Self-Care Starts With These 3 Mental Health–Boosting Supplements

Supplements are well known for their physical benefits, but according to holistic psychiatrist Meredith Bergman, MD, they can also have a profound and long-lasting impact on your mental well-being.

Bergman uses insights from Eastern and Western medicine to help patients overcome deficiencies using natural supplements. In an article for Well+Good, she says her supplement recommendations have helped some patients show an immediate improvement with issues like fatigue, migraines, and mental clarity.

Of course, it's important to consult a medical professional and be discerning about the type of supplements you try. "Look for certified products that carry a seal from the United States Pharmacopeia, NSF International, Consumer Lab, or products that are made in a facility with Good Manufacturing Practices, which means [it] was made in accordance with FDA standards," she says.

After talking with your physician about the right thing for your needs, consider combating the winter blues with these happiness-boosting natural supplements recommended by Bergman.

Folate/Vitamin B12

Folate and vitamin B12 work synergistically, so Bergman recommends taking them together. Up to 15% of people are vitamin B12 deficient, especially vegans and vegetarians, as it's usually found in food like meat and eggs. "Deficiency manifests as symptoms of depression, anemia, and fatigue—and it can also cause cardiovascular and neurological disease," she says.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

"I routinely prescribe omega-3 in the form of fish oil or krill oil," Bergman tells Well+Good. "We cannot make these essential fatty acids, and they must be acquired from either diet or supplementation." There's a lot of conflicting information about whether omega-3 can help with depression, but it's believed they could play an important role in brain health.

Vitamin D

"Limited sun exposure and restrictive diets that exclude fatty fish or fortified dairy products have led to an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. … Some estimates say 50% of the population is deficient," Bergman says. Low levels have been linked to depression, she says, suggesting that a deficiency could impact your mental health.

Next up: Doctors agree that you should stay away from these popular supplements.