By Karen Appold
“When your doctor tells you to avoid stress, it may not be easier said that done. Whether you’re good or bad at managing stress, the good news is that it is easy to nourish your body with the vitamins it needs to help relieve stress.
Vitamins A, B and C are all vital when seeking stress relief. Here’s a breakdown of each one and how they help. Fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy products are filled with these essential vitamins to boost your energy, maintain your immunity and keep you at your best when dealing with stress.
Vitamin A helps to grow and repair body tissues, as well as sustain eyesight and healthy skin. Specifically, it helps to maintain healthy mucous membranes in the mouth, lungs, digestive tract, bladder and cervix. Vitamin A also assists in the production of red blood cells that are essential for healthy iron levels, which prevent anemia or deficiency. This powerful antioxidant protects the body against damage from viruses, bacteria, fungi and allergies, which can result in fatigue and mood swings.
Relentless worry, tension and anxiety break down the immune system. Foods that are high in vitamin A actually counteract that effect by rebuilding it.
Foods high in vitamin A include:
- dried apricots
- egg yolks
- mozzarella cheese
- sweet potatoes
Vitamin B keeps the central nervous system functioning smoothly. When stressed, the central nervous system activates the fight or flight response.
Ongoing tension and an improper diet deplete the body of vitamin B. Because vitamin B is water soluble, your body can not store it up. It needs to be replenished asÂ often as possible.
Mental and physical problems can occur when you lack Vitamin B, such as mood swings, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart problems, depression, anxiety, muscle weakness, fatigue, panic attacks or the inability to control stress.
Foods high in vitamin B include:
- whole grains
If you chose to get vitamin B in supplement form, a vitamin B-complex tablet is the best choice. It should contain the multiple B vitamins, including B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), folic acid, vitamin B3, vitamin B12, vitamin B5, vitamin B6 and vitamin B7. Many people are deficient in folic acid, which can cause poor moods or depression.
Vitamin C tops the list of vitamins for stress relief. When you experience chronic stress, Vitamin C is depleted from your body. This reduces your ability to deal with stress.
During stressful situations, your body produces more free radicals than usual. As an antioxidant, vitamin C can protect your body against free radical damage while boosting your immune system when you feel stress. In addition, vitamin C aids the immune system and promotes healing from injury or infection.
Vitamin C also plays a role in supporting the adrenal glands. Proper adrenal gland functioning is also important for coping with stress.
Foods high in vitamin C include:
- peppers–red, green and yellow
Keep in mind that heating foods that contain vitamin C will destroy most of their nutrients.”