassium
Low potassium may contribute to anxiety, especially before sleeping. Potassium is an important mineral that plays a role in many physiologic processes, including maintenance of blood pressure and muscle function. Too little potassium in the body (known as hypokalemia) can cause many different symptoms including muscle cramps, twitches and weakness, depression, panic attacks, racing or pounding heart, dizziness. Low potassium levels can also cause mood swings and mental fatigue.

Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. The RDA of potassium is very high at 4,700 mg daily for adults which is the equivalent of 11-12 serving of high potassium foods daily. These include bananas, oranges, avocado, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, potatoes, and beans.

Note: blood tests are not a accurate representation of potassium levels in the body as the body will move potassium to the blood at the expense of the tissues that need it resulting in compromise and the symptoms listed above. Excess potassium levels can be dangerous so be sure to consult your nutritionist for proper dosages. It is also a good idea to reduce sodium intake as a high sodium diet will increase your need for potassium.