- Mental Health
Using B Vitamins To Combat Stress
On the whole, people in today's society, are more stressed out than ever. Stress from work, parenting, money, health, etc. can damage the immune system, cause high blood pressure, ulcers, sleep problems, and heart disease, among other things. Some studies have even linked high amounts of stress hormones to cancer. In short, stress is bad for you! But what can we do about our natural response to every day stresses? Studies have shown that increasing your intake of B vitamins can actually aid in stress relief. How awesome is that? And the best part about it is, they're easy to get, you don't need a prescription, and it's natural! Here's the rundown:
Types Of B Vitamins
- Thiamine (B1), is known for it's ability to help people cope with depression as well as other feelings associated with stress. It has also been shown to improve memory as well as increase energy. Natural sources include whole grains, meat, dry fruits, and green leafy vegetables.
- Riboflavin (B2), has frequently been used to help manage some of the physical syptoms of stress such as headaches. It is especially beneficial to people who are very physically active. Natural sources include milk, eggs, yogurt, cheese, green leafy vegetables, avocado, and broccoli.
- Niacin (B3), helps maintain energy. Niacin also helps with L-tryptophan (an amino acid) to produce more serotonin. Natural sources include beans, legumes, chicken, milk, and shrimp.
- Pyridoxine (B6), assists the body in the creation of neurotransmitters like melatonin, serotonin, and norepinephrine, as well as helping to convert food into energy. It can aid in proper sleep, which is important to mood regulating. Natural sources include garbanzo beans, poultry, tuna, potatoes, and bananas.
- Folic Acid (B9), many people have heard of Folic Acid and it's benefits for women of childbearing age. However, in addition to helping prevent birth defects, it is crucial in the regulation of moods. Everyone should consider taking a folic acid supplement. Natural sources include dark leafy vegetables, oranges, garbanzo beans, cauliflower, asparagus, and avocado.
- Cyanocobalamin (B12), aids in memory. It is important to the brain, and helps with energy and sleep regulation. Proper rest is important when dealing with stress, and helpful in preventing depression and anxiety. Natural sources include clams, trout, liver, salmon, milk, and cheese
Many of these vitamins are also offered in the for of B Complex vitamins which you can buy in just about any store that sells vitamins. They often also include other beneficial vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, zinc and magnesium. If you are not getting enough of these in your diet, I strongly recommend a B complex vitamin as part of your daily intake.
In addition to cutting out processed foods, I added a B complex vitamin to my diet about 6 months ago, and within a week, I noticed a huge improvement on my stress and mood in general. Even my husband has noticed a difference, and started taking them as well. The best part about it being natural is that there is no harm in trying! The worst that can happen, is you start feeling more relaxed!