If you’ve been searching for effective nutritional supplements to help with stress, you’re not alone. One study estimates 8.3 million Americans suffer from chronic stress, which can create long-term negative impacts to your health. This list includes:
• Anxiety and depression
• Sleep disorders
• Other mental health issues
Then there’s the physical side of coping with continual tension. Because you are placed in a constant state of “fight or flight,” the hormones triggered and depletion of B vitamins can eventually lead to high blood pressure, affect heart health, and can even contribute to obesity.
By taking supportive vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements, you can boost your health and immunity, as well as help relieve the negative emotional aspects of stress. This guide will help you find the ones that are right for you.
What is Stress?
The definition we use today was coined in 1936 by a man named Hans Selye, who’s known as the “father of stress research.” He defined stress as “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change.” Today, we’ve broadened the definition to include both healthy and unhealthy stress.
Good or “Healthy” Stress
Healthy stress (eustress) is short-term and occurs when we’re excited about something in our lives, such as buying a home for the first time. It gets our blood pumping and makes us feel alive. It’s also the reaction that helps us survive in acute situations, such as responding to threats to our safety.
Bad or “Unhealthy” Stress
Unhealthy stress (distress) can be either short-term or chronic and is defined as mental or emotional strain caused by difficult situations or adverse environments. It takes a toll both physically and emotionally and makes us feel anywhere from worn-out to distraught, hopeless or angry.
Taking steps to mitigate those responses can help you be able to lessen the effects of bad stress.
A Few of the Best Vitamins & Supplements to Help Relieve Stress
Despite our best efforts, it’s not always possible to get all the vitamins and minerals we need from our diet to help manage chronic stress. You may already know about common vitamins like vitamin C, folic acid, B complex and vitamin D, but our bodies can benefit from many more. Here are a few nutrients that research has shown to have positive effects on stress.
Magnesium glycinate capsules provide this vital mineral in chelated form (meaning bound to an organic compound) that is highly absorbable. Magnesium plays a role in hundreds of bodily processes, including cell metabolism, and it assists with reducing stress due to its ability to help lower blood pressure, balance blood sugar, improve sleep and combat fatigue.
Magnesium is also available in powder form. You can mix it with water or your favorite beverage for a soothing drink before bedtime, or anytime.
Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogen, a plant with properties that are known to help you deal with life’s ups and downs by assisting your endocrine system – the glands throughout your body that release hormones. A proper hormonal balance is essential to feeling relaxed, and ashwagandha can also help improve energy levels and memory, ease anxiety, and help you sleep.
Another mood booster is L-theanine, an amino acid found naturally in green tea and some mushrooms. It is known to help with relaxation and sleep without causing drowsiness or brain fog. It can instead help improve mental function and lower high blood pressure brought on by stress.
Omega-3s are different types of essential fatty acids your body uses to form cell membranes, make hormones, and regulate genetic function. They also play a powerful role in stress reduction by contributing to brain health. Omega-3s can help lower your risk of heart disease and other health problems.
B Vitamin Complex
B vitamins are important in helping your body deal with stress. Vitamin B6 aids in mental clarity and reduces depression symptoms, for example. You need an adequate intake of B vitamins in your diet each day since your body can’t store them and burns them rapidly during stressful times. Taking a B complex vitamin can mean more energy, improved brain function, and a better mood.
Rhodiola rosea is another adaptogen known for its ability to help relieve stress stress and improve general feelings of well-being. It does this by supporting your nervous system, giving you the extra boost you need to keep stress in its place. It may also help decrease exhaustion, fatigue and anxiety.
Supplements for stress are also available as combinations of nutrients, such as Pathway’s Relaxation Support. This formula of vitamins and minerals, herbs and amino acids contains ingredients found to soothe, calm, and aid in mental focus. Two capsules at bedtime can help you with sleep, but you can also take two capsules during the day, as needed.
Another way to manage stress is by nourishing the adrenal glands through a supplement like Pathway’s Adrenal Support. The pressure and strain of modern life often depletes the adrenal glands and can leave you feeling drained. These small glands are responsible for your body’s stress response, so giving them extra support can help lower cortisol levels (a stress hormone), and you may feel more energy and greater resiliency.
Supporting Your Body’s Stress Response
Selecting the right high-quality vitamins and minerals for stress relief is an important step in dealing with pressures you often feel in your daily life, as well as under more exceptional circumstances. In addition, nourishing your body, mind and spirit with healthy activities, a good diet, and calming exercises will go a long way toward helping you feel your best.
For more information about nutritional supplements to help with stress, contact Village Green Apothecary.