Vitamins for stress help you to break the stress cycle.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed out then you could be depleting your body of important stress vitamins and reducing your ability to cope with stress.
Here we discuss how:
The World Health Organization concludes that stress has become a "global epidemic...
Unrelenting schedules, constant financial concerns, traffic jams or any other annoyances or frustrations have the potential to activate your stress response.
This can mean that your body is constantly on the alert which can lead to inadequate supply of stress relief vitamins.
Why vitamins are important to cope with stress
If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed out then you could be depleting your body of important stress vitamins.
A number of things happen when the stress response is activated:
1. Your body produces the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol requires vitamins for its synthesis. See how cortisol and stress affect health.
2. The fight or flight response activated. This releases fats and carbohydrates into the blood stream.
Vitamins C and B-complex are needed to break down these fats and carbohydrates.
An inadequate supply of these vitamins can lead to anxiety and increased fatigue and frustration.
Your guide to vitamins for stress: Vitamin B-Complex
Vitamins can be broadly classed into water soluble vitamins (Vitamins B and C) and fat soluble (Vitamins A, D, E, and K)
Vitamin B aids the central nervous system, keeping the central nervous system functioning smoothly.
When stressed the central nervous system is the alert as the fight or flight response is activated.
This depletes your body’s store of Vitamin B.
A depletion of Vitamin B, especially vitamin B1, B2, B6 and B12, may result in:
Important sources of Vitamin B complex include: green leafy vegetables, cereals, fish and liver.
If you decide to take Vitamin B in a Vitamin B-complex supplement it is best to take together as they appear to work synergistically.
Your guide to vitamins for stress: Vitamin C
When stressed your body produces more free radicals.
Since Vitamin C is a antioxidant vitamin can help to protect your body against free radical damage and can boost your immune system during stressful times.
In addition to being an antioxidant, Vitamin C aids the immune system and promotes healing from infection or injury.
I talk more about the relationship between stress and the immune system.
Vitamin C also plays a role in supporting the adrenal glands.
Proper functioning of the adrenal gland is important for coping with stress.
Chronic stress and vitamin C
When you encounter periods of unrelenting chronic stress, Vitamin C is depleted from your body.
This in turn reduces your ability to cope with stress.
A vicious cycle of increasing stress and Vitamin C depletion may ensue.
Important sources of Vitamin C include: broccoli, green or red peppers, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes and strawberries which are discussed in more detail at food and stress.
If you decide to take a Vitamin C supplement it is best to take it with meals as this will help to break down and assimilate the vitamin.
Calcium and stress: Stress makes calcium difficult to absorb
Calcium is involved in the transmission of nerve signals between cells.
The depletion of calcium can lead to overactive nerve cells which may be an underlying physiological basis for stress and anxiety.
Daily requirements are for 1,000mg of calcium per day.
This can come from foods that are rich in calcium, such as eggs and other dairy products, leafy vegetables or by taking calcium supplements.
If taking calcium supplements take with magnesium as these two minerals work together.
Stress can influence calcium absorption in the intestines. This can be of concern for people who are prone to osteoporosis.
To prevent osteoporosis research suggests that a viable long-term strategy is to ensure:
But see your local health professional for advice.
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