Natural ways to stimulate the calming amino acid GABA
Gamma-aminobutyric acid, also known as GABA, is a chemical messenger responsible for communication between your brain and your nervous system. The amino acid helps reduce the activity of your nerve cells, aiding in relation and sleep. Low GABA levels can lead to feelings of stress, anxiety, muscle tension, and more. Thankfully, GABA can be increased naturally, through lifestyle and food changes, as well as supplements additions.
Grab a GABA boost
To boost your GABA levels naturally you should:
1. Eat foods that contain higher levels of glutamic acid
Glutamic acid helps your brain to form GABA. Foods rich in glutamic acid include almonds, bananas, beef liver, broccoli, brown rice, halibut, lentils, oats, oranges, potatoes, rice bran, spinach, walnuts, and whole grains.
2. Exercise at least five times a week
Exercise helps to restore levels of all neurotransmitters. In fact, it promotes serotonin and GABA production, helping you feel happier and more peaceful. Research shows that yoga especially helps to increase GABA levels.
3. Boost your Vitamin B-6 intake
Low levels of vitamin B-6 can keep your brain from making GABA. You can either take a supplement or eat foods rich in vitamin B-6, such as bran rice, pistachio nuts, fish, liver, and turkey
4. Get enough rest
Eight hours of rest a night helps to ensure peak neurotransmitter levels and optimal levels and balanced hormones. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try taking magnesium-l-threonate and such natural aids as valerian root, lemon balm, passionflower, chamomile, l-theanine, and melatonin. Research also shows that taking magnolia bark for a short time can help to boost your GABA levels.
5. Drink oolong tea instead of coffee
The caffeine in coffee and other beverages actually causes your brain to produce more dopamine in the short term. But later anxiety and insomnia set in. Oolong tea, on the other hand, contains GABA, so it will give you the calm and stamina you need for getting things done without feeling worn out.
6. Eat more cherry tomatoes and olive oil
Cherry tomatoes are rich in GABA and olive oil balances your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio This can help balance all of your brain chemicals and leave you feeling happier.
7. Drink the probiotic drink kefir
It contains GABA and helps to promote gut health. What’s more, kefir boosts serotonin, another neurotransmitter in your brain associated with feel-good, peaceful brain chemicals.
8. Meditate at least 30 minutes a day
Meditation can help to promote feel-good chemicals, including GABA and serotonin.
Get your GABA in check
If you're feeling stressed, anxious, or unable to sleep, you may be experiencing a decrease in GABA. The good news is, you can naturally boost your GABA levels with a few simple changes to your daily habits. By incorporating glutamic acid-rich foods, exercise and supplements into your routine, you can increase your GABA and calming effects that come with it.