Several factors trigger long-term stress in an individual. Some of these factors include financial difficulties, family wrangles, and job pressures among others. A persistent activation of this stress response in people may well affect the nervous system to the point of burnout.
A patient diagnosed with this kind of stress suffers from emotional and nervous exhaustion. But there are everal measures that can be taken by an individual to relieve themselves from stress and its effects, the key among them involves providing the body with protection and nourishment to prevent the progression of stress to anxiety.
According to research studies, foods that are rich in vitamins can help lower stress in the body. For example, a clinical trial that was performed by researchers from Australia discovered that the B-complex multivitamin can help alleviate symptoms that are present with stress.
The study was carried out on employees who were put into two groups. The assessment of the employees' moods, personality traits, and work strain before and after the clinical trial revealed that stress might be caused by the vitamin deficiency in the body.
The results indicated that employees who were put on the B-complex vitamin showed fewer cases of depression and work strain.
Stressed individuals display symptoms such as depression, irritability, headaches, and sleeping difficulties. Patients may also complain of sore muscles. It is advisable to see a healthcare provider when an individual is stressed since it is a risk factor for other serious conditions such as a heart attack.
Stressed people are also advised to supplement their diet with foods that are high in specific vitamins such as vitamin B-complex multivitamin, vitamin C, and vitamin A among others. In this article, we are going to discuss the various vitamins that can help lower the level of stress.
Causes Of Anxiety And Stress
· Personality traits: as already mentioned, personality traits are one of the most common causes of stress. The attitude of perfectionism and a low self-esteem can cause stress.
· Vitamin deficiency: some vitamins are essential for the prevention of stress in an individual. The lack of these vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, has been linked to the development of stress in an individual.
· Major life events: life events such as financial struggles, job pressure, or family wrangles can trigger the development of stress and the buildup of anxiety in an individual.
· Other trigger factors of stress and anxiety may include issues in relationships, work issues, and health problems among others.
Symptoms That Accompany Stress And Anxiety
· Individuals with stress and anxiety appear with gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, and nausea. They may also complain of abdominal pain.
· Symptoms related to the central nervous system include dizziness, lack of concentration, irritability, and dry mouth. Patient with anxiety is also characterized by feelings of fear or panic.
· Poor sleep patterns are also common. The onset and maintenance of sleep among stressed patients are difficult.
· Deficiency of vitamins and mineral. According to researchers, long-term stress may lead to a further decrease of vitamins and minerals that are available in the body.
Vitamins That Help Lower Stress
1. The B-Complex Multivitamin
According to the study that was done by scientists from Australia, B vitamins play a crucial role in the body. The study demonstrated that folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 have a significant role in maintaining mental health. One of the effects of the B vitamins to the body and mind involves the reduction in the levels of homocysteine.
The toxic amino acid compound increases the risk associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The B vitamin complex also helps to improve mood. B vitamins participate indirectly in the process involved in the synthesis of serotonin and other nutrients in the body.
Studies have also demonstrated the link between the deficiencies of these vitamins and stress levels in the body. High levels of homocysteine as well as mood disorders have also been found to cause stress and anxiety to individuals. Adequate levels of vitamin B12 helps increase energy levels.
Experts have shown that deficiency in vitamin B12 can result in symptoms that may range from mild exhaustion to a severe one. The levels of vitamin B complex in the body can be replenished by consuming foods that are rich in the B vitamins. Such foods include dairy products, nuts, eggs, seafood, and whole grain such as rice among others.
2. Vitamin C
According to Samuel Campbell, Ph.D., who is a researcher from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, vitamin C can help alleviate symptoms that are associated with stress and anxiety.
The researcher presented the results of his study to the American Chemical Society in 1999. According to the study, adequate intake of the vitamin alters the body's normal response to stress.
The study also demonstrated that vitamin C might help the body to reduce the levels of cortisol and corticosterone. These two are considered to be stress hormones that are available in the blood.
The Reference Nutrients Intake (RNI) is a system that advises on the amounts of vitamins that should be administered to an individual. When a person is diagnosed with a long-term stress, he will be given dosages of vitamin C that exceed the RNI to promote the functioning of the immune system during the stress period.
Foods that are rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges. Berry fruits including kiwi and melon are also high in vitamin C. Other berry fruits include blueberries, cantaloupe, and strawberries. Vegetables including broccoli, sprouts, and cabbages are rich in vitamin C.
3. Vitamin A
The antioxidant property of vitamin A makes it crucial in dealing with stress in the body. The antioxidant property of the vitamin helps the body to cope with stress and associated symptoms efficiently.
The vitamin also has a significant role in muscle repair after a workout session. Foods that are rich in vitamin A include pink grapefruit, halibut, fish oil, and spinach. Pumpkin and carrots are also high in vitamin A.
Magnesium is one of the most valuable minerals in the management of stress. Because the amount of magnesium lost through excretion is higher in stressed individuals than those without stress, one is likely to encounter symptoms such as muscle tension and cramps during stressful instances.
Magnesium is involved in the activation of stress response which leads to an influx of calcium into the body cells. The ratio of magnesium to calcium in a healthy individual is 10000:1. In people with stress, the level of magnesium drops leading to an increase in the concentration of calcium.
The imbalance between the two minerals in the cells leads to a hyperactive state which causes symptoms such as painful cramps as a result of muscle tension. Magnesium is a primary mineral that is involved in the process of muscle contraction.
Several foods can be consumed to boost the levels of magnesium in the body. Such foods include wholegrain cereals, sesame seeds, and dried figs.
Calcium is needed by the body for its normal functioning. Due to its role in the brain, inadequate levels of calcium can cause anxiety and moodiness in individuals. The mineral is necessary for the performance of the nervous system.
As a result, one may develop symptoms that are linked to stress and anxiety. Hypocalcemia may also worsen anxiety symptoms in patients who already have anxiety. Other effects of low blood calcium levels include numb fingers and toes, lethargy, shaking, and muscle cramping.
Heart palpitations are also common in people diagnosed with hypocalcemia. The primary cause of calcium deficiency is a low intake of foods that are rich in calcium. A high intake of proteins and sodium may also promote the excretion of calcium from the body.
Low levels of calcium in the body compromise the ability of the body to absorb dietary calcium. Capacity to absorb dietary calcium also lowers with aging. Such instances can be managed by an increased intake of calcium supplements.
Foods that are high in calcium include skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, yogurt, and various cheese types that are low in fats, and canned fish.
6. Zinc And Copper
Zinc and copper function by complementing each other and playing a crucial role in the performance of the immune system. Adequate intake of foods that are rich in these minerals helps prevent infectious pathogens from invading the body.
The levels of copper and zinc decrease in persons diagnosed with stress and anxiety. It is advisable to consume foods that are high in these minerals to supplement their blood concentration.
Such foods include whole grain, sunflower seeds, red meat, and dairy products. The two minerals are also involved in stimulating pathways that are used for stress signaling.
Besides the vitamins discussed above, patients with stress and anxiety should also consume a diet that is high in potassium, selenium, iron, and chromium.
The diet helps promote a healthy mental system which plays a significant role in the performance of the immune system.