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These 12 Vitamins & Minerals Help You With Stress & Anxiety
Understanding how vitamins and minerals can impact stress and anxiety can change everything!
Did you know that being deficient in certain nutrients can cause or worsen stress or anxiety?
Yes, really! And getting more of the right vitamins & minerals can increase your ability to manage stress & anxiety.
Did you know stress & anxiety themselves can also deplete nutrient levels?
Simply put, the more stressed or anxious you are, the faster your body will burn through its vitamins & minerals. And the lower your nutrient levels, the more anxiety youll have.
It can become a never-ending cycle, eventually leading you to a doctor or psychiatrists office. But instead of checking your nutrient levels, your doctor or psychiatrist is more likely to prescribe you anti-anxiety medication. Which is great. Were not anti-medication.
That said, what most people dont realize including most doctors or psychiatrists is that anti-anxiety medications can also further deplete your nutrient levels!
This all might sound like a mess that can never be stopped, but we promise you its not!
You can absolutely start eating more foods or taking targeted nutrition support that gives your body what it needs to be more supported, especially during seasons of higher stress or anxiety!
Ashwagandha: An Adaptogen For Stress Management
Ashwagandha has been used in traditional herbal medicine for more than 3,000 years.
Numerous studies have shown how taking ashwagandha supplements can significantly reduce your stress levels, and in one case, it even reduced cortisol levels by nearly a third.
The effects take place in as little as six to eight weeks.
Researchers are still determining exactly why this plant is so effective. Animal trials suggest it works by affecting your brains chemical pathways.
A secondary benefit: Ashwagandha may also improve cognitive function.
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Top Vitamin B Complex Foods
Below youll find a list of the top food sources of each of the 8 B vitamins.
Note that no one food is an excellent source of all of them a good reason to eat a wide variety of foods.
Some B vitamins are well represented in both plants and animal foods, while others are found mainly in plants or exclusively in animal foods :
- Vitamin B1 whole grains, meat, fish, legumes, seeds, nuts
- Vitamin B2 eggs, meat, organ meats, milk, green vegetables
- Vitamin B3 meat, fish, poultry, fish, nuts, legumes, grains
- Vitamin B5 meat, dairy, eggs, mushrooms, avocados, broccoli, potatoes, whole grains
- Vitamin B6 poultry, fish, organ meats, potatoes, starchy vegetables, non-citrus fruits
- Vitamin B7 meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli, seeds, nuts
- Vitamin B9 green leafy vegetables, liver, yeast, black-eyed peas, Brussels sprouts
- Vitamin B12 clams, liver, animal foods of all kinds, nori
The Best Supplements For Anxiety
Magnesium is used for more than 300+ different biochemical reactions in your body, its vital to make energy, plays a key role in blood sugar regulation, and it has a calming effect on neuronal function.
Low magnesium is associated with inflammation, diabetes, seizures, anxiety, and depression.
Magnesium is an essential dietary mineral and the second most prevalent electrolyte in the human body.
Magnesium deficiencies are common in the western diet because grains are poor sources of magnesium.
In Canada, magnesium, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D were the nutrients with the highest prevalence of inadequate intakes.
Other prominent sources of magnesium, like nuts and leafy vegetables, are not eaten as often.
It is possible to fix a magnesium deficiency through dietary changes.
If magnesium is supplemented to attenuate a deficiency, it acts as a sedative, reducing blood pressure and improving insulin sensitivity.
68 percent of Americans eating the standard American diet do not consume enough magnesium.
Some researchers believe that supplementing magnesium can
This mineral is found in green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard legumes nuts and seeds.
In general, the foods that contain dietary fibre provide magnesium but the degradation of our soil has drastically reduced the magnesium content in our foods which may explain why magnesium deficiency is prevalent.
If there is too much magnesium though, the body will only absorb as much as it needs.
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Gaia Herbs Ashwagandha Root
Ashwagandha has been a staple of Ayurvedic medicine for more than a thousand years. It is well-known and appreciated for its ability to reduce stress, improve mood, and promote restful sleep. Gaia Herbs Ashwagandha is certified organic and vegan.
What we like: The adaptogenic herb ashwagandha has been used for centuries to restore emotional balance and calm frayed nerves. Gaia Ashwagandha is certified organic, free of allergens, and certified vegan.
Flaws: Ashwagandha may interact with medications intended to regulate immune system response.
Getting Help For Anxiety Disorders
If you or a loved one currently live with co-occurring substance use and anxiety disorders, professional help is available at specialized treatment centers like The Recovery Village. With locations across the country and a multifaceted approach to mental health care that includes nutritional therapy, The Recovery Village can provide hope and healing to individuals with co-occurring substance use and anxiety disorders. If youre ready to take the first step toward treatment, reach out to a representative today.
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Will These Supplements Cure Anxiety
While these supplements do help many patients, they may not treat the root cause of anxiety, such as trauma and distorted ways of thinking, chronic infections, and other biological factors. For this reason, its best to partner with a therapist and/or integrative medicine practitioner who can help address these underlying issues.
Supplements That Might Work
Before You Buy
Note that the following supplements for anxiety are not guaranteed to work. Research shows that these supps are associated with improved anxiety symptoms, but the relationship is not causational.
Please speak to your health care provider before starting a supplement routine, especially if you take medications.
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Whats The Difference Between Stress And Anxiety
Because the symptoms of stress and anxiety are so similar, many people use the terms interchangeably. It is useful to understand the difference as many vitamins help both but the definition is different. Shared symptoms between the two conditions include:
A hard time concentrating on tasks, conversations, etc.
Mood swings or mood changes, such as irritability
Chronic fatigue and loss of motivation
However, while stress is a response to a short-term trigger , anxiety is a persistent feeling that never goes away.
Whether youre experiencing long-term anxiety or short-term stress, psychologists point out that both are emotional responses within your brain and nervous system. And an ever-expanding body of research is investigating how the foods you eat affect how you feel, and whether specific vitamins and minerals can help your brain to better moderate your emotional responses to lifes difficulties.
What To Consider Before Hitting The Shelves:
- Anyone can benefit from supplements, but they may not work the same for everyone.
- Changes arent always immediate.
- While certain supplements may help manage symptoms, they will not act as a cure.
- Some supplements are proven to have dangerous interactions with other medications.
- Supplements arent FDA-approved, and you should always talk to your provider before taking any.
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Supplements For Stress: Vitamins Minerals And Herbs For Less Stress
Chronic stress is deadly. Its also bad for your brain health. These stress supplements are proven to help.
Nearly three-quarters of us are chronically stressed and overwhelmed, with work worries ranking as one of the top stress triggers. But stress isnt just an emotion or about having a bad day. If left unmanaged, chronic stress changes your body and mind in measurable ways.
For optimal wellness and a healthier brain, we need to understand the correlation between stress and cognition, and find natural, healthy ways to treat stress .
Herbs, vitamins and minerals have a long history in traditional medicine as a way to manage stress, and modern research suggests that these specific supplements may be especially effective for stress management:
Understanding The Symptoms Of Depression
Depression is far more than just having a bad day or feeling sad about a particular event. Understanding the symptoms of depression can help you to determine whether you need to be contacting a therapist or other mental health professional, or if you just need to get help with your mood. As with many other conditions, there can be many different symptoms of depression. The following are among the most common:
- Trouble concentrating
- Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
- Changes in appetite
- Persistent anxiety
If you regularly experience some or all of these symptoms, you will likely want to talk to your doctor. They can help you to evaluate your situation and recommend that you see a mental health professional if appropriate.
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Are Multivitamins Enough
Although multivitamins are a good way to introduce yourself to supplements, they arenât necessarily going to be enough. If you are not sure if your current vitamin is the best one for you, reference the Nutrisearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements by Lyle MacWilliam to see how your vitamin rates against others.
Once you have a multivitamin supplement in mind, you should meet with your physician and a dietitian to customize your supplementation regime to your individual needs.
When it comes to physical wellness, it ultimately depends on the person, how active they are and the environment in which they live. For example, an indoor athlete might need more vitamin D than an athlete who performs outdoors. However, all athletes performing at extreme levels should make sure they are consuming an adequate supply to promote bone, muscle, joint, and immune health. Increasingly research shows that it is very difficult to consume enough vitamin D from the diet and supplementation may be prudent.
Furthermore, extreme endurance athletes and individuals who work in industries that involve high exposure to chemicals and pollutants experience greater oxidative stress and would likely benefit more from antioxidants such as vitamins C and E.
What Are The Risks
Many people assume that just because something is natural, its safe, said Dr. Madrak. This is simply untrue. Theyre very potent substances, and, without professional guidance, any of them can be dangerous.
Overuse and certain combinations can trigger harmful effects for instance, too much kava can lead to liver damage, and St. Johns wort, when combined with an SSRI, can lead to a potentially life-threatening medical condition known as serotonin syndrome, explains Dr. Madrak, which causes mood changes, muscle stiffness, fever, arrhythmia and high blood pressure. Other combinations can cause difficulty breathing and affect mental clarity.
Generally, vitamins and minerals are safer than herbal supplements, but it depends on the individual, notes Dr. Madrak.
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Helpful Supplements For Stress Relief
Who hasnt come home after a stressful day and used a less-than-healthy method to unwind?
But as you can see, finding better ways to de-stress is crucial. Because no matter how well you might be managing other aspects of your health, excessive uncontrolled stress will undermine your efforts.
So, what can you do?
Nutrition & supplementation can be one way to help get your stress back under control. Many dietary supplements, herbs, and nutrients can also be very useful tools for helping your body regulate stress better.
Here are a few research-backed supplements to try in pursuit of stress relief.
Vitamin C Food Sources
Almost all animals synthesize their own vitamin C, except humans.
So we must get it from food or supplements.
The top vitamin C fruit sources are citrus fruits, strawberries, and the tropical fruits pineapple, papaya, and kiwi.
The best vegetable sources are peppers of all kinds , tomatoes, and cruciferous vegetables .
But typically these foods contain less than 100 mg per serving.
So, you have to regularly eat a lot of these foods to meet the amounts considered therapeutic, generally 500 to 1,000 mg per day.
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Why Trust Verywell Mind
Sydney Greene, MS, RD, takes supplement recommendations seriously. Every product has been researched and vetted against clinical research, product reviews, and third-party testing websites. These are products she would not only feel comfortable recommending to her clients, but she would take them herself if needed.
Magnesium: A Natural Chill Pill
Researchers often refer to magnesium as a natural chill pill during times of stress, anxiety and mood changes.
Your brain and nervous system need this essential mineral to regulate your neurotransmitters . Studies have found that taking a magnesium supplement may:
Improve numerous markers of stress, including your cortisol levels, and reduce overall stress.
Reduce your risks of depression.
Improve your blood pressure numbers.
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Natural Vitamins For Anxiety
Its a well-established, scientific fact that what you eat can dramatically impact your mood. Nutritional deficiencies can exacerbate mental health disorders, while a nutritionally complete diet can help alleviate symptoms. Certain natural vitamins or vitamins obtained by consuming whole foods are thought to positively affect anxiety. While most natural vitamins also exist in supplement form, theyre more effectively absorbed by the body when ingested by eating whole foods.
Some of the most common natural vitamins for anxiety include:
Stress And Mental Health
The problem is that although these stressors are not immediately deadly,
. . . being under chronic stress is of significant concern.
A chronic state of stress can eventually lead to things like weight gain, poor digestion, feeling drained and exhausted all the time.
Additionally, exposure to stress hormones can:
- and increase the risk of substance abuse, anxiety, and depression.
The reason these hormones are so impactful on our mental health is that they are able to bind to receptors in the brain changing both structure and function.
Research backs up the impact of chronic stress on our health and shows that long-term, stress can be the underlying cause for chronic diseases such as heart disease, heart attacks, weight gain/loss, high blood pressure, etc. Left unmanaged, it can really impact your sleep too, causing excessive sleepiness or insomnia.
Chronic stress can also lead to other negative health behaviors such as drinking, smoking, and overeating as a way to cope . All of these symptoms, whether mental or, physical are interconnected.
Stress hormones are a major trigger of systemic inflammation . Inflammation is the underlying cause of almost every chronic disease. To help you avoid these issues as much as possible, Ive put together this list of some of the most useful supplements whose ingredients have been shown by science to naturally fight stress.
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Biological Systems Involved In Anxiety
Due to the complex biology of anxiety, its unsurprising that SSRI medications like Zoloft or Lexapro, which only target one of these systems , are ineffective for 30-40% of patients. Benzodiazepines like Klonopin or Ativan may work for more people, but their adverse effects can include memory problems, dependence, and addiction.
On the other hand, natural herbs and supplements for anxiety can address multiple systems at once without potential for dependence and addiction.
Vitamins And Minerals For Anxiety And Stress: Take The Next Step
Virtually all vitamins and minerals are important for overall health, mental well-being, and your ability to cope with anxiety and stress.
But a few, specifically the B complex vitamins, vitamin C, and the minerals magnesium and zinc, excel at helping your body offset the negative effects of stress.
Eating a diet that includes a wide variety of fruit and vegetables and some animal foods will help ensure that you get enough of these nutrients.
But if you dont regularly eat as well as you should, consider supplementation.
If you arent sure where to begin, start with a high-quality multivitamin-mineral supplement.
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To Address Constant Stress: Vitamin B Complex
B vitamins are among the most important vitamins for anxiety and stress. They are critical to many functions in the body, including calming the nervous system. When someone is stressed, they burn through B5 and B6 more quickly. Adding a supplement to your routine in times of stress can help alleviate these symptoms and support your mental health.
Other Proven Supplements For Anxiety And Stress
Its always wise to address the basics first.
Thats why making sure youre meeting your vitamin and minerals needs is an excellent first step in getting your anxiety and stress under control.
However, there are many other supplements, such as herbs and amino acids, with calming properties.
Some proven natural remedies for anxiety include bacopa, ginseng, kava, taurine, tryptophan, and various teas, essential oils, and homeopathic remedies.
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New Avenues For Healing
Many patients feel like their anxiety is something that they have to live with forever. In reality, anxiety is often a result of biological imbalances that these safe and well tolerated supplements can help address. When used in conjunction with other methods – from meditation and yoga to talk therapy and integrative medicine – they can help patients on their path towards deeper healing.
Disclaimer: Always work with a medical professional before initiating any new supplements or treatments. We are not affiliates for any of the links to products or supplements on this page.