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5 Supplements I Take to Support My Brain & Mental Health 🧠
Science-Backed Supplements to Support Your Trauma Recovery (10min Read)
Group Coaching Announcement
Hello, I wanted my faithful Digest Readers to be one of the first groups to hear about our upcoming Group Coaching Experience.
This is a 6-month experience for those looking to heal after an abusive relationship that’s going live in November, I would love to see you there!
We’re currently accepting applications, but spots are going fast, so use the button below to apply to secure your seat!
I highly recommend Performance Lab brand supplements after extensive research
Mind Lab Pro supports memory, focus, mood - important for trauma recovery
Omega-3s like DHA and EPA nourish the brain and support emotional processing
Sleep aid helps trauma survivors get restorative sleep vital for healing
Multivitamins provide tailored nutritional support for mind-body health
Flex reduces inflammation to ease physical discomfort that impacts mental health
Supplements complement a healthy diet and lifestyle, they don’t replace it
What supplements I take is a topic that comes up a lot on my socials and in conversation.
So, this week, I wanted to create a one-stop shop for all of my recommendations that I can refer people to in the future, so here we are!
This is going to be a long one, so please feel free to jump around, or listen to the recording at 2x speed.
That being said, survivors of abusive relationships and traumatic childhoods frequently grapple with mental health issues like anxiety, stress, fatigue, and even conditions that can mimic symptoms of depression or other mood disorders.
Often, these mental health challenges and depressive symptoms are related to the deep-seated trauma they've endured, which isn't uncommon for survivors dealing with Complex PTSD.
Fortunately, recent research indicates that certain dietary supplements can play key roles in promoting brain health and alleviating some of these mental health issues.
In this blog, I'll explore five essential supplements I take myself as a brain researcher and mental health coach to support my cognitive function and emotional well-being.
I also suggest these to all of my clients, friends, and family so that they can protect their mental and emotional health as well.
Let's dive in!
Performance Lab > Everything
When I suggest supplements to anyone, I first take them and test them myself for months.
In doing so, I try tons of different supplement brands, so when I tell you that Performance Lab is a cut above the rest, you know I've done my homework.
That was nearly a year ago, and still today, they're the only brand I suggest. I've even partnered up with them to provide their supplements to my clients.
Their CEO, Dave Wright who I've met with, is a legend in his own right and truly cares about what's going into the minds, brains, and bodies of all of his customers.
All of their products are research-backed, vegan, clean-label, non-GMO, and pure dosages all of the things inside their supplements, meaning they don't add pointless fillers.
I couldn't believe my eyes when I found out that Performance Lab is also a Benefit Corporation, which is a VERY hard certification to get, and means they've committed to creating a "material positive impact on society and the environment from the business and operations of the corporation."
This is why all of the supplements we'll talk about today are from Performance Lab, if there was something they didn't offer I would also include it, but as you find below, they've got all the things you'll need on your healing journey!
1. Mind Lab Pro by Performance Lab: Nourishing the Healing Brain
First up is Mind Lab Pro (MLP)! Trauma survivors, especially those emerging from abusive relationships or difficult childhoods, often experience challenges that extend far beyond emotional scars.
The brain, being our central processing unit, can bear the brunt of these traumatic experiences.
It's a fundamental realization that the path to holistic healing involves nurturing the brain as much as mending the heart.
Mind Lab Pro by Performance Lab only has 11 ingredients unlike other Nootropics, which have hundreds, and most of the time you have no idea what they are...
I use MLP to help my clients who are struggling with memory loss, focus problems, or even mood imbalances.
It can help "turn back on" their prefrontal cortex which has been shut down because of trauma!
Here are some of the most notable ingredients I love:
B Vitamins (B6, B9, B12): These essential vitamins are not just vital for energy production but also have a crucial role in brain function and mental well-being. Vitamin B12, for instance, is known to play a role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, which are the brain's messaging chemicals. Ensuring optimal levels of these vitamins can help alleviate symptoms like fatigue and mood imbalances which trauma survivors might be prone to.
Bacopa Monnieri: A revered herb in traditional medicine, Bacopa Monnieri has been linked to enhanced cognitive function and memory. For those grappling with memory-related issues post-trauma, this ingredient can be a beacon.
Organic Lion's Mane Mushroom: Recent research suggests that this unique mushroom supports neuroprotection and may even stimulate the growth of new neurons. This can be particularly beneficial for survivors looking to regain their mental clarity and focus.
Phosphatidylserine: Found in the brain's cell membranes, this compound plays a role in cellular communication. By supporting the health of neurons, it helps maintain cognitive function and memory.
L-Theanine: Found naturally in tea leaves, L-Theanine is known for its calming effects. It can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and improve sleep quality, which can be pivotal for survivors' mental well-being.
Rhodiola Rosea: A natural adaptogen, Rhodiola helps in combating stress and fatigue. Given that trauma survivors often grapple with elevated stress levels, this ingredient can be a soothing ally in their healing journey.
Recovering from trauma isn't just about addressing emotional pain but also rejuvenating the brain to its optimal state.
This is why I suggest Mind Lab Pro to everyone...
It offers a holistic blend of ingredients that not only support brain health but also foster resilience and mental clarity.
For trauma survivors, this supplement is a must-have tool in their arsenal, helping them reclaim their mental prowess and stride confidently into a brighter future.
2. Performance Lab Omega-3: Nature's Elixir for Brain and Heart Wellness
Next up is Performance Lab's Omega-3 supplement, I've spoken & written EXTENSIVELY, about how important Omega-3s are for mental and emotional health, so if you're a long-time reader, you probably already know what I'm about to say!
Survivors of trauma often grapple with a whirlwind of emotions. To rebuild, recover, and reestablish their emotional and mental equilibrium.
Fatty acids, particularly Omega-3s, play a pivotal role in nurturing brain cells, which in turn aids emotional processing and healing.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are the foundational building blocks for brain health.
They support cognitive function, mood stability, and overall neural health.
For survivors, a brain enriched with Omega-3s can navigate the healing process with greater clarity and resilience.
The two most important fatty acids in PL Omega 3 are:
DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid): DHA is vital for maintaining the structure and function of the brain. It supports memory, cognition, and emotional well-being. For those journeying towards healing, having ample DHA can mean a brain better equipped to process and recover from past traumas.
EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid): While DHA supports the structure, EPA takes care of the function. It plays a key role in managing inflammation in the brain and is associated with mood regulation. Balanced EPA levels can help survivors experience fewer mood swings and a steadier emotional state.
One of my favorite things about Performance Lab Omega-3 is its source: algae oil.
Unlike traditional Omega-3 supplements derived from fish, algae oil offers a more sustainable and environmentally conscious choice.
Not only does it reduce the strain on fish populations, but it also provides a purer form of Omega-3s, devoid of contaminants that fish might accumulate.
The Science of Healing with Omega-3s
A myriad of studies have linked Omega-3 fatty acids to brain and heart health.
Their positive effects on mood disorders, cognitive function, and overall mental health make them invaluable for anyone, especially trauma survivors.
3. Performance Lab Sleep: The Sweetest Dreams of Your Life
For many trauma survivors, sleep isn't merely a routine, but a nightly battle.
Haunting memories, anxiety, and residual emotional tension can disrupt sleep patterns, making it hard to find rest.
A rejuvenating sleep is vital to heal, both mentally and emotionally. It's during these hours of rest that the mind processes experiences, making sleep an indispensable ally in the healing journey.
Performance Lab Sleep, with its nature-inspired ingredients, is the perfect supplement to aid the restorative processes that take place during sleep!
Here are some of the highlights of what's inside:
Magnesium+: Magnesium is like nature's relaxant. Essential for many bodily functions, it helps relax the nervous system and prepare the body for rest. Its presence in Performance Lab Sleep ensures that the body gets the right dose it needs to transition smoothly into sleep.
CherryPURE® (Whole Montmorency Tart Cherry): Did you know that cherries could promote sleep? These tart cherries are nature's reservoir of melatonin, a hormone crucial for regulating sleep. They help in gently signaling the body that it's time to wind down and embark on a restful journey.
L-Tryptophan: This is a naturally occurring amino acid that plays a pivotal role in mood regulation and sleep. Once absorbed, L-Tryptophan aids in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes a sense of well-being and relaxation.
Organic Sea Buckthorn: This unique fruit is packed with essential nutrients. Not only does it nourish the body, but it also aids in reducing stress and inflammation. A calm body and mind are often the first steps to a peaceful night's sleep.
Science Backing the Serenity
Sleep and mental well-being are deeply intertwined. Research has repeatedly highlighted the role of ingredients like L-tryptophan in promoting relaxation and sleep quality.
Similarly, the natural melatonin in tart cherries has been associated with improved sleep patterns.
By merging these potent ingredients, Performance Lab Sleep offers a blend that aims to usher survivors into the realm of peaceful, restorative sleep, essential for holistic healing.
Finally, and most importantly, it's all-natural, meaning it's not shooting you up with tons of synthetic melatonin which can disrupt your brain's natural balance of this hormone.
As you know, I HATE these kinds of sleep supplements and oftentimes have to titrate my clients off of them when we start working together.
4. Performance Lab Men's & Women's Multivitamins: Tailored Nutritional Support for Healing Minds
Survivors of traumatic relationships and childhoods frequently experience not just emotional and mental burdens, but also physical repercussions.
These may manifest as sleep disturbances, energy lags, or even compromised immune systems.
It's crucial to understand that our mental health is intertwined with our physical well-being. Ensuring the body has all the essential nutrients can significantly augment the emotional healing process.
This is where Performance Lab Men's & Women's Multivitamins come in, they have been tailored to provide the right nutrients to support this intricate relationship between the mind and body.
With over 20 key vitamins and minerals, I don't have time to hit them all, but here are the ones that are most important for mental and emotional health:
Vitamin D: Often labeled as the "sunshine vitamin," Vitamin D plays a pivotal role in mood regulation. A deficiency can exacerbate symptoms of depression and mood disorders. Ensuring adequate levels can be vital for survivors looking to stabilize their emotional health.
B Vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B12, Folate, Niacin): B vitamins are often termed as the body's energy vitamins. But they're more than that – they aid in neural function and can influence mood. Deficiencies in B vitamins, especially B12 and folate, have been associated with depressive symptoms. The inclusion of a broad spectrum of B vitamins ensures that energy levels are maintained and that the brain is receiving the support it needs.
Zinc: An essential mineral, Zinc plays a role in neural transmissions. Zinc deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of depression and other mental health issues. By ensuring optimal zinc levels, one can support better cognitive function and mood stability.
Inositol: Often considered a pseudo-vitamin, Inositol plays a role in several brain processes. It has been studied for its potential effects on reducing symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders, making it a noteworthy inclusion for survivors.
Physical health can act as a pillar to uphold and nourish mental and emotional well-being.
The journey of healing after trauma is multifaceted. While therapy, community support, and inner resilience play undeniable roles, ensuring the body has the nutrients it needs can be an essential aspect of this journey.
Performance Lab Men's & Women's Multivitamins, tailored for specific needs, aim to bridge any nutritional gaps, ensuring that survivors have a solid foundation to build upon their path to recovery!
5. Performance Lab Flex: Nurturing the Body's Support System
As mentioned above, survivors of trauma, while often engaging in emotional and mental healing, should not overlook the physical manifestations of their experiences.
Our bodies carry the weight of our stories, and often this weight manifests in the form of physical discomfort, pain, inflammation, or stiffness.
One of the key manifestations I see is inflammation of the mind, brain, and body. To combat this in my clients I've suggested Turmeric supplements for years, which is why I fell in love when I found Performance Lab Flex.
It is tailored to support our bodily structures and decrease inflammation, promoting physical well-being to complement emotional and mental healing.
The intricate connection between our mind and body means that when our physical self feels better, it can also boost our emotional resilience.
Turmeric: Known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric plays a role in reducing discomfort by reducing oxidative stress on the mind, brain and body. The advanced form of Curcuma longa in this supplement ensures superior absorption, meaning better support for soothing bodily aches that might have been intensified due to stress or trauma.
Boswellia Serrata: Extracted from the Boswellia Serrata tree, this ingredient is traditionally known to ease pain and reduce stiffness. For trauma survivors, reducing physical discomfort can lead to a greater sense of overall well-being and comfort in their own skin.
Glucosamine Sulfate 2KCL: Glucosamine provides natural support for the tissues that cushion our joints. By promoting comfort and flexibility, it offers a chance for survivors to re-engage with physical activities that might have been sidelined due to discomfort, paving the way for improved physical and emotional health.
Phytodroitin: As a counterpart to animal-derived chondroitin, Phytodroitin supports shock absorption in our joints. This ensures resilience during physical activities and can be particularly beneficial for survivors seeking to reclaim their bodily strength and autonomy.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM): MSM is essential for forming and maintaining the connective tissues in our body. Its inclusion means enhanced protection and regeneration, allowing survivors to experience improved physical comfort and, in turn, emotional relief.
Embracing a journey of holistic healing means understanding the intertwined nature of our physical and emotional selves.
Performance Lab Flex acts as a bridge, offering survivors the chance to nurture their bodies, alleviate discomfort, and through that process, find a deeper connection to their emotional healing journey!
My Supplement Routine
My personal regimen starts out right after I wake up. I take my Men's Multi, 3 Omega-3s, and 1 Mind Lab Pro with 32oz of water right after I wake up!
90mins later I make some coffee and start to feel the full effects of Mind Lab Pro as my daily dose of caffeine hits my brain, and I enter my first flow block of the day.
At night time, I take Flex, Sleep, and some more Omega-3 about 45 minutes before I go to bed.
These are the best supplements I've found in years of research, so I hope you found this blog insightful and valuable!
Considerations Before Diving In
While these supplements offer a plethora of health benefits, it's crucial to discuss them with a healthcare provider before integrating them into your routine, especially if you're on prescription drugs like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or blood thinners.
Some supplements, like St. John’s wort, can even lead to serotonin syndrome if taken with SSRIs, none of the supplements we talked about today include this, but just a cautionary notice!
Moreover, while dietary supplements offer numerous benefits, maintaining a balanced diet, rich in whole grains, fatty fish, and leafy greens, is irreplaceable.
Remember, supplements should be an addition to a healthy diet, not a replacement, and for sure won't make up for a poor diet.
Towards a Brighter, Healthier Future
The good news for survivors of abusive relationships and traumatic childhoods is that, alongside therapy and other lifestyle changes, these supplements can offer an additional layer of support in their healing journey.
By understanding the underlying neuroscience and psychology, we can make informed decisions that promote brain health and general well-being.
It's my hope that with the right resources, guidance, and tools such as these supplements, survivors can find the path to recovery a bit clearer and more attainable.
Please reply back with any questions you may have about any of these supplements.
And, as always, until next time... Live Heroically 🧠
**Please consult with a trusted healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your regimen.**
Performance Lab Sleep
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Hartmann, E. (1982). Effects of L-tryptophan on sleepiness and on sleep. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 17(2), 107-113.
Performance Lab Omega-3
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Ursin, H., & Holmsen, H. (2019). Evolutionary aspects of omega-3 fatty acids in the food supply. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 142, 4-10.
Performance Lab Men's & Women's Multivitamins
Kennedy, D. O. (2016). B vitamins and the brain: Mechanisms, dose and efficacy—A review. Nutrients, 8(2), 68.
Ames, B. N. (2006). Low micronutrient intake may accelerate the degenerative diseases of aging through allocation of scarce micronutrients by triage. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103(47), 17589-17594.
Bourre, J. M. (2006). Effects of nutrients (in food) on the structure and function of the nervous system: update on dietary requirements for brain. Part 1: micronutrients. Nutrition Health, 18(3), 185-195.
Mind Lab Pro by Performance Lab
Malouf, R., & Grimley Evans, J. (2003). The effect of vitamin B6 on cognition. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (4).
Neale, C., Camfield, D., Reay, J., Stough, C., & Scholey, A. (2013). Cognitive effects of two nutraceuticals Ginseng and Bacopa benchmarked against modafinil: a review and comparison of effect sizes. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 75(3), 728-737.
Geng, J., Dong, J., Ni, H., Lee, M. S., Wu, T., Jiang, K., ... & Malouf, R. (2010). Ginseng for cognition. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (12).
Performance Lab Flex
Chandran, B., & Goel, A. (2012). A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. Phytotherapy Research, 26(11), 1719-1725.
Kimmatkar, N., Thawani, V., Hingorani, L., & Khiyani, R. (2003). Efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract in the treatment of osteoarthritis of knee–a randomized double blind placebo-controlled trial. Phytomedicine, 10(1), 3-7.
Usha, P. R., & Naidu, M. U. R. (2004). Randomised, double-blind, parallel, placebo-controlled study of oral glucosamine, methylsulfonylmethane and their combination in osteoarthritis. Clinical Drug Investigation, 24(6), 353-363.