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.
Zinc: For A Healthy Nervous System
Zinc is another mineral required for overall health and mental well-being.
Its found in the highest concentrations in the brain, especially in the hippocampus.
It plays a vital role in modulating your response to stress.
Zinc is required to synthesize GABA and balance the activity of this calming neurotransmitter.
Along with vitamin B6, zinc is also a cofactor in the production of serotonin.
Zinc enhances the effects of SSRI antidepressants together, they work better for major depressive disorder than antidepressants alone.
Zinc deficiency is a well-known factor in central nervous system and mental health disorders.
Low levels of zinc have been linked to anxiety, depression, memory loss, dementia, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimers.
Unfortunately, zinc deficiency is surprisingly common an estimated 2 billion people are deficient worldwide.
On the other hand, too much zinc can also be problematic.
Zinc intake of 50 mg per day or more can result in copper deficiency.
Vitamins For Anxiety And Depression
Those with anxiety, depression, or both may also benefit from taking specific vitamins, including:
Vitamin D: This important vitamin plays a crucial role in mood regulation, brain health, and nerve health.
Vitamin B complex: B vitamins help with energy levels and may reduce stress.
Magnesium: Take this mineral to help with sleep and to help you feel calmer, reducing the effects of anxiety.
L-theanine: This unique amino acid is found in green and black tea. It can help you relax, feel calmer, and help to reduce stress levels when taken as directed.
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Can Vitamin Help Anxiety
A supplement containing the nutrients B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and zinc significantly reduced anxiety in young adults, according to a 2019 report. According to a 2018 review, multivitamin supplements can help people with anxiety and other mood disorders.
Vitamins and minerals are important for preserving physical and mental well-being. Although you can associate vitamins and minerals with physical health, deficiencies in these essential nutrients can potentially exacerbate your social anxiety.
Why I Take An Alternative Approach First
Why supplements for anxiety might be an appropriate start for you to manage your anxiety.
There are many pharmaceutical drugs that have been developed which can help alleviate anxiety, they often come with unwanted effects.
Its hard to call them side-effects nowadays because we know a lot more about the human body than we did years ago.
We know that we cant direct just one aspect of the body, the body works in complex systems.
For these reasons, there are a lot of people out there who are skeptical about jumping right into these types of drugs to control their anxiety.
These people are looking for other approaches and want to control their anxiety in more of a natural way and not rely on psychiatric medications.
With this all in mind, lets look at what the science currently says about the best supplements for anxiety.
Certain supplements are especially effective at calming and balancing the brain, which can lessen feelings of anxiety.
I would like to put out a disclaimer that this post doesnt endorse for or against any particular modality of treatment. You should always walk to work with a professional to have the best approach for you. None of these supplements in this post are intended to be used as a replacement for conventional medical care in any way. Only a qualified medical professional fully understands the different advantages and disadvantages of each treatment or modality.
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Magnesium: Natural Anxiety Reliever
Magnesium has been called the master mineral for the role it plays in over 600 metabolic functions in the body.
Its also been called natures Valium because its so good at combating stress and relaxing you.
There is a direct correlation between low magnesium levels and how easily you get stressed out.
The link between magnesium and anxiety is so strong that researchers can induce anxiety in lab animals at will by depriving them of magnesium.
Stress causes magnesium to be excreted during urination, thereby depleting body stores.
One way magnesium neutralizes stress is by binding to and stimulating GABA receptors in the brain.
GABA is a major neurotransmitter that slows down overstimulated brain activity.
Typical signs of a low GABA level include being easily overwhelmed and laying awake at night with racing thoughts.
When GABA is low, it becomes impossible to relax.
Low GABA is associated with numerous stress-related disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Magnesium not only restricts the release of stress hormones, but also acts as a filter to prevent them from entering the brain.
Other ways magnesium can alleviate anxiety is by reducing chronic brain inflammation, removing heavy metals from the brain, and stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Keeping your magnesium level in the healthy range is one of the best things you can do to become more resilient to stress and anxiety.
Other Natural Vitamins For Depression
Along with the vitamins and supplements listed above, other natural vitamins for depression may include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the function and health of the brain. Natural sources of Omega-3s include certain fatty fish such as salmon, as well as seeds and nuts.
- Magnesium. According to the Nutrition Reviews journal, nearly half of all adults in the U.S. experience some level of magnesium deficiency. This deficiency can cause sleep problems like insomnia, constipation and muscle tension. It can also cause symptoms of depression and other mood disorders because magnesium is important for the production of feel-good hormones in the brain.
- Vitamin C. Supplementing with vitamin C can help improve both mood and cognitive function. Studies have also indicated vitamin C may help reduce symptoms of anxiety as well as depression.
While depression is a serious medical condition, it is fortunately treatable. Vitamins for depression shouldnt be used as a replacement for medical treatment, but they can be used in conjunction with professional treatment to improve its effectiveness. Nutrition often plays a critical role not only in physical but also mental health.
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Key Vitamins & Minerals For Anxiety And Stress
Stress consumes excessive key vitamins and minerals. If you dont replace them with the right foods and supplements, anxiety and stress can worsen.
When youre anxious or stressed, you can feel it throughout your body and sense it in your mood.
But not all signs of stress are obvious.
One insidious way anxiety and stress deplete your body and brain is by draining essential vitamins and minerals just when you need them most.
Study Protocol: Reducing Occupational Stress With A B
Given the growing incidence, cost and pervasive effects of stress in the modern workforce, the primary objective of this research is to determine whether administration of B-vitamins reduces occupational stress , burnout, and the cost of absenteeism in a population of older workers with high levels of occupational stress. We will examine the relationship between B-vitamin supplementation, workplace stress, cognitive, personality and mood measures, cardiovascular , biochemical as well as genetic assessments and neuroimaging measures to identify the mechanisms through which B-vitamin supplementation may improve the well-being of Australian workers.
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Megafood Vitamin D3 5000 Iu
Many people are deficient in or have suboptimal levels of vitamin D, a fat-soluble nutrient thatÃ¢s essential for brain function and mood regulation .
Studies show that vitamin D inadequacy or deficiency is particularly common in people with mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders .
Furthermore, research suggests that taking high doses of vitamin D may be effective in reducing the severity of anxiety symptoms in people with anxiety disorders, including those with GAD .
A 2020 study in 106 people with depression found that treatment with 1,600 IU of vitamin D per day for 6 months led to significant improvements in anxiety symptoms, compared with a control group .
MegaFood Vitamin D3 is one of the best vitamin D supplements for anxiety, as it combines vitamin D with vitamin K.
These nutrients work synergistically in the body to help maintain healthy levels of vitamin K and to promote heart and bone health .
This supplement delivers 5,000 IU of vitamin D and 100% of the Daily Value for vitamin K in just 1 capsule. As a result, itÃ¢s a good choice for people with low vitamin D levels.
Keep in mind that while higher dose vitamin D supplements may be necessary to treat deficiency, for people who simply want to maintain healthy vitamin D levels, a supplement that provides 1,000Ã¢2,000 IU per day may be more appropriate.
Your healthcare professional can test your vitamin D levels and recommend a dose of vitamin D for your specific needs.
Safety Issues To Consider When Using Magnesium Supplements For Anxiety
Using magnesium supplements for anxiety is largely safe. The medical literature features numerous studies that provide some basis for the efficacy of supplementation in correcting hypomagnesemia, which can have a direct effect on mild anxiety disorders. These studies have also carefully assessed the right set of symptoms, so their findings can be reasonably adapted to provide recommendations for supplementation.
However, it is important to remember that these studies are not absolute in their findings. The design of most of these studies, in particular, leaves a lot of room for growth. Those that featured placebo conditions were found to be ineffective in assessing the results properly, while others did not include a reasonable number of samples, or otherwise employed weak statistical analyses.
This is why many experts are of the opinion that there is a need for more randomized controlled trials. These should particularly be angled at carefully screening samples and properly establishing anxiety levels so that there can be a clear evaluation of treatment results. Subjects with hypomagnesemia should be particularly studied better, because of the linked relationship between deficiency and affective disorders. Placebo options should also be included.
The specific effects of magnesium on stress responses also merits further and additional work. The pathways by which the mineral affect central and peripheral endocrine responses, in particular, should be better studied.
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Which Herbs Are Useful For Reducing Stress And Anxiety
Certain herbs contain phytochemicals, which can prove essential in easing symptoms associated with stress and anxiety. Herbal supplements mainly come in tea, tincture, extract, or capsule forms.
Below is the key herbs which can help you to reduce your stress and anxiety symptoms.
Ashwagandha is an Ayurveda remedy and an adaptogen as well.
There is some research suggesting that it can be a lot effective like certain medications for reducing anxiety.
Tip: Ashwagandha is also a knee pain remedy.
Studies show that the extracts of Bacopa can help with a neuroprotective activity, or in other words, they can protect your neurons.
Based on the study conducted in 2013, Bacopa is essential in reducing Cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone when high in the blood can worsen your anxiety symptoms.
Consequently, by eating Bacopa, the bodys cortisol levels significantly lowered helping the body to manage stresses effectively.
Tip: Chamomile is also a Sleep Remedy.
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Vitamins For Panic Attacks
Currently, research on the connection between panic attacks and vitamin deficiencies is limited. However, because panic attacks are often a symptom of an anxiety disorder called panic disorder, incorporating any of the above supplements and vitamins into your diet may help you better manage the anxiety that can trigger panic attacks.
While many supplements and vitamins can be beneficial for anxiety, its important to check with your doctor before adding them to your diet. Taking this precaution can help prevent any potentially dangerous side effects or drug interactions.
Keep in mind that while vitamins for anxiety can be helpful, they are not a substitute for prescription medications or doctor-approved therapies. It is particularly important to speak to a medical professional if your anxiety co-occurs with another mental health condition, such as addiction.
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How Do Vitamins Work To Give Relief From Stress
Vitamins help the body to perform well and allow the internal organs to function more effectively. Vitamins and other minerals work to make sure that any free radicals or harmful toxins in the body are eliminated to allow the metabolic system to gain more strength.
Free radicals are formed even more when the body is stressed. That is why it becomes essential to take vitamins that can reduce the severe effects of these free radicals. Many of the vitamins even contain antioxidants of high dosage.
Vitamins Are Not Medicine
Natural health enthusiasts have been promoting the idea of vitamins alone as a treatment for anxiety in years. Sometimes there is a benefit. There is some early evidence that magnesium supplements may help with anxiety, for example. There is also some belief that a proper diet is may be useful for coping with stress. But taking vitamin supplements may not work for everyone, and simply adding vitamins to your diet may not have much of an effect.
The reason that most vitamins have little effect on your anxiety is simple: when your body doesn’t need the vitamin, it usually removes them. This is true of Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and several minerals. Your digestive system is unlikely to keep nutrients it doesn’t need. Instead, it turns them into waste, and you expel them every time you go to the bathroom.
Some vitamins and minerals, like calcium, do build up in the body. But usually, this is considered a bad thing – not a good thing. Too much Vitamin A, for example, can become toxic.
That is why some experts believe it may actually be harmful to frequently consume vitamins that you do not need. If you are going to add vitamins to your diet, you first need to be selective – talk to your doctor, and try to understand what your dietary needs may be. That is the case with B-Vitamins – a common vitamin that is often recommended on several blogs and natural health websites for those with anxiety.
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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.
Unchecked Stress Can Take Years Off Your Life
Chronic stress affects our physical health, our mental health, and ultimately, our mortality. Emotional stress is especially damaging.
While stress is pervasive, there are ways to mitigate its effects. Besides practicing mindfulness or deep breathing regularly, eating a healthy diet and getting good exercise, several herbal supplements and vitamins have been shown to help alleviate stress and its symptoms.
Ready to start your personalized routine?
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Balancing Neurotransmitters In The Brain
Stress is caused by all kinds of factors and sadly, theres no miracle cure. However, certain things make us more disposed to to feelings of anxiety. For example, were more prone to stressful thinking if our neurotransmitters are imbalanced. You may have too many excitory compounds that enhance the stress response or too few inhibitory or mellow-out compounds that calm it, explains registered dietitian Ali Miller, author of The Anti-Anxiety Diet.
What you eat can help balance this. Protein is key, as neurotransmitters are made using amino acids in proteins as building blocks, explains Ali. Try to eat a little protein meat, fish, tofu, beans, yoghurt at every mealtime.
Mood Supplements With St John’s Wort
One of the most commonly used supplements for mood support is St. John’s wort. This flowering herb has been used as a natural remedy for depression and other conditions for centuries. Scientists have discovered two substances in St. John’s wort that may provide mood support benefits: hypericin and hyperforin. Together, these substances may help to balance the brain chemicals serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which effect mood.
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Other Tips For Managing Stress
Taking herbs and vitamins isnt the only way to manage stress. From getting a good nights sleep to meditating more often, there are simple modifications you can make to feel better. The bottom line is that you should find what is really at the root of your stress and take action to reduce it. Experiencing stress over the long term can have detrimental impacts on various aspects of your health, so take it seriously. Here are a few ideas:
- Go for a walk outdoors
- Get more exercise
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine
- Talk to a counselor
If youre not able to manage stress on your own and its affecting your ability to enjoy life, please reach out to someone you trust for help.