Your body needs certain nutrients EVERY day to function properly. Unfortunately, our food supply is becoming increasingly deficient in vital nutrients, so we are becoming increasingly deficient. Even those foods "fortified" with vitamins and minerals don't help the situation if your body can't absorb the nutrients. Symptoms like anxiety, depression, heart palpitations, and ruminating thoughts can rob you of your joy. When you bring your body into balance, you will see a huge improvement in how you feel.
To manage stress and anxiety most effectively, be sure you’re getting enough of these important nutrients.
Vitamin B complex
When your body experiences stress of any kind (emotional, physical, mental) the B vitamins can be depleted. A deficiency in these key vitamins can cause fatigue, mood problems and anxiety. You can get lots of B Vitamins from animal products and foods like whole grains, potatoes, bananas, and legumes.
Studies show that upwards of 80% of the US population is deficient in this nutrient! Since
it plays a part in more than 300 of the body’s biochemical reactions, and regulates the release of stress hormones, it's no wonder so many of us are suffering from symptoms of imbalance!
Studies on both humans and mice have shown a strong connection between magnesium levels and depression and anxiety.
Magnesium-rich foods include dark leafy vegetables like spinach, pumpkin seeds, whole grains, and fruits such as watermelon and figs.
Many herbs and spices are also good sources of magnesium. Cooking with parsley, fennel seed, paprika, cayenne pepper, and drinking herbal tea, are tasty ways to get more of the mineral.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid.
Tryptophan is ultimately converted into serotonin, the “feel good chemical”, which plays a huge role in regulating mood, appetite, and sleep. It is also the number 1 supplement purchased for stress and anxiety.
You can get good amounts of tryptophan from dairy products, meat and seafood, avocados, winter squash, nuts, and legumes.
It’s estimated that 30 to 80 percent of us are deficient in Vitamin D! Since vitamin D is linked to literally thousands of chemical processes in the body, this is extremely important to get checked for deficiency. Even if your lab results show in the normal range, it may not be enough.
Research has shown that individuals with depression and anxiety disorders also commonly have low levels of Vitamin D, this is an area you will want to dig into.
If you have darker skin, don’t spend much time outside, or are an older adult, Vitamin D supplementation is the best way to ensure you’re getting enough. Be sure to have levels checked periodically to keep in the therapeutic range.
There are few food sources, but they include fatty fish, fortified products such as milk and juice, cheese, and egg yolks.
Sunshine on your skin (without sunscreen) for 10-20 minutes daily is the best way to increase your Vitamin D.
The nervous system needs calcium in order to operate properly, so mood issues and anxiety very often result from not getting enough calcium.
Physical symptoms of calcium deficiency include shaking, heart palpitations, tingling sensations, and numbness – all of which are also common physical symptoms of anxiety.
Calcium-rich foods include dairy products, soy products and tofu, almonds, oatmeal, and green vegetables.