Stress and depression can adversely affect your health by causing frustrating symptoms like weight gain, insomnia and loss of mental clarity. Along with exercise and sufficient sleep, ensure that you eat a balanced diet to obtain the right nutrients to support your body’s ability to function properly and work at full capacity. In addition to avoiding refined sugars, alcohol and high levels of caffeine, you can lessen or prevent stress and depression by taking certain vitamins.
B Complex Vitamins
Although these nutrients are essential to combat stress and depression, B vitamins cannot be stored in the body because they are water-soluble. You must resupply these important nutrients every day. Vitamin B1 is a key substance required for the process of converting blood sugar into energy. A deficiency can cause feelings of anxiety. Necessary for the production of serotonin, vitamin B3 helps to stabilize your mood, reducing anxiety and agitation. In addition to helping regulate adrenal functions, vitamin B5 combines with vitamin C and folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, to reduce the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol.
Vitamin B6 plays an essential role in the synthesis of dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters play an important role in the functioning of the nervous system and the maintenance of a calm mood. A B6 deficiency can cause confusion and depression. Vitamin B12 is vital for cognitive and neurological functioning as well as coping with stress and depression. Sources of B vitamins include meat, poultry, fish and eggs as well as green vegetables, whole grains and fortified breakfast cereals.
Vitamins C and E
Stress, depression and anxiety can produce more cell-destroying free radicals. Strong antioxidants, vitamins C and E neutralize these excess free radicals within your body. This helps lower feelings of stress and anxiety. Good sources of vitamin C include fruit, broccoli and parsley. Vitamin E is found in egg yolks, popcorn, nuts and wheat germ.
Vitamin D can be stored in the body because it is fat-soluble. Your body makes vitamin D after exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. This process may be hampered by the season and geographical location. Senior citizens and individuals with dark skin or excess body fat typically have sub-optimal levels. Seasonal anxiety and depression have been shown to increase during the winter months. As a result, you must increase the amount of vitamin D in your diet during periods of low sunlight. It can be found in eggs, cod liver oil and fatty fish like mackerel and salmon.
A proper diet filled with the correct amount of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients should be part of your overall wellness protocol for combating the harmful health effects of stress and depression.