Nutrition

8 Vitamins and Supplements for Reducing Stress

Publish DateMay 05, 2021
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Everyone faces different life stressors, which can come from work, finances, health, and relationships.
Stress can be acute or chronic. On a physiological level, such pressure can lead to fatigue, headaches, digestive issues, mood disorders, and anxiety. Sustained levels of cortisol, which is the stress hormone, increases your risk for obesity, heart disease, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, hypothyroidism, low libido, and a host of other conditions. Scientists believe that long-term elevation of cortisol may shorten our life span by 15 years.

Aside from life stressors, nutritional imbalances can also be a major factor compromising your nervous system. Deficiencies in folate, vitamins B6 and B12, iron, and zinc can contribute to a depressed mood and fatigue.

To combat these deficiencies, here are 8 vitamins and supplements you can take to reduce your overall stress. For the most effective results, consider taking a blood test to identify your specific needs.

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 1.    B-Vitamins

During times of stress, your b-vitamins can become depleted. B-vitamins improve your energy, lower stress levels, and ensure the healthy functioning of your organs. B-vitamins also support your detoxification systems.

This vitamin family can be restored through supplementation. Seek a high-quality “methylated” B-complex that contains approximately 50mg of each b-vitamin.

 2.    Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps to maintain your adrenal health and sustains your energy levels. This vitamin also supports tissue repair, your immune system, and general detoxification.

 3.    Zinc

Zinc is among the most anabolic minerals in the body and is crucial for tissue repair, immune system functioning, balancing hormones, and healing your digestive system. 

 4.    Glutamine

As the most abundant amino acid in the body, l-Glutamine is used for your detoxification system. Glutamine is also used in rebuilding your body’s tissues and lowering stress. 

 5.    Magnesium

Magnesium is the main mineral that soothes the central nervous system and is essential for muscle function. Various studies have shown that magnesium is especially helpful for sleep and that supplementation can enhance sleep quality.

 6.    Calcium and Magnesium

Calcium and magnesium help relax your muscles. For those with high levels of fatigue, the combination of calcium and magnesium can be more effective than magnesium alone. This combination can be taken to help those with difficulty sleeping. For the best results, take 300mg of calcium and 300mg of magnesium 30 to 45 minutes before bed.

 7.    Phosphatidyl Serine

This plant-based extract can help you reduce high cortisol levels to calm your body. It is also particularly effective for those facing stress-induced illnesses, sleeplessness, anxiety, high blood pressure, and other conditions related to high adrenal states.

 8.    Adaptogens

Adaptogens are a category of herbs extracted from the roots, leaves, bark, and fruits of plants.  They help to reduce stress and balance your hormones. Research reveals that they can combat fatigue, enhance cognition, and ease depression and anxiety.

Each adaptogen has a different effect on your body, so choose one from the list below that best suits your needs:

Ashwagandha

This herb has a long history of use in Ayurveda, which is the traditional medical system of India. Ashwagandha is beneficial for those who are wired and tired. They may feel exhausted by dinner time but cannot sleep and feel like their mind is racing.

Rhodiola

Rhodiola has been used in the traditional medicine system of eastern Europe and Asia for thousands of years. This herb is known to increase energy, lower depression, reduce fatigue, and even prevent high-altitude sickness. This herb is suited to those with fatigue, mental fog, depression, or problems concentrating.

Ginseng

In traditional Chinese medicine, ginseng is used for those with low energy, susceptibility to feeling cold, and low libido. Studies have linked ginseng with improving erectile dysfunction in men and mood and quality of life for women going through menopause.

Remember that no level of supplementation can compensate for a poor diet. The more stressed you feel, the more likely you are to eat processed junk food and sugar. In your diet, make a conscious effort to ensure you are consuming healthy proteins such as fish, chicken, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds and are steering clear of high-glycemic-load foods, such as rice, potatoes, white bread, and sweets.

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Author: Jesamine Dyus

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Images source: FreePik

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