The nutrients you need to beat stress
-Apr 24, Caroline Blight, Nutrition -
We all encounter periods when life feels overwhelming and we are stressed. A change of lifestyle isn’t always easy. But boosting your nutrient intake through diet and also your Lumity supplements can make a really impactful difference to how you feel as you deal with the lasting changes which need to be made.
Sometimes feelings of stress can even originate from being deficient in certain key vitamins and minerals. But even if this isn’t the reason for your difficult feelings, getting your nutrition back-on-track can really help as when we are stressed the production of stress hormones actually eats into our reserves of the very nutrients which can often aid us.
When we are suffering stress our digestive system tends to shut down and we are less able to access and absorb the nutrients from the food we are eating. When we are under pressure we are also more likely to indulge in ‘coping’ aids which also deplete us of nutrients like caffeine, alcohol, sugar and smoking – which adds up to a double whammy for our bodies.
Stress-busting vitamin C
Vitamin C plays several important roles in counteracting stress so is important to include in your diet when you are under pressure. This vitamin suppresses the formation of the major stress hormone cortisol. In an experiment subjects given vitamin C before being asked to perform some stressful public speaking had lower cortisol levels and lower blood pressure and also reported feeling less stressed than those who took didn’t take the supplement. We also need vitamin C to make serotonin, which is often known as the happiness hormone, because it helps us manage the anxious feelings of stress. Overall vitamin C makes us more resilient to stress and helps us bounce back from stressful situations faster.
Why you need magnesium if you are feeling stressed
When we are stressed our muscles naturally tense, without us even realizing it – and that tension leads to yet more stress! Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer so will help break the cycle and promote a feeling of calm. In a stressed state our fight or flight mechanism is heightened so the fact magnesium can also help reduce feelings of fear is also beneficial. Magnesium not only restricts the release of stress hormones, but also acts as a filter to prevent them entering the brain. This mineral, which performs over 600 metabolic functions in our bodies, is needed most when we are stressed but is actually lost most readily when we are stressed. So keeping an optimum amount is imperative as scientists have noted a direct correlation between low magnesium levels and how easily you get stressed out. This is why magnesium has been included in the Lumity supplement, think of them as your natural chill pills!
Get a boost from B Vitamins
There are more than one B vitamin but all of them are fabulous at helping you deal with stress in different ways. There are eight in total and they work together to help energy production, DNA repair and make sure the nervous system remains in great shape. When we are stressed B vitamins help sort your brain chemistry which is thrown by the tension. As well as aiding brain function they also balance mood. A Swansea University study found high doses of B vitamins may be effective in improving mood states.
Vitamin B5 helps to strengthen the immune system which is also under-fire when we are stressed.Vitamin B6 improves and strengthens the levels of beneficial antibodies, helping the immune system to fight viruses, disease and bacteria so you are less likely to fall into a stress related illness. A number of the B vitamin family will also help balance sleep and help reduce the insomnia which often accompanies a stressful period.
The anti-stress properties of zinc
It’s estimated that two billion people across the world are zinc deficient – which could be why we are all feeling more stressed out than ever! This mineral is essential for good mental health and is found in high proportions in the brain. It plays an important role in managing stress as it is required to make the calming neurotransmitter GABA andserotonin. The fact that zinc is often used with antidepressants to enhance their effectiveness points to how important it is to make sure this mineral is included in your intake when you are feeling overwhelmed. Low levels of zinc have been linked to anxiety so keep on top of those negative feelings by keeping your zinc. levels topped up.
If you enjoyed this why not try this recipe for vitamin C packed tacos and this is how to eat your Omega 3 in the shape of delicious pancakes.