Stress Supplements - What Really Works to Help You Relax

There are many, many stress supplements available on the market. Some are just straight vitamins or minerals. Others are herbs, combinations of vitamins or other food supplements. It is hard to know what to choose that will specifically help you. There are, however, some basic vitamins and minerals that can make all the difference. They can prevent the damage that stress causes as well as helping you to feel calmer and more in control.

Vitamin B

B vitamins are essential stress supplements. They are necessary for most bodily processes and shortages of them can cause many health problems, including stress. Also, when you are stressed your body will use large amounts of B vitamins to cope with the effects of stress. B Vitamins work together as a family and will benefit you most if you take them all together as a B vitamin complex. Look for a formula that provides 50mg of each of the main B vitamins.

Vitamin B-1 (thiamin) helps you to have a healthy nervous system and give you more energy.

Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin) gives important support to your adrenal glands.

Vitamin B-3 (niacin) has a strong effect on your feelings of being able to manage your stress. Niacinamide is the most effective form of this vitamin and prevents the flushing that can occur when you take niacin.

Vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid) is necessary for the secretion of cortisol, sometimes know as the stress hormone because your body produces it at high levels when you are stressed. It is essential for proper glucose metabolism, release of insulin and a well functioning immune system, among other things.

Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) is helpful for reducing anxiety and depression. It is involved in the production of GABA and serotonin, both of which have an effect on your mood.

Vitamin B-8 (folic acid) helps reduce stress indirectly by because it reduces high levels of homocysteine (an amino acid that is implicated in heart disease when there is too much of it in the body). The healthier your body is the less susceptible you will be to the effects of stress.

Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) is essential for the healthy functioning of your nerves. It also plays a part in the production of serotonin, so it helps to enhance your mood.

Some good food sources of B complex vitamins are:

Liver
Meat
Eggs
Yeast Extract
Nuts
Cod
Cheese
Wholewheat
Green vegetables

However, it can be hard to get enough of all the required B vitamins from food when you are stressed. So taking a high quality Vitamin B supplement may be helpful.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most important stress supplements. If you have high levels of Vitamin C you will cope with stressful situations better than people who have low levels.

Studies have shown that Vitamin C can greatly reduce the production of cortisol in animals who are stressed. As cortisol plays such a strong role in stress by triggering the fight or flight response, keeping your cortisol levels to a minimum can only help you to feel calmer.

The RDA for Vitamin C is 60mg but much higher doses are needed for stress relief. 1000mg is an effective dose and you can take this amount, and more, for long periods without any problems. Vitamin C is water soluble and if you take more than your body can use, you will just excrete what you don't need.


Magnesium

Magnesium is another on of the essential stress supplements because it prevents the damage caused by excess adrenaline. It is a mineral which can provide fantastic stress proofing for you and your family. It helps you to remain calm, sleep well and feel more peaceful.

In the normal modern family diet you will not find a lot of magnesium because it occurs in foods that are not often eaten in large quantities such as:

Alfalfa, Apples, Apricots, Avocados, Bananas, Black-eyed Peas, Blackstrap molasses, Brown Rice, Cantaloupe melon Chamomile, Dandelion, Dulse, Figs, Garlic, Grapefruit, Green leafy vegetables, Kelp, Lemons, Licorice, Lima Beans, Nuts, Parsley, Peaches, Peppers, Soybeans, Tofu and Whole Grains.

Unfortunately, the average SAD (Standard American Diet) contains foods which are high in calcium and low in magnesium. Too much calcium without enough magnesium means that your calcium cannot get absorbed properly. If it is not absorbed properly you end up with calcium in the wrong places such as in plaque on the inside of your arteries, in gallstones or kidney stones. Having lots of magnesium in your diet means that you will be a lot calmer and have your calcium where it needs to be - in your bones and in your teeth.

Magnesium is best taken as magnesium citrate as this form is easily absorbed.

Minerals

Although magnesium is the main mineral for helping with the effects of stress, other minerals are also easily lost when you are under a lot of pressure. Therefore, it can be a good idea to take a colloidal mineral supplement. This will supply you with all the trace minerals you need in a form which is easy to absorb.


Taking stress supplements really is an essential part of your stress relief program.  Your children can also take these supplements as long as you get child strength vitamins and minerals.

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