Nowadays, life is stressful due to several reasons like jobs, relationships, financial pressure etc. Stress can lead to frequent headaches, upset digestive system, nervousness and irritability, anger and reduced energy levels. Good nutrition plays a role in dealing with stress and certain vitamins play a key role in doing so.
But first, it is important to know how anxiety and stress can increase the need for vitamins and minerals. The release of stress hormones and neurotransmitters under stressful conditions, lead to the consumption of nutrient’s reserve. Additionally, the digestive system gets weakened which leads to less absorption of nutrients. Also, stress gravitates people to inculcate bad habits such as caffeine, smoking, high intake of refined processed foods high in sugar and fat or use of prescription drugs which may have certain side effects. Therefore, all this leads to depleted nutritional status if not compensated with good nutrition.
Include anti-stress vitamins
They play a role for a healthy brain and central nervous system as they may help balance the mood and reduce anxiety issues. They help in the production of the neurotransmitters which is essential for your ability to relax.
It is utilised for the formation of the GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which is a kind of chemical released in the brain for relaxation and release of serotonin and dopamine (happy hormones).
Moreover, low levels of serotonin are linked to anxiety, insomnia and low levels of dopamine are linked to defocus.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
It helps strengthen the immune system and improve the ability to deal with stressful conditions.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Inflammation contributes to stress, anxiety and mental fatigue and B3 may help reduce inflammation.
It acts as a cofactor for the production of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter for learning.
It is a great antioxidant which is resilient to stress and is an essential cofactor needed by the body to synthesise serotonin and reduce anxiety disorders as well.
It is essential for proper muscle and nerve functioning as it helps improve sleep quality, which furthermore helps reduce stress. There is a direct correlation between high magnesium intake and low levels of anxiety.
It may improve oxidative stress, improve immune response and has also shown antidepressant effects under conditions of stress.
A study was conducted to see the effect of vitamin and minerals supplementation on stress levels and the objective of the study was to evaluate the influence of supplementation on mood in people. It was shown that supplementation did help reduce the levels of perceived stress and improving mood states. (Long J, 2013).
In conclusion, virtually all micronutrients are important for overall physical and mental health and well being. But, specifically the B complex vitamins, Vitamin C, magnesium and zinc help in reducing stress. Diet should be rich in fruits and vegetables which help offer these nutrients or else intake of multivitamin and mineral supplementation may be suggested to combat stress issues.
SJ. Long, D. Benton, (2013)Effects of vitamin and mineral supplementation on stress, mild psychiatric symptoms, and mood in nonclinical samples, PubMed.gov. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23362497