Do you fell anxious, overwhelmed and overstimulated? Chances are that you are low on GABA. This is a potent brain chemical produced in the body. It is called the neurotransmitter of calm and relaxation. Bringing it into proper balance can go a long way in reducing your stress and risk of physical and mental disorders. GABA is involved in vision, sleep, muscle tone and motor control. It is a naturally occurring by product of energy produced in the brain. GABA is found in your intestines, stomach, bladder, lungs, liver, skin, spleen, muscles, kidneys, pancreas and the reproductive organs.
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia, diabetes, Crohn’s, to name a few are linked to GABA dysfunction. Some evidence suggests it regulates the synthesis of melatonin, your body’s natural sleep hormone. GABA has been called, “nature’s Valium,” due to its ability to minimize stress and anxiety. One of the most intriguing discoveries of GABA is that it can specifically diminish the unwanted thoughts that fuel stress, anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric disorders.
GABA slows brain activity while glutamate accelerates it. These two work harmoniously and can be converted into one another. Too much stress, poor diet, lack of sleep, too much caffeine and gluten intolerance cause GABA imbalance.
Brown rice germ, spinach and sprouted grains are 3 best sources of GABA, along with Greek yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut. Herbs such as Bacopa, DHA Omega-3 fatty acid, German chamomile, L-Theanine, magnesium and valerian are powerhouses for GABA. Supplementing with GABA is also helpful.