Published on: 29 Aug 2023
Stress is inevitable from time to time. How you manage it, though, can determine what impact it has on your mental and physical well-being. In studies, chronic stress, one of the three types of stress, was found to have serious repercussions. It’s been linked to microscopic changes in the brain that are similar to the brains of people with depression. Research also suggests there might be biological and social implications to chronic stress.
In short, managing stress is critical for maintaining optimal health. While there are numerous stress management techniques that are holistic and natural, taking vitamins for stress might be a promising — and effective — way to help reduce stress levels.
Learn more about what vitamins are good for stress here.
“Everyone experiences stress in their lives, most commonly due to relationships, money, health, and pressure at work. Many coping skills, such as exercise, meditation, mindfulness, and other self care strategies, can help decrease stress. Some vitamins, such as Vitamin D, Melatonin, Magnesium, and L-theanine, have also been found to help with stress. Before taking any vitamins for mental health concerns, you should consult with your healthcare provider.”
1. Vitamin B Complex
It’s best to get B vitamins from food sources like eggs, avocados, and milk, and proteins, like red meat, chicken, and tuna — but you can also get supplements in powder or capsule form.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is mainly associated with sunlight exposure. Research found that stress can cause low vitamin D levels, and other studies discovered that it reduced stress levels in students. Additional benefits of vitamin D include support for the immune system and heart health.
The best way to get enough vitamin D is through natural sunlight, but you should always be mindful of wearing sunscreen to limit harmful UV exposure. You can also get vitamin D through diet by consuming fatty fish, milk, and egg yolks. Of course, you can take capsules or pills, too.
It’s important to note that vitamin D has upper limits, which means getting too much of it is possible. Talk to your doctor about proper dosage before adding Vitamin D to your daily routine.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a commonly used supplement that research shows can fight oxidative stress. Additional studies discovered its antioxidant properties could prevent the buildup of the stress hormone cortisol in the bloodstream. By knowing how to lower cortisol levels, you can simultaneously lower stress.
Vitamin C is found in many foods, making it easier to get through diet. You can get your daily vitamin C by eating citrus, broccoli, tomatoes, potatoes, and spinach. Supplements also are widely available if you like to take capsules, pills, or mix powders with liquid.
Stress depletes omega-3 stores in the body. In some studies, people who took high doses of omega-3s had reduced anxiety symptoms, lower cortisol levels during stress, and a higher profile of stress resilience. More research is needed, but the findings thus far are exciting and seem to suggest that omega supplementation might reduce the risk of depression.
Omega-3s are found in cold-water fatty fish like salmon and sardines. You can also increase intake by eating nuts, like chia seeds and walnuts, and plant oils, like soybean and flaxseed. Omega-3 is available in pills and capsules, making it convenient and easy to take this vitamin supplement, even if you don’t want to cook fish all the time!
Magnesium is an essential mineral used in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body. Some research links magnesium deficiency to stress. Other studies found that taking magnesium for anxiety and stress reduced participants’ stress level scores — the results were enhanced even further when magnesium was taken in addition to Vitamin B.
Magnesium can be found in foods like potatoes, whole greens, leafy greens, and nuts. It’s important to note that while magnesium supplements can increase levels quicker, trying to get your magnesium intake through diet alone can take much longer.
Ashwagandha is an herb from a shrub native to Africa and Asia. Recently, it’s grown in popularity as a beneficial supplement for stress relief. While technically it’s not a vitamin, this herbal supplement is known for its ability to lower cortisol levels and reduce stress and anxiety.
Ashwagandha for anxiety and stress can be taken orally or topically. It is also used to make teas.
The amino acid L-Theanine is found in black and green teas and some types of mushrooms. It’s been found to help reduce depression and stress in some people. One study found that when increasing the intake of L-Theanine, adults were left feeling calmer in high-stress environments or situations.
You can get L-Theanine from natural sources like mushrooms or tea, but L-Theanine for anxiety and stress is commonly taken as a supplement in capsule form.
8. Rhodiola Rosea
Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogenic herb, which that has properties related to stress management and an ability to restore balance after a high-stress experience. Rhodiola Rosea is native to the European regions, the Arctic, Asia, and North America. In a clinical trial, the herb was beneficial in lowering stress levels in people who experience burnout.
Rhodiola Rosea is typically taken in capsule form, and dosage depends on physical and health factors.
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that the pineal gland in the brain produces. It’s generally associated with sleep, but recent studies have found a link between anxiety, depression, and inadequate sleep quality. Melatonin can be effective in helping people with sleep disturbance either fall or stay asleep to establish a healthy sleep habit.
Melatonin isn’t found in many natural food sources, but supplements are available as gummies, capsules, drinks, or powders.
Choosing the Right Vitamins for Stress Relief
Before you start any new treatment plan, including taking vitamins or supplements, it’s important to talk to your doctor. They’ll be able to ensure you’re not already taking something that might interact with a new supplement or vitamin you’re considering adding to your routine.
“An increase in stress and anxiety can cause serious mental health concerns. Before adding vitamins and supplements to your routine, it’s best to consult a mental health professional if you are having trouble managing the amount of stress and anxiety in your life.”
Getting Professional Help with Talkspace
If you’re trying to find natural ways to manage stress and get relief, adding vitamins or supplements to your care plan might be beneficial. Sometimes, though, that’s not enough. Stress therapy can be very effective in stress management, especially when combined with other efforts, like medication, vitamins, and self-help strategies like journaling, working out, or using meditation for stress.
Talkspace offers online therapy that’s easy to access from the comfort of your own home. Therapists are highly qualified, skilled, and ready to help you learn to take control of your stress. Reach out today to find out how Talkspace can allow you to manage your stress and enhance your quality of life.
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